Big Changes In Store For Cosmopolitan Of Las Vegas

Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas At Dusk
Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas At Dusk

I’ve been looking forward to this day for a while now. The sale of Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas is finally a done deal. Now it’s time for Blackstone to get to work. Balckstone has three items on the agenda:

(Jonathan) Gray (Global Head of Real Estate) said Blackstone has a “very simple” business model of “buy it, fix it, sell it.

Buy it – CheckNow it’s time for the “fix it” stage.

Plans are sparse but here’s what I can put together right now. Blackstone will make some changes you can see and some that you can’t see.

  • Casino – Blackstone is “acutely focused” on fixing the casino although no specific plans have been revealed besides that they want to “reinvigorate” the ground floor. Maybe this means expanding the concept of the popular Bond Bar area to other parts of the casino. (see details on Bond Bar pit at Vegas Chatter)
  • LeadershipJohn Unwin is out and William McBeath, a former MGM Resorts International executive is in. He will start as soon as today. Read more about him here.
  • New Rooms – 46 new hotel rooms will be added in the west tower. This is smart since they control all of the revenue, unlike clubs and restaurants. The Cosmo also has the highest ADR (Average Daily Room) prices in Vegas. This could generate about $10,000 a week. Not much in the overall budget but it can’t hurt.
  • Expect Something New At The Top Of The East Tower - Blackstone says to expect “something creative with unused space at the top of the east tower”. Another club or restaurant with amazing views of Vegas sounds like a good fit here.

The Cosmopolitan is one of my favorite casinos in Vegas. I love hanging out here and am really looking forward to seeing what kind of changes Blackstone has in mind. We can discuss potential buyers next holiday season.

Thanks To Britney Spears, Caesars May Finally Go Broke

New Britney Spears
That’s Not The Britney Spears I Saw At Planet Hollywood

Sure, she’s never been ugly but my fandom for Britney Spears has never really been about her looks. Her name is attached to awesome jams and that’s what does it for me.

For better or worse (see my thoughts on Vegas Chatter) Britney Spears is now a fixture in Vegas with her “Piece of Me” show (original set list) at Planet Hollywood. Her new look may be what it finally takes to send Caesars Entertainment into bankruptcy. Let me explain.

It’s no secret that Caesars Entertainment is strapped for cash and on the brink of bankruptcy. There’s news about this just about every day. With Britney’s new look/face/abs(?) Caesars will have to change all of their marketing materials for the show. That’s everything from photo shoots that will change all print ads, billboards and press photos.

These things don’t come cheaply when you’re dealing with star like Britney Spears. I’m only half serious here. I know this won’t break the chapter 11 camel’s back but it certainly won’t help.

On a related note, my dude @Dribbleglass put a name to #NewBritney’s new face for me.

Photo – BuzzFeed http://www.buzzfeed.com/elliewoodward/pretty-sure-thats-not-britney-bitch?bftw=main

Jason Statham Kicking Ass And Playing Blackjack In Vegas

Jason Statham In Vegas For Wild Card
Jason Statham In Vegas. What Could Go Wrong?

I’m not big on action movies but I’ve seen just about every movie Jason Statham has been in. Even though the stories are similar it’s fun to watch him demolish multiple rooms of people over 90 minutes. The simplicity of his movies are great for a lazy Sunday afternoon.

His next blockbuster, Wild Card, will be in movie theaters early next year and Netflix shortly thereafter. The movie features your typical Jason Statham ass kicking with Sofia Vergara as the hottie and casinos in Vegas as the scenery. How could this not be awesome?!

Hat Tip to @Casino_Examiner  for the find.

Photo: IMDB

No Kimpton Las Vegas Connection For Now

The Venetian Las Vegas
The Venetian

Sad news for Kimpton hotel fans. There won’t be a Kimpton Las Vegas connection…yet. Shortly after being purchased by Intercontinental Hotel Group (IHG), Kimpton sent out an email that their loyalty program would remain separate from IHG for the time being.

We’ll continue to offer the same great perks and benefits through our Kimpton Karma Rewards program across our 62 Kimpton hotels and any reward nights you’ve racked up stay perfectly intact. For the time being, the Kimpton Karma Rewards program and IHG Rewards Club will continue to run as separate loyalty programs.

IHG has almost 5,000 hotels around the world including The Venetian and The Palazzo in Las Vegas (you can see the full list here). Neither hotel fits the Kimpton boutique hotel model but that’s okay in the world of reward travel. Any way to use work travel rewards in Vegas is good. Expect the loyalty clubs to merge some time next year.

My one visit to a Kimpton hotel left me somewhat breathless. I loved it. The staff was fantastic and the hotel was great. I was so moved that I made a blog just for the few days I was at Hotel Monaco in Chicago. Enjoy.

There’s No Gambling In The New Las Vegas

Transformation Guy. The New Las Vegas Guy.
Transformation Guy. The guy you want to be in Vegas?

Remember Las Vegas when you were a kid? The glitz, the glamour, the gambling? Well, unfortunately, that’s not Las Vegas today.

The new commercial from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCA) has shows absolutely no gambling or casino at all. This is the New Las Vegas. (This is not the New America, thankfully.)

This kind of ad should come with little surprise. Gambling has been less of a revenue source for casinos every year for the past 20 years or so. There hasn’t been much, if any, gambling shown in recent ads for MGM Resorts or Cosmopolitan, for example.

The LVCA tells CalvinAyre.com that the exclusion wasn’t planned but that’s probably not true. Casinos have been marketing themselves as all-purpose hotels (that may or may not have gambling) for the past few years. After all that’s what has been generating increased revenue from younger customers.

This commercial doesn’t make me want to visit Vegas. That being said I’m not the person they’re targeting with this ad and it’s probably not an awful commercial . What do you think?

