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Hospitality Industry without Hospitality

Discussion in 'Misc. Vegas Chat' started by sammasseur, Feb 28, 2013.

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  1. sammasseur

    sammasseur VIP Whale

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    It seems that, in the seven years that I've been going to Vegas on a regular basis, hotels are becoming more and more "against" the guests. With the increasingly rude desk agents, loss of comps, increases in fees, additional charges for early check-in, energy surcharges, safe usage fees, two queen bed fees, downgrading the player's club perks, and corporate "for your convenience" double-talk, the average Vegas traveler can sometimes feel like getting good service is more of a challenge than an expectation. The hospitality industry there is becoming the "hostility industry".

    What good can come of this, except to line to pockets of the hotels in the short term? There are way too many entertainment options for consumers to choose from, and hundreds of casinos scattered throughout the country. Las Vegas is no longer THE place to go for fun, in my estimation.

    As the closest and easiest major city from my home, I'll continue to visit. But unless I check every invoice, read all the fine print, and know the newest tactics, it is very easy to get stung.

    Maybe the mob was doing something right?
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2013
  2. captainron62

    captainron62 VIP Whale

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    I commented on my last trip, that I used to remark how good all the service industry people were. I don't feel like that anymore. On our trip last week we had such a terrible service at Margaritaville that we didn't go back. I typically eat breakfast there each morning, but we were one and done this trip. I did something I have never done, I only left a $2 tip. Would have been 5 or so. The girl was just terrible. I wish I would have left zero.
     
  3. hammie

    hammie VIP Whale

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    I don't think this trend is just limited to Vegas. In an era of flat revenues, the way to improve profits is to add fees, cut costs, and limit the discretion of front line service workers to bend the rules. I think many employees are no longer empowered and are forced to "go by the book". As the saying goes, sh*t rolls downhill.

    I have become my father and sound like an old fart here, but I also believe the younger generation of service workers have a particular "who gives a sh*t" entitlement attitude, either they have been instructed or don't know how to crayon outside the lines and give good service.

    With that said, we all have choices as consumers, and the Internet has flattened things out so we can make multiple reservations and monitor prices, cancel and rebook when rates go down by $5 a night. So, there is less loyalty to a property. Hotels use sophisticated revenue software to increase rates during high demand periods and then give them away to increase occupancy.
     
  4. Viva Las Vegas

    Viva Las Vegas Ramblin' Gamblin' Man

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    Customer service appears generally poorer, though part (perhaps a big part) is due to the fact that corporations keep cutting staff and expecting those "lucky few" who remain to do more for less pay (real pay net of inflation and taxes).

    In Clark County, there are a net loss of 4,500 front line staff (casino, food, beverage offset by a slight increase in room maid & maintenance staff) working Vegas casinos despite higher visitation and revenue over the past two years.

    What do Gary Loveman and Jim Murren care?!
     
  5. Reston

    Reston VIP Whale

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    Loveman cares a lot. He only made $7 million or so last year, a big drop from the $18 million or so he got in 2011. The fastest way to a higher paycheck for most CEOs these days is to cut.
     
  6. Reston

    Reston VIP Whale

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    Sam, I've been going to Vegas even longer (long enough to have actually played blackjack with Telly Savalas at the Dunes). I also find myself muttering "bring back the mob" from time to time. Of course, there are a bodies buried in the desert thanks to the mob, but they did know how to run a gambling town. But Vegas is not a gambling town anymore, it's a corporate-run "entertainment" venue. Sucks, but times change.
     
  7. smartone

    smartone VIP Whale

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    So sorry to hear that the Vegas "experience" has gone south for so many on this board... it's been apparent for some time, with multi-post threads on resort fees, comps, buffet quality, long-hauling, etc. I don't go as far back on the board as many of you, but the negative threads/posts have been at times overwhelming IMHO. Sure... many of the posts are from well-known "negative nellies" who seem to criticize almost everything, but more concerning are the ones I read from folks who were/are big fans. I don't know what the answer is... maybe a break from the town, check-out some other places.

    I only know what works for me... I honestly believe you "get back what you put out". I've chosen a place that I like and I work it, I arrive with a VERY positive attitude, so much so that I make it almost impossible for someone to screw it up on me. When they do, I have no problem politely pointing it out to them. I tip well (including my host)... I know, I know... I shouldn't have to (I get that), but if that's what it takes to "grease the skids" some... I'll do it. The staff at the Hard Rock is very nice to me and I'm VERY nice to them... it works. I'm not for one second inferring you bring this on yourselves, only stating what works for me. I do it everywhere I go and it works pretty well for me. I like being known as a "nice" guy.

    I sincerely hope that everyone on this board finds fun, value and quality service in Las Vegas or wherever... you work too hard for your money to keep being unhappy about stuff. Enjoy life!
     
  8. BeeeJay

    BeeeJay President of The Red Lobster Hostess Satisfaction

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    the answer is for a bunch of these dbags to go bankrupt and sell.

    Vegas needs a good slash and burn to get its head out of its ass.

    I agree with the entitlement attitude concern. Competition is what makes America great and the lack of competition due to consolidation has simply destroyed Vegas. No two ways about it. Loveman and Murrren without a doubt feel entitled to ply their weak, tired corporate trickery and reap untold fortunes in profits.

    Anyone who knows me would say I'm a very positive guy on almost every thing. But sometimes you have to be real. I love Vegas and will go and like someone said, work it my way and have a blast. But this place has gone to shit in a handbasket and sucks the big one compared to what it was and what it could be.

    Maybe they'll make Cuba into the next Vegas and do it old school style. Then all the club goers can have this other POS in the desert.

    All this said I'm going to drain the Goose like a fuckng snake in 7 short weeks. :beer:
     
  9. sammasseur

    sammasseur VIP Whale

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    Since I started this thread today, I've been able to book a free round-trip May Vegas flight and get an outrageous price on a 4-night stay at Gold Spike, courtesy of personal emails to/from manager Mike Swain. While that certainly takes my spirits higher, it took a lot of time on the internet to play with dates, rates, etc.

    I'm learning that the smaller places are the ones that seem to get really excited about returning customers, and using Southwest for free checked bags and great on-time service history make for smoother travel.

    Those friends of mine who go in blindly, just expecting the now-defunct "they give you everything for free in Vegas" business model, inevitably return home feeling beaten up and robbed. A few of them have sworn to never return.

    It would be nice if fewer hotels treated their customers as annoyances. Yes, we can speak with our wallets, but the list of places to switch to is running shorter.
     
  10. Nevyn

    Nevyn VIP Whale

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    I haven't found anything that bad. Yeah, fees are annoying, but that's not just Vegas, its an overall hotel industry trend.

    I have yet to experience rude service staff (well, one clerk at Caesars was close).

    And it seems to me comps actually got better for a few years when the economy was in the dumps, and now are correcting, but I could be wrong.

    And as a general life observation, I find with most things I go through the "this is awesome" stage and then get fatigued or more easily annoyed with it over time. I find it helpful to step back and realize there's still a lot of fun to be had, even if it doesn't match the experience you once had.
     
  11. chef

    chef Resident Buffetologist

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    I just got back from a Vegas trip and couldn't have been more pleased with customer service - from the hotel staff to food service employees to those in transportation.
    However, in total agreement with you on the ticky-tack fees emanating from the top.
     
  12. JDinTN

    JDinTN MIA

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    You need to remember Vegas market -- it's the extreme mass market. When you go to nice hotels in other cities they cater to a much smaller segment of the population and are of course smaller hotels. In Vegas the nice hotels have thousands of rooms and cater to everyone from the wealthy to the masses of middle and lower income people. Yes plenty of lower income people at Aria, Bellagio, Wynn, Palazzo, and so forth with all the deals available and thousands of rooms to fill up. So I think they know at the Bellagio for example, that they don't need to provide the level of service a typical Four Seasons would provide to 90% of their guests. That's why it's easy for them to get rid of front office staff -- those numbers don't lie. If a Four Seasons tried to do that in another major city it would be much harder because they have much more discriminating customers.
     
  13. ardee

    ardee VIP Whale

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    In the past 10 years, I'm lucky enough to have experienced good hospitality from starting out at Imperial Palace (and all the CET hotels several times over) all the way up to the Venetian/Palazzo and Wynncore properties.

    Not many complaints, mostly good experiences and memories.

    If I get the occasional sucky service I shake it off and move on to the next experience because Vegas is full of all levels of service and new places to go and stay.

    I think if it starts to suck for me more than I look forward to it, I'll take a break...but then go back again with a new point of view. Cuz that's how I roll.

    Everyone else's mileage varies, of course.
     
  14. leo21

    leo21 VIP Whale

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    Service isn't as good on the strip as it used to be. Things are way better offstrip. I've been more than a few places where service is consistently better overall and it makes you remember that sometimes having to pay more is worth it. However, I am in Orlando now and it is the bad service capital of the USA. These people don't care. I guess they figure it doesn't matter if they lose you as a repeat visitor because another sucker will take your place. Complaining about service in Vegas seems like a petty exercise by comparison.
     
  15. Electroguy563

    Electroguy563 Over-Fried Gambler

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    If you leave no tip they will think you just forgot. If you tip way below the norm (like I do when I get terrible service) they know you were not happy with the service.

    In your above scenario I would have left a quarter.
     
    Going to Hawaii's 9th Island!!
    Going to Hawaii's 9th island!!
  16. sco5123

    sco5123 VIP Whale

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    nice concept sam-hostility industry.
     
  17. tatterdema

    tatterdema VIP Whale

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    I have always thought the service in Vegas is a notch below most other places. I think a lot of it is due to the huge transient population, and turnover. I was raised in retail, and have always been taught that a guest (customer) might not always be right, but he is always a guest (customer), and should be treated as such. I dont see this so much anymore anywhere in the US. It is still the norm in many other countries, like Mexico though, thankfully.
     
  18. Buckeye Bob

    Buckeye Bob Low-Roller

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    I travel frequently for my job and spend about 75 nights a year in hotels all over the country. The fee thing is endemic and not just limited to Las Vegas. I think the bigger problem is the Vegas business model is broken. They don't make what they used to on gambling yet their debt level is as high as its ever been. They made some bad investments and bad decisions and are now paying for it. That being said, visitor expectations also have to change. Maybe you can't get that comped room like you used to or you have to pay a resort fee. On the other hand, I can stay at Aria in two weeks for less than I just paid for a Hilton Garden Inn in Columbus, OH. Is it as good a deal as I could have gotten a year ago? Probably not. But so what. Travel costs are way up everywhere. All I know is that I am out of my mind with excitement to get back out to Las Vegas and at least for now, that hasn't changed for me.
     
  19. LolaDoggie

    LolaDoggie VIP Whale

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    It's kind of relative though Sam. Around here, we just don't get the kind of service that we get in Vegas. It might be slipping in Vegas, but, it's still a whole lot better than we're used to here.
     
  20. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    It's hard to quantify, and with every paradigm shift in Vegas, there's a hue/cry about an erosion in the experience, and claims that Vegas has made its last mistake of a re-package, yet the lights stay on.

    But, yes, certainly, on a personal level it is easy to notice changes that are not for the better. I'm not surprised, and several here have aptly suggested some of the reasons why, and I'll add a few thoughts:

    Expectation: Many many visitors are addled by the experience. Because of the buzz and vibe and rush, they tend to think Vegas is giving more than it is or they aren't as critical as if elsewhere, so standards are loosened from both sides.

    The Slot Club: This ties in with expectation. All the "free" stuff and the massive brain wash that can come from being a recognized playah, at even the lowest levels, often gets folks masking over a lot of blemishes. And this gets people wholly vested with a network or just a single property, which can be a mistake in any consumer activity. The death-knell-at-any-other-vacation-destination shortcomings of an IP or Riviera are beloved quirks in Vegas. Again, the hoteliers know that and while a second two-fer at the buffet is offered up they cut where it matters.

    Cost-Cutting as an Olympic Sport: Most people like to maximize the cost/benefit of any vacation stay, and it is taken to an extreme in Vegas because, well, you can. Yet isn't there a fundamental irony to a place where people gladly get flogged (financially) in the name of "gaming" or "entertainment" yet nickle-and-dime so much of the experience? Saving here certainly allows more there; should I play two lesser golf courses or the mack daddy one? But there just seems to be a step-over-a-dollar-to-pick-up-a-dime disconnect to glorious Sin City. That lowers the bar across the board because, like above, management knows it can get away with some stuff.

    The Tat-Brat Factor: Lotta silly money is chasing things that a lot of folks don't at all understand or appreciate. Has this altered hoteliers' and restaurateurs' game plans?

    I am speaking in broad-brush generalities here, for a mass of the 40 million, not the savvy folks here.
     
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