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Downtown Going Too "Upscale"?

Discussion in 'Downtown Hotels & Casinos' started by sammasseur, Jun 29, 2012.

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  1. sammasseur

    sammasseur VIP Whale

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    Plaza's resort fee announcement got me thinking about all of the other recent changes in downtown that many can see as troubling - upscale bars and drink prices, less favorable odds in gambling than in the past, a follow-the-pack mentality that has just about every Fremont casino building outdoor bars and party pits. Is this not mimicking the very things that downtowners avoid the Strip for? Granted, prices are still great, but the corporations seem to be clipping, cutting, charging, and surcharging more and more.

    If downtown just becomes a scaled-down version of the Strip, will people be inclined to avoid it and start using off-strip properties? Being a regular downtowner, I've already found myself cancelling my reservations there next month in favor of Gold Coast, and will be staying at Bally's in September. The rates were just as low as downtown in August, and even lower in September.

    What bothers me most is that Oscar Goodman, the biggest champion of downtown, now has his namesake restaurant inside the first major downtown hotel to initiate resort fees. Is this selling out or just the inevitable? :grrr:
     
  2. dana0069

    dana0069 Tourist

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    bussiness model

    This seems to be the bussiness model everywhere, when business's start hurting for money, instead of lowering the price to attract more people, they raise their prices, and or give you less for your money, always the opposite of what makes sense to the average normal person.
    Dana0069
     
  3. UTE

    UTE Plastics

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    Frankly, I like the upward trend Downtown is experiencing. So far it seems to be working. There are more people Downtown, more interest in property improvements, and more future projects in the pipeline.

    Maybe it's different for some of us... uh... more "mature" people who were there for the old peak of Downtown as well as the subsequent fall into a state of disrepair. I'll take the new and soon to be newer Fremont Street any day. It sure beats the alternative.

    Now, could things be overdone (overbuilt) Downtown? Yes, that's a possibility. But we'll just have to cross that bridge when we get to it.

    Bill
     
  4. mjames1229

    mjames1229 VIP Whale

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    That was my fear when Derek bought The Fitz and made it the Golden Gate East. Some properties downtown do appear to be catering to the d**-word that Sonya doesn't want us to use anymore. The rock stages, the 32 oz booze, the hipster music blaring 10% louder than it needs to be... I am in complete agreement.

    At least there are some properties that aren't joining in (yet). Fremont and El Cortez, for example, were still pretty tame the last time I was there. It the Las Vegas Club does go through with a remodel, I hope they try to do something different and not keep up with the Stevens.
     
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  5. makikiboy

    makikiboy VIP Whale

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    I'm opposite of Bill (UTE). I like downtown just the way it is. If I wanted to experience the strip and prices and fees I would stay on the strip. I stay at the el cortez sometimes so I see the "upscale" things going on in the area. I don't visit any of those things (heart attack grill, coins, any of those clubs in the area, etc.) so don't care about this upscale thing going on. :Þ

    People like downtown for what it is, 3/2 bj, good gambling, low minimums, decent hotels and hotel rates and overall cozy experience. I just hope this new "upscale" thing doesn't change those things I mentioned above :nono:, once they start going with 6/5 bj, higher minimums and higher rates I will probably go elsewhere.

    If they want to make downtown like the strip then I doubt I would be staying at those properties. The plaza rates started going up, rates aren't that great lately so with the additional $10 fee it isn't likely I would be staying there anytime soon. Glad that I stayed there once because that may be my last time I stay there. I just hope that they don't include that crummy resort fee at the LVC when they "finish" their remodelling. the plaza and lvc are sister properties so it may be inevitable.

    The fremont is part of the boyd group so if you start to see fees there you would also see it at the Cal and MSS.

    Looks like I will be staying more at the el cortez more often. Just hope they don't go "upscale" and start charging crummy fees too but if the other hotels all start doing that then it might not be far behind.
     
  6. sammasseur

    sammasseur VIP Whale

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    Boyd already charges resort fees at their off-strip properties. No doubt they will be third in line downtown after Golden Nugget.
     
  7. tatterdema

    tatterdema VIP Whale

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    I dont care for the changes downtown either. The last few trips, I have found myself playing more at off strip properties. I spent a whole day at Southpoint last trip, simply because I stopped in and ordered a Bloody Mary. It came in a TALL glass, with condiments, and cost....wait.... $1. That was part of the reason I stayed downtown. Mermaids used to be my go to place for drinks. Now they are $5, and they have cut back on their pour. This trip I bought a bottle and kept going back to my room to mix drinks. Cheap? Yep! Thats why I can afford to go once a month.

    Golden Gate used to be my go to place for lunch/snack. Shrimp cocktails. They keep saying it will be back, but I dont have a good feeling about that.
     
  8. smartone

    smartone VIP Whale

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    You know what I like? ENJOYING MYSELF!!!! I find that works a whole lot better than workin' so hard tryin' to find things to rebel against.
     
  9. saintpauljeff

    saintpauljeff VIP Whale

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    I likes the changes, the less dumpy the properties the better, staying at the Plaza in April I was pleasantly surprised (except for their pool)
     
  10. makikiboy

    makikiboy VIP Whale

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    everyone is different. some people will pay the extra fees or stay on the strip with the higher prices (smartone, do you even stay downtown? Just wondering). Others would rather penny pinch and avoid those things. each is doing what they enjoy. You need to respect others and their views and understand why they feel the way they do.

    sorry smartone, we get these types of conversations whenever people talk about the strip versus downtown also. the strip people don't mind the higher prices and fees while the downtown people are aghast at the prices people pay to stay on the strip. The strip people on the other hand don't see why people would want to stay downtown in a "lower class" hotel so this type of thing is discussed all the time.