The Gambler Movie Trailer With Mark Wahlberg

The Gambler Movie Trailer With Mark Wahlberg
The Gambler

A few weeks ago, on the BS Report, Mark Wahlberg let it be known that “The Gambler” remake wasn’t actually a remake. It was a new movie inspired by the great gambling movie featuring James Caan in the 1970’s.

With that in mind the trailer for the 2014 version of “The Gambler” looks like it will be fun to watch for anyone into gambling. It may be a movie that’s Sunday afternoon Netflix watch rather than a movie that you rush to the theater to see but it looks okay.

What do you think?

Checking Out The Hotel Rooms At SLS Las Vegas

SLS Las Vegas Desk
SLS Las Vegas Desk

I’m finally getting to go in depth on the hotel rooms at SLS Las Vegas. I’ve covered just about every angle on the casino floor (click here to see) but it was brought to my attention last week that I’ve never shared my thoughts on the rooms. I’ve stayed in the World Tower twice and had two different sized rooms with similar, but different, experiences and I think I have enough info for a detailed review.

The rooms are highly designed by Philippe Starck (I’m told that he’s famous) to make them feel bigger than they are. The rooms in the World Tower are 360 square fee and are a mix of comfort and discomfort with a lot of really cool touches.

Let’s first look at the King room in the World Tower. This was my favorite of the two rooms. The single bed made the room feel spacious.

SLS Las Vegas King Bed
SLS Las Vegas King Bed

Not shown here are the two lighted (is that the right word) mirrors that also add the appearance of a room that feels larger than 360 square feet. The entire room is white with black highlights. This helps to create the appearance of more depth. The bed itself was very comfortable and the 4 pillows were great. It can be a little uncomfortable sitting upright with the window right behind the bed if you don’t use those pillows wisely.

The couch was crazy slippery any time I tried to get comfortable. Good thing the cushion is strapped in because I would have busted my butt. Twice. The couch and similar chair were fine to sit on to get dressed but they felt as though they were made for appearance, not comfort.

The end table to the right had multiple USB and normal outlets while the end table to the left had none. That was strange but fine as I was on a solo trip.

Last week I stayed in the Double bed room in the World Tower which felt much less spacious than the King room.

SLS Las Vegas Double Beds
SLS Las Vegas Queen Beds

The room with the double beds felt much smaller than the King room even though it’s the same size. The rooms are laid out almost exactly the same with more beds, less end tables and that strange awning above the window.

[Read more…]

Ultimate Gaming Closes In Nevada

Ultimate Poker Logo
Ultimate Poker

It’s been rumored all summer that Ultimate Gaming (and Ultimate Pokerwould be closing but that was just people talking. After shutting down in New Jersey earlier this year Nevada has ceased operations. Everything is official now. Here’s the press release:


 

ULTIMATE GAMING TO CEASE NEVADA ONLINE POKER OPERATIONS

Las Vegas, Nevada (November 14, 2014) – Ultimate Gaming announced today that it will cease online poker operations in Nevada effective immediately upon complying with all necessary gaming regulatory requirements. The Company also recently ended all online gaming operations in New Jersey.

“As has been the case in other jurisdictions, online poker revenues in Nevada have fallen far short of original projections,” said Tom Breitling, Chairman of Ultimate Gaming. “Moreover, the state-by-state approach to online gaming has created an extremely cost-prohibitive and challenging operating environment. These factors have combined to make the path to profitability very difficult and uncertain. Consequently, we have decided to cease operations.”

“We are grateful to the Nevada Gaming Commission and Gaming Control Board for allowing us to be the first company to operate online poker in Nevada and greatly appreciate their leadership and support as the first state to license and regulate online poker,” continued Breitling. “We are working closely with the Gaming Control Board to ensure a smooth transition for our customers as we cease Nevada operations.”

Ultimate Gaming customers seeking information concerning their account can go online atwww.ultimatepoker.com and click Support.

Daytime Is The Best Time For Downtown Vegas

Outside Of The Fremont Street Experience Downtown Las Vegas
Dusk! Time To Exit The Fremont Street Experience

Downtown Vegas is awesome. 

Downtown Vegas is a shit show.

Even since I first visited Downtown Vegas I made it a part of every vacation. Now that I live in Vegas it’s become a regular stop. Downtown Vegas is great but it’s like that two face like that woman on Seinfeld years ago.

During the day Downtown Vegas is a much different place than at night. I’ve always been partial to visiting Downtown Vegas during the day. Here’s why.

Fewer People – The canopy and free concerts on Fremont Street bring out hordes of people. I don’t like hordes of people. The confined space feels claustrophobic. I don’t want drunk people touching me for no reason. I’m also always in a rush and hordes of people slow me down.

See Everything – During the day you can actually see everything. The vintage neon signs are great and I truly enjoy them but they’re distracting. The signs are designed to draw the eye and they do a great job at that. Those signs are really all you see at night. During the day you can see everything Downtown Vegas has to offer.

Even Cheaper Gambling – Gambling in Downtown Vegas is always cheap compared to the Vegas Strip. However on weekend nights you’ll see some minimum bets around $10. Yes, that’s still low but you can usually find minimums around $5 when the sun is up. I can dig that.

The Freaks Come Out At Night – The buskers and mascots looking to make a buck are always out on Fremont Street. During the day you can easily just walk by them. Buskers multiply at night since there’s more people and more money. They just get in the way. No thanks.

I like Downtown Vegas a lot and I prefer visiting during the day. Unless I’m staying overnight you’ll rarely, if ever, catch me in Downtown Vegas at night. If you enjoy crowds and a chaotic environment you’ll probably love Downtown Vegas at night.