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SLS vs. Downtown Grand

Discussion in 'Misc. Vegas Chat' started by ClownHo, Nov 18, 2014.

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  1. ClownHo

    ClownHo High-Roller

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    In the old days I would ask a bunch of thought provoking questions in the weeks before my departure. Those days are behind me, but I've pondered one question in recent days:

    It's not apples to apples, one has been open for a year, the other opened less than three months ago. Nonetheless, which has been the bigger flop, Downtown Grand or SLS?
     
  2. DaiLun

    DaiLun R.C., L.C., and A.A.N.G.

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    I would say Downtown Grand but SLS is getting close. Give SLS time, (unfortunately) it'll match Downtown Grand.
     
  3. REELmoneySlotFan

    REELmoneySlotFan High-Roller

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    To be honest, I'd rather see them both being succesful. More competition between gaming corporations means better deals for the customers. I for one don't believe it's a good thing that just a couple of companies call the shots in Vegas. They copy eachother's policies (when it benefits them) and most times that's costing the customers money. I believe SLS will probably have better chances than the Downtown Grand because of the coming development on the north side of the Strip. I hope SLS has sufficient funding to keep this place running for the next two years.
     
  4. ClownHo

    ClownHo High-Roller

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    Who is rooting against them?

    Has Downtown Grand done nothing to strengthen its market share since botching its debut so badly?

    I haven't paid attention to either. It's easy to say one is worse than the other, but which one overvalued its product more substantially. (Again, not apples to apples.)
     
  5. DaiLun

    DaiLun R.C., L.C., and A.A.N.G.

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    (I know you didn't imply it, but) I never said that I wanted either of them to fail. I had great hopes for Downtown Grand, but I always thought they kept shooting themselves in the foot. They're one block off of Fremont Street yet you see very little foot traffic. It's almost like no one knows that they're there.

    Now SLS, I went over there for an hour or so (admittedly, during the daytime) The high limit pit was a graveyard, the buffet had already closed on the weekdays, and it really had a "dumpy" vibe. I imagine it would get a little better at night, when the young, hip LA crowd arrives, but seeing as I'm neither, I didn't find much attraction. Let's hope it stays alive until Resorts World opens.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2014
  6. ExVegasLocal

    ExVegasLocal Low-Roller

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    I haven't had the opportunity to visit SLS yet, but I spent several days at the Downtown Grand.

    The DTG suffers from a lack of market base, but not from the same identity crisis that SLS seems to suffer from. DTG is a new, clean comfortable place to stay/play (but nothing special). All DTG has to do is offer some good gambling along with some competitive food/drink/room prices and they could build a following. They are no match for the Golden Nugget, but once they figure that out, they could easily pull a crowd from those who would normally stay at the El Cortez, Four Queens, or Binion's, but would like a few more amenities and would be willing to pay a little bit more.

    The SLS on the other hand doesn't seem to know what it wants to be. Is it a locals joint on the Strip? Is it a mid-range spot for tourists who want to step up from the Riviera, but can't affort Aria? Is it a trendy spot for the young L.A. crowd? Who knows? The SLS doesn't seem to be doing anything particularly well.

    It seems to me like the SLS has been the bigger flop based on expectations vs. reality.
     
  7. UTE

    UTE Plastics

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    I've been to both The Grand and SLS on the weekends - no comparison. SLS does good business (as does most of The Strip) during the peak hours. And, the SLS core restaurants do well during the week. I cannot say the same for The Grand.

    Bill
     
  8. TIMSPEED

    TIMSPEED !địt mẹ!

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    We visited both during our last Vegas foray...I would give it to SLS hands DOWN.
    1.) The rooms are larger/better.
    2.) The connector to the Monorail!
    3.) Drink service was way faster.
    4.) More pretty people, lol.
     
    Palace Tower Suite!
  9. smartone

    smartone VIP Whale

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    I'm not quite sure such a consumer exists...
     
  10. firstkill

    firstkill High-Roller

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    its hard to say who is "worse"
    ive stayed at SLS.... the room is nicer than DT grand, but id take the location of DT grand.

    I prefer the strip, but id rather "commit" and stay at DT grand than chose a place so far north of the strip that its in no mans land.
    I walked from SLS to Wynn at 9am, it was 20 minutes at a decent pace with minimal things to look at.

    fk
     
  11. ClownHo

    ClownHo High-Roller

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    the question isn't which is better, it's which one is the bigger flop. they're not really vying for the same clientele, they're in two separate districts. speed of delivery service is worth knowing when comparing which is your deisred place to gamble, but it's irrelevant to the determining which has faltered more.

    perhaps my query wasn't clear in the introductory post. what i'm getting at is which has made more mistakes out of the gates in attracting a clientele and establishing itself as a destination. both have made numerous mistakes. size of rooms wasn't really a factor in building their brand, they were both renovating existing floor plans.
     
  12. ClownHo

    ClownHo High-Roller

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    good to know that SLS has done some good business on one weekend. that doesn't change the fact they cut back hours at their restaurants during non-peak hours.
     
  13. marcianofan

    marcianofan Low-Roller

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    1) ahh the rooms at DTG are big enough and just fine 2) Who really cares about the monorail, and I REALLY mean who cares!!! 3) even at best for either place, 4), Well, probably can't and wont argue that one lol ...
     
  14. ruralhipster

    ruralhipster Low-Roller

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    I think both properties made the same mistake of aiming for too high of a clientele at the start and assuming that they could appeal to the masses later if that tactic failed. The DTG should have targeted the middle class value gambler 30-60 who would like a toned down and more affordable version of the Cosmo. As for the SLS they should have modeled themselves after the Palms in the early part of the century (locals and middle of the road gamblers Monday to Thursday and Club kids, foodies and the party set on the weekend). If you look at the the histories of both properties the Lady Luck and the Sahara (towards at the end) had more in common with the Westward Ho than the Wynn.

    As for which is the biggest flop I think time will be the best indicator of that, both properties could easily turn their fortunes around with the right people making the right decisions at the helm.
     
  15. woodsie

    woodsie Low-Roller

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    I haven't been to the SLS yet but the DTG is one of my favorite spots downtown. The employees are friendly, there's fewer crowds, and the pool quite frankly smokes even the Golden Nugget. It's not perfect but it's got its own strengths unique to the downtown market.
     
  16. UTE

    UTE Plastics

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    Actually, I have been to SLS on 5 different weekends. On each, the casino was doing O.K. but the restaurants and bars were doing VERY well. My wife