    But as everyone has always said (to the people who don't like the plaza resort fees), if you don't like it or don't want to pay it then you can always stay somewhere else. If downtown goes upscale and starts trying to be like the strip then many of us will probably be staying elsewhere.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2012
  11. Oxygenator

    Oxygenator Low-Roller

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    I think DT is changing for the better overall, but some properties seems to be headed in the wrong direction, while others are improving.

    The "D" for example is going to be a massive improvement over the final state of the Fitz. It was getting really run down at the end. I will hold off on my judgement until it is complete. It must be noted that Derek got rid of the lousy BJ rules that the Fitz had.

    The Plaza (and Vegas Club) are slowly going downhill, even after the reno. The new resort fee is a glaring sign of financial troubles. Swingers looked to be on it's last legs in May when I was there. What rubbed me the wrong way was I could only get a crappy well drink while playing in the high limit slot area. I can get whatever I want at GG when I am playing, at lower denoms. I spent far, far less time in Plaza and Vegas Club last trip.

    Luckily, cheaper food options are still plentiful DT. I like that I am with just a few minutes walk from whatever my heart desires, at any price range.
     
  12. sammasseur

    sammasseur VIP Whale

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    "If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything".
     
  13. Huddler

    Huddler VIP Whale

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    I want to address this issue as I drink Crown and Coke. I have stayed at the Plaza a few times. Every single time I sit down at the tables for the 1st time and order my drink, the waitress will immediately balk and say "we dont serve Crown". So, I have to make a scene and have them call my host who immediately authorizes the fact that I can get whatever i want. If I move to a different area of the casino, new waitress, I start all over again with the, "we cant serve you that". I had never been denied Crown in any casino but I guess they dont serve call drinks. Seriously, I can be betting black chips and it doesnt matter, they are instructed to tell everyone they cant serve Crown. Luckily, my host handles it fairly quickly but it is a pain in the ass and a poor way to treat customers. I dont get it.
     
  14. smartone

    smartone VIP Whale

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    I've stayed downtown many, many times over the years (though not in the last 2 years) and I still love spending time there. My point is not that I don't respect why others feel the way they do, but how anyone could allow themselves to be tied so strongly to a single issue (resort fees) that they'll walk away from a property on that principle ALONE.

    To me the enjoyment of a property is comprised of a lot of things, from the staff to the facility to the general overall vibe. I just can't imagine walking away from the cocktail waitress who calls me "sweetie" and the valet guys who know my name and that I feel so at home somewhere over a resort fee, for that reason alone.

    And I'll say it before someone else does... "what does he know, he stays at the Hard Rock!" :Þ
     
  15. marksind

    marksind Low-Roller

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    Upscale? More Likely Financial Stress

    While figures over the past year show some pick up in Las Vegas visitation and spending, it's pretty clear that they've got a long way to go before they're back to the "boom times" of five to ten years ago. I talk with the casino workers all the time and also talk with locals while riding the city buses. Remember when you'd hear the stories of dealers or valets making $80k a year? Well, now they talk about how they are working multiple part time jobs with no benefits.

    The cost cutting has become evident in multiple places downtown, as drinks now come in juice glasses and taste like they have no alcohol no matter what you order. I've taken to drinking beer, the selection of which has been cut back dramatically at many casinos. Seems like Henekin and Corona are the only "premium" beers available anymore. I've talked with cocktail waitresses about it, and sometimes they bring me better stuff since (for downtown) I'm a decent tipper ($1 a drink). They say it's hard on them too because they aren't getting the tip income they used to.

    Really disturbing to me is the trend toward cr*ppy table game odds, with 6/5 blackjack spreading downtown and 3 card poker going to a 3-1 payout on a flush at all casinos. Those two changes alone make the games unattractive to a knowledgeable gambler. The tables may still be full on Friday and Saturday nights, but they aren't on other nights when the crowd tends to include a higher percentage of people who know how to play.

    Also, I was surprised last week at how many downtown casinos are pushing table minimums to $10 at times when they aren't full. Seems really dumb.

    Oh well, I guess I'm just getting cranky!
     
  16. OnTheHorizon

    OnTheHorizon Low-Roller

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    I love downtown (been there MANY times (but haven't been to Vegas in two years :-( ) Anyways - I KNEW downtown was trending more upscale when they cleaned the Golden Gate about five or six years ago. Wish they kept Downtown and The Golden Gate the way it was!

    The Golden Gate may have been a dump at one time, but it was MY dump!
     
  17. sabrina

    sabrina Low-Roller

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    no matter how they change downtown there is still the advantage of casinos being so close together! Thats a big advantage in my opinon. I love wondering in and out of different properties. As for resort fees, I would rather see the price of the room increase by 10.00 per night and forget silly add ons.:beer:
     
  18. JillyFromPhilly

    JillyFromPhilly Tourist

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    Downtown has really been hurting for years doing the discount/low cost/non-upscale model - so it could be argued they're upscaling because being cheap & simple - for lack of better words - hasn't been getting the bills paid for the last few years - a period where arguably, a "cheap & simple" business model should have thrived. So maybe they're just trying something different to fill the hotel rooms & keep the doors open - after all, Binion's [& others] didn't mothball their hotel towers because the customers were packing their cheap, simple rooms night after night. Just an observation, not a judgement - I don't play downtown so I don't really have a dog in this fight either way - just playing Devil's advocate.
     
  19. thenuke1

    thenuke1 High-Roller

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    I think what the Cortez is doing is the way to go. Have downtown still be affordable but still have the option to stay at an upscale room

    Sent from my DROIDX using Tapatalk
     
  20. NickPapageorgio

    NickPapageorgio OG of the Sal Sagev Hotel

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    You, my friend, are in the minority.

    Nick:beer:
     
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