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New Property: Contact a host prior to arrival, or wait?

Discussion in 'Comps' started by thecarve, Mar 21, 2014.

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  1. thecarve

    thecarve Misanthrope

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    I’m thinking of trying out a new property for a night or two next trip. I’ve never really played there – I think I played a half hour of BJ about four years ago, I’m not even sure I have a player’s card – and they don’t have any “sister properties” to which I’ve given action. So they don’t know me from Adam, essentially.

    Do you think it would make sense to contact a host prior to arriving at the property? (I’m not a high roller by stretch of the imagination…but I do always get a comped room and a good amount of food and beverage taken care of at Wynn, where I do most of my gambling.)

    I’m confident that my normal play would get me a comped room (maybe even a better-than-standard room, though certainly not a big suite) and probably some amount of my food and beverage taken care of. Of course, I’d be even more confident if I had a statement from a host saying, “if you play X, I’ll comp Y”. And if I could even get a conditional comp out of the deal, that would be the best case scenario.

    Worst case scenario...I figure it would be better to have a specific contact than have to look up the host on duty when the time came to ask for comps on the back end.

    On the other hand, if I wait until I get there – and a host comes to me (from experience this is a definite possibility, but not a certainty by any means) – then I’m negotiating from a position of strength. I’ll know he/she wants my business. I won’t be worried I’m bothering someone who is accustomed to handling much bigger players.

    Of course, if a host doesn’t come to me, then I’m in an even worse position. I’m still coming to the host, hat in hand begging for comps, at the end of my stay. Only this time, I’m not even armed with the knowledge of what sort of play they’re looking for.

    I'm curious to know what you guys think would make the most sense. Does it make sense for a non-high roller without any history at a property to contact a host ahead of time? Or would waiting until I get there (and hope one approaches me) be the best course of action? Or six of one, half dozen the other?
     
  2. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    I've contacted a host prior 3 times on first visits. Plaza, 4Q & Suncoast. Each time they comped the room up front and food was "we'll see". I gave them an expectation of what kind of coin in I would give them.

    Plaza I really just wanted to see the new rooms and gave them maybe a hour of play. 4Q we play enough during football season at Chi Brewing to still get mailers for 2-3 nights free, but I never have had a host approach me there. My initial contact there, he comped us the room up front, but nothing on food.

    Suncoast: Emailed a host with my Boyd numbers and he comped us a one bedroom suite and comped our food on checkout. This trip we're in a standard room, but with a golf course view. But, we are still in the "we'll see" on food. As mentioned in another thread, we don't go nuts on food, so we'll see.

    EDIT: Thinking about it now, except for MSS home, I have never had a host look me up except for the one at Suncoast. $12,000 avg a day coin-in we're not high rollers, but not exactly low either.
     
    Christmas
  3. RiddickBull

    RiddickBull VIP Whale

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    Since you don't have any recent play, it may be better to get a host after if you are not getting a LOC or wiring cash.

    If a host does not come up to you, go to the host office. They will take care of you as long as your theo is adequate. I thought my play was small at the Wynn on my recent visit. A pit boss gave me a host card and a host gave me her card when I went to the host office. They took care of food and room.
     
  4. Chuck2009x

    Chuck2009x VIP Whale

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    It probably varies by chain/property.

    I don't think it's a bad idea to call or email a host beforehand and ask what play level is required to get a room comped, and you can extrapolate from that.

    If you want to volunteer your play level, you might get an offer upfront if the host has some way of being confident you're on the level.

    One drawback to this route is that a host will probably highball the requirement. For example, I was thinking about staying at M Resort a couple of years ago and emailed a host with my typical playing stats and she said they'd need $100 a hand for 4 hours, which is kind of a standard response for a Strip property.

    I was pretty sure it wasn't going to take $100 a hand for 4 hrs to get a room comped at M, but now she's got my name and set the bar. She didn't make an upfront offer and I didn't feel like committing (even informally) to that play level, so I didn't stay there.
     
  5. Scottndindy

    Scottndindy Low-Roller

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    It seems in your post that you might not want to name the property. Doing so is going to allow the board to give you a much better answer.
     
  6. Kickin

    Kickin Flea

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    I get what you're saying about being in a better negotiating position if a host approaches you versus you approaching them. But that's just a gamble. If you call a host beforehand, tell them you'd like to stay there and describe your play, he may give you at least the room comp coming in even if you aren't opening an LOC or wiring money. I don't know which casino you're talking about but they can verify your play at other unaffiliated properties.

    If you can get that then you're only left hoping for f/b to be taken care of at the end, versus everything. I'd rather have a bird in the hand. Also, having made contact with a host doesn't preclude you from being approached by another host while you're playing. I've had that happen this past year at Aria and PH. Of course if the first host already comped your room its probably dicked up to talk to the second host about the other charges, but if the first guy only gave you play requirements I think you'd be fine just going with either one. Its a free option.
     
  7. thecarve

    thecarve Misanthrope

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    Thanks for the input, guys. Good info so far.

    Yeah, I was thinking that. I'm just not 100% sure where I want to stay. I have a few properties in mind, certainly (M, Red Rock, Golden Nugget...). But it's more of a desire to try something new. If/when I figure it out I'll post it or perhaps start a new thread...
     
  8. meyers67

    meyers67 High-Roller

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    If you have a reasonable guess as to your level of play, I would probably call a host and set up the free room (and whatever else) ahead of time. That way you can get a little extra on the back end without it being a big deal to the host.
     
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