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comp gurus?

Discussion in 'Comps' started by Jerry Snuggit, Sep 20, 2016.

  1. Jerry Snuggit

    Jerry Snuggit Tourist

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    Hello, I know we have some gamblers here who take comps very seriously. People who read the mail that casinos send out, who keep track of their points and offers, who log into the casino web sites regularly and who plan their visits based on the best promotions.

    I used to be one of those people, but could never keep track of everything, and I would miss out on good offers because I forgot about them, got the dates wrong, or just got tired of spending so much time on it. Since I have some background in programming, I thought a cool hobby project would be to build a mobile app in my spare time to automate everything and tell me the best days to visit a local casino, or when I could book a long stay in Las Vegas with back-to-back hotel offers. Fast-forward about a year and a half... it isn't perfect, still has some bugs, but it works pretty well!

    I've created a quick, multiple-choice survey (5 minutes tops) that would really help me recognize what the most important features for an app like this would be, and if there's any market potential. Any VMB'ers who want to share their opinions, I'd be very grateful. You can do it anonymously, there is no sign-up or log-in required. Thank you very much! ( Link to survey: https://comps.typeform.com/to/Y5iTpS )
     
  2. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

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    Sounds like a possible idea.

    For me - Vegas trips are less about the particular comps and more about the date. I usually start by looking at the monthly calendar and avoid the high priced dates when possible. We usually get a suite and know my chances are better on the lower cost dates - even though we are comped. We do 2-3 per year to Vegas with dates a mix of our schedule and Vegas activity - avoid big event weeks.

    For a local or semi-local - I do keep track of the free play offers since I get lots of them. I use a simple spreadsheet and list all of them for each date and excel adds them up. I also look at the freeplay for the next day as I can redeem those just after midnight. Our freeplay offers can vary from a total of $200 to $1500 for a given day. Cherokee sends lots of them for varied dates. Some cover a week, some a few days, some for single days.
     
  3. Jerry Snuggit

    Jerry Snuggit Tourist

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    Interesting. For me personally, I used to plan trips to Las Vegas based on matching offers from different casinos, when I knew I could get 3 nights at one place at 3 nights somewhere else. For local casinos, I would try to find days to double up, 2 promos on the same day, kind of what you are describing at Cherokee, a week-long offer + a single-day offer. The app helps me do that.

    Thanks for your input!
     
  4. Chuck2009x

    Chuck2009x VIP Whale

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    I filled out the survey, although I don't have a smartphone. I can see some potential for people that have locals and go often. Are you able to log into the casino sites with the user's credentials and pull the offers somehow, or do they have to be entered manually?

    I don't have much trouble keeping track of offers because I don't go often.

    I get emails for all my offers (at least the ones I'm interested in using), and I know well in advance what my dates are going to be. So all I need to do is set up a directory structure in Outlook and move/copy the emails. I use a spreadsheet to keep track of reservations. On my early trips I used to end up cancelling a lot of reservations, but now I have a routine pretty well set.

    upload_2016-9-20_17-47-6.png
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2016
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  5. Jerry Snuggit

    Jerry Snuggit Tourist

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    This. I enter the credentials once, they get encrypted and stored on the phone. After that, it's just a single click to refresh.

    I commend you on your spreadsheet. Keeping track of all of this stuff is what used to drive me crazy. I tried tagging emails and putting them in folders, saving mail on my refrigerator, marking a calendar, and other methods. I could never get it to where I felt it was easy and I wouldn't lose out on stuff. Great to see someone who makes it work!
     
  6. Harry Lyme

    Harry Lyme Low-Roller

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    Hey Jerry, did you put this survey or one like it up on MTurk?
     
  7. Jerry Snuggit

    Jerry Snuggit Tourist

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    Yes, I have used MTurk to seek out potential beta-testers. I've gotten great feedback from them, many were very enthusiastic once they tried it out. You made the connection, perhaps you were one of them?
     
  8. Harry Lyme

    Harry Lyme Low-Roller

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    No, it was down before I got the chance to try it out. Haven't done many HITs there the past so many months, but I'll try to do this survey when I get some time.
     
  9. Multifarious5

    Multifarious5 High-Roller

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    This is so bad, but I take a perverse pleasure in studying my offers, trying to see trends, etc.

    Personally, I watch the sites and also do periodic searches on email servers, just to make sure something didn't slip into spam.

    Once I find/receive a solid email offer, I have a Vegas email "file," and I even keep used/expired offers. I then periodically reference this file to see common offer release dates, so that I can compare year to year offers by property and period. It also let's me have archives on "the fine print" to see if anything has changed.

    Finally, I have a drawer for "snail mail" offers that I like. If I have a tough day, I can pull out a stronger upcoming offer, and it always cheers me up.

    Dorky? Yep. But for me it works, and planning/reseaching is (ok, almost) as fun for me as the trips.

    BUT I like to stay at the same haunts, and base my trips around their strongest offers, versus picking a date and going for various hotels. If someone shops around, I think this could be a GREAT tool...analytics/quickie cheat sheets are always a HUGE help.

    Good luck on the app, I'm sure it'll be great, and I took the quiz!
     
    Sooooo far away still...
    Cosmo, always our favorite part of our trip!
  10. Jerry Snuggit

    Jerry Snuggit Tourist

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    Thanks for the good wishes, and for taking the survey. Also, for explaining your comp-tracking methods. Just like Chuck2009 and nostress above, I find it very fascinating to hear of everyone's personal method of organization.

    Assuming the app eventually gets a sizable number of users, one possible feature (this is way down the road) would be to share intelligence gathered by reading 1000's of offers from the same casino. The same way you are comparing year-to-year offers, or looking for trends, but with the benefit of having lots and lots of offers to review. So for example, on a single day, a casino might send out their quarterly offer, which might range from $10 to $500 in free slot play, or from a room rate discount up to multiple days of comped suites + dining. Using the collective intelligence of the app, seeing so many offers, it could potentially create a list of all the offers so an individual could see how high he/she ranks at that casino. Again, this is way down the road, but hopefully you can see how the app can get better and smarter as more and more people use it.
     
  11. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    I throw all of mine in one of my desk drawers. I schedule our trips irregardless of offers, then just open the drawer and see which offer has freeplay.
     
    Christmas
  12. FuzzyDiceCraps

    FuzzyDiceCraps High-Roller

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    Interesting idea, I took your survey and wish you luck. For us, I feel like our offers are pretty predictable. We always have comp rooms at V/P and CET along with free play. The only things we would need help tracking potentially would be special events, but as Joe indicated, we don't base our travel on slot tournaments or giveaways, but our own work schedules and other commitments.

    One thing I would be interested in with something like this, although it would require probably a lot more legwork on your end, is my wife and I enjoy a quieter Vegas, especially since we stay at V/P so much. One thing that I would love would be an easy resource to reference to avoid major conventions and events in Vegas. Of course there are ALWAYS conventions and trade shows going on, but avoiding some of the bigger ones is never a bad thing.

    I know there are sites you can go to in order to check the various schedules, but that is something that if it were accumulated in a central database I would definitely be willing to look at.
     
  13. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    Christmas
  14. Nittany1

    Nittany1 VIP Whale

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  15. Jerry Snuggit

    Jerry Snuggit Tourist

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