Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog

March 26, 2009

Vegas Gang #29 - March 26th, 2009

Posted by Hunter

We're back with another episode! It can be downloaded here.

This time around we discuss:

* Casino Photography Rules
* MGM Mirage vs. Dubai World
* Tropicana / Chapter 11
* Las Vegas Sands in Macau

Feel free to leave your comments below.


Read archived comments (10 so far)
March 26, 2009 8:21 PM Posted by Jeff in OKC

I loved the show, as usual, and found it thought provoking. A couple comments.
Chuck's sound quality is almost unlistenable. Can anything be done?
I think taking pictures at a Casino is a privlege, not a right. I know they are public spaces, but they are private property. I own an auto body shop, and I would not take kindly to anyone coming onto my property anywhere and shooting pictures without asking. If they asked, I would try to be accomodating, but people taking pictures without asking make me suspicious. A government agency would ask, as would mainstream media outlets, unless they were working on an "undercover assignment". Human nature says they would be up to something, even in a Casio, which obvoiusly is innocent, and free of greed and guile.
Please, please, give us some good news. If not an episode, how about a segment each episode? Las Vegas is about escaping bad news, and each of the Gang owe their living to that escapsim, to some degree. I'm just asking you to honor your escapist driective for a couple minutes a show. Even if it's something as simple as a (non Wynn) parking garage you like.
Thanks for your efforts. It is a biweekly highlight of my life.

March 26, 2009 8:28 PM Posted by Hunter


Yeah, I know there were times today when Chuck's audio was terrible... I could hear it and I was hoping it would just get better but in the middle of him making his point about the photos, it got pretty sketchy. We'll work on that. I have a couple of ideas in that regard.

As far as good news, I struggle with this every two weeks when I start looking at the topics. There just isn't any.

That said though, we've been thinking about a couple of minor changes to the show that may help in this regard - bringing in more listener interaction. More details coming.

Thanks for the feedback.


March 26, 2009 8:37 PM Posted by Anthony

CityCenter bankruptcy by this weekend?

March 26, 2009 10:06 PM Posted by mike_ch

As one of these "revelers in the comments" I'd like to speak up for myself:

I've had high hopes for Aria and the rest of the project, and have been one of the few to embrace it's "urban square" motif over the single-location megaresort concept we've seen over the past decade.

I really don't have a problem with CityCenter, or even a deep issue with MGM Mirage, I just feel like they've been gliding more and more since they bought so much of the Strip and I really do cheerlead for property sales because I think that will improve all hotels, including MGM's.

By the way, considering that for a long while now I've been trying to get a resort job (which would almost certainly end the StripWalks), I wonder whether telling them of the column here hurts my chances? :) If called on it, I'd answer/explain for any of my criticisms.

March 26, 2009 10:53 PM Posted by Hunter


What I said about commenters wasn't directed towards you or even anyone here. Your comments, even when I disagree with them, are well reasoned.

I was talking about the comments I read on the RJ and Sun sites - they're basically the equivalent of 'MGM sux' most of the time when we see these sorts of stories.


March 26, 2009 11:39 PM Posted by Jeff Simpson

Mike, I was definitely not referring to your comments, but to (sometimes humorous, admittedly) mean-spirited or uninformed insults. The folks on this site who also post on the R-J or Sun sites provide worthwhile comments that add to the discussion. Even though I may criticize those mean-spirited or uninformed comments by others, I like the fact they are allowed, because it is a way for everyone to have a voice.

March 27, 2009 7:11 AM Posted by doc_al

Need good-news storylines?
1) The strip and downtown were booming during the first week of March Madness
2) room rates are still in "our" favor. Bad for business but good for travelers
3) Forest fires encourage new growth. Ruffin has bought back in on the strip and there will probably be other new owners. Even the Trop is getting their (management) act together.
4) Doesn't get much play around here but quietly downtown is seeing a lot of reinvestment - apart from larger projects at the Golden Nugget, Gold Spike, and the Ogden House/"El Cortez Cabana Suites", I saw evidence of reinvestment in public spaces at the Fremont and Binions, even the Plaza. Not to mention the overall "hipsterization" of East Fremont (which I personally am ambivalent about...)
5) It's a sign of how far locals casinos have come that the M resort, a jewel in it's own right IMO, gets a lukewarm reception from Red-Rocks-jaded consumers.

March 27, 2009 9:37 AM Posted by Jinx

Another topic:

Thoughts on Harrahs combating recession with booze. Marketing focus seems to be on alchohol, Voodoo and McFaddens at Rio offering all you can drink specials. New coupons in handouts of check in are 2 for 1 drinks. Larger glass sizes at most HET properties (including Bill's) for comp drinks. Food and all drinks inclusive in package for IP. Not to mention the standard Oshea's model, that they did to that spot when they acquired it. I for one am not against it, but think it might be an interesting topic.

Or just a topic on marketing focus for dealing with the recession, MGM has all you can eat all day at Luxor and Excal now pricing. Luxor is offering all inclusive packages for meals at the buffet with room rates. And MGM has sent out offers like bill everything to room and take 20% off.

March 27, 2009 11:23 AM Posted by David McKee

Crowds at M are unbelievable, so I don't think locals are jaded at all. And judging by the number of people I see in the casinos, generally (well, maybe not the stone-dead Hard Rock), I have the distinct impression Las Vegas would be weathering the current economic storm had a certain few companies not been gluttons for debt, which is the ultimate villain in this scenario. There's a a palpable disconnect between on the casino floor and in the executive suite.

Speaking of discounts, if you check the "Today's News" page of, we've got a blurb about Luxor offering an unprecedentedly "george" $420 deal that includes two free/tickets passes to almost everything in the pyramid. Unfortunately, that includes two seats for "Believe," but they're comping more stuff than I've seen in the last two years.

How's that for good news?

March 27, 2009 1:43 PM Posted by Matt K

Here's some good news (or scary, depending on your perspective):

Bellagio: $99 Mon-Thu, now thru September. Mention "Friends & Family" promotion.
Mandalay Bay: Buy 2 nights, get 3rd free.
Imperial Palace: Buy a room night, get UNLIMITED food and beverage. (small print: food must be buffet or tea house only. Drinks at casino bars. Well drinks only.)
Golden Nugget: $49 weekdays.