Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog

August 13, 2010

Vegas Gang #50 - August 12th, 2010

Posted by Hunter

Episode 50! Thanks for all the support. This is our first episode using Skype to record the show - still working on proper levels, etc... so please bear with us. Hopefully sound quality is vastly improved.

This time on the show:

Podcast-a-palooza - Oct. 30th, 2010. Be there.

* El Cortez Design a Suite Competition
* Baccarat Study + HET IPO
* Hotel Apps
* Downtown Blues
* Vegas Gang 'Sure Bets'

Check out the show:

Feel free to leave your comments below. If it's a question that you want asked on the show, please make that clear in your post. You can also send those to


Read archived comments (9 so far)
August 13, 2010 3:34 PM Posted by parchedearth

I'm really digging the ElCo suite design contest. A brilliant out-of-the-box idea that will certainly attract some customers and is great PR. Makes me wonder what you could do with different budgets (say $100k as opposed to $20k)?

August 14, 2010 9:18 AM Posted by detroit1051

Great podcast! I still don't fully understand baccarat, so I appreciated Dr. Dave's comments and his recent column. I'm glad he explained why it's important for WYNN, LVS and MGM to bring their VIP baccarat players from Macau to Vegas. The difference in tax rate can make a huge difference to these companies.

Also glad Dave Simpson expanded his comments on Downtown and pleased that all of you chimed in on Loveman's method of management. Strange in this business, imo.

A fun episode. The sound quality of Skype was good, but I had trouble maintaining consistent sound volume while listening.

August 14, 2010 9:19 AM Posted by Hunter

Yeah, I need to fix the levels issue for next time. Otherwise, I think quite a success.

August 14, 2010 4:05 PM Posted by Jeff in OKC

Love the sound quality. When you fix the levels, it will be top notch, IMO.
I was a little unsure about the El Cortez contest when I first heard about it, because I had read where the suites at the El Cortez are large but are also very inexpensive. I was afraid they would turn into $300 a night and up propositions. I was very happy to hear that the increase in the charge for these rooms is probably going to be very reasonable.
Isn't Alex the same young lady who is credited as being the driver of the Cabana Suites? They're doing good things there, whoever is behind it. I hope they keep it up.
So this gets me to thinking about the Western. I think it is perfect to become the beatnik casino, The hip, urban space favored by the artistic crowd, who can use existing spaces on a miniscule budget and create an innovative, vibrant "place to be". It certainly has the authentic, urban grit that is vital for this kind of project. And it has new leadership. Who, no doubt, is smart enough to see this as the best and most cost effective use of this property.
I think I'll fly into Las Vegas next weekend just to check this out!

August 15, 2010 10:42 AM Posted by Jeff in OKC

Couple things I forgot to mention yesterday; I read where the Wynn Las Vegas room remodels are budgeted at $36,666, if my cyphering is correct, and the El Cortez's are $20,000. Makes me wonder if the difference is in the furnishings, materials and labor, or maybe it's all Roger Thomas' salary. :-)
Another thing I keep thinking about is the Valet app. I can't help but wonder if this would make the drive clogged with cars that are ready and the drivers are putzing around elswhere in the casino, thinking they are on top of the game. I do think it would require more attention on the part of the Valet staff.

August 15, 2010 10:59 AM Posted by Hunter

No doubt, anything like that would require new systems and procedures to be setup around it to discourage abuse.

August 16, 2010 11:42 AM Posted by Brian Fey

I could be wrong, I usually am, but I don't think that's the budget for Wynn. The total remodel budget is $99 Million, about half of that is for the resort side, and the other half is for the tower side. If they spend $50M on 2000 rooms, I get $25,000. But who knows. I like the new corridors, but I'm not blown away by the room remodel. I wish it had more color, and looked more different. I doubt the average Wynn customer will even notice they remodeled. The art wasn't changed, the plumbing fixtures are the same, and much of the new furniture looks very similar to what was there, except for the desk chair, and sofa. I still love the the look of Encore's rooms vastly over Wynn's. Perhaps that's because we're looking at two different designers. I love Rogers work, and I don't dislike this, I'm not saying the new rooms are ugly, I'm simply saying, the changes are a bit more subtle than i'd have expected for a full 5 year remodel.

August 17, 2010 6:44 AM Posted by Jeff in OKC

I took that number from the recent reports that said Wynn was remodeling 2700 rooms for $99 million, which averaged out to $36,666 each.
I am interested is seeing the El Cortez suites when they are done. I know they aren't trying to compete with Wynn, but it should be an interesting treatement of a nice space.

September 3, 2010 8:44 PM Posted by GregoryZephyr

Another great podcast guys. This time I had the pleasure of listening to both this one and the previous one on a long flight from SFO to JFK.

I have to agree about the hotel apps and how the hotel industry in general seems woefully behind on using technology. As I was checking in to my hotel in Manhattan I couldn't help but to wonder why they couldn't create something to avoid the check in process altogether. How about an app that lets me do a secure login and check in and be provided a code which could be used on a door keypad to open the room door when I arrive? Why not an app that could be used to "schedule" the time to have my room cleaned? Why not an app that lets me order room service even when I am away from the room? Or, any other type of service, for that matter? Several times I did a quick search in Google on my Blackberry for a store near the hotel. It worked out okay but why not an app from the hotel that could specifically point me to where the closest drug store or coffee shop is located? (There was a concierge but there was always line waiting in front of her.) One wonders if there are any hotel execs that have any interest in technical innovations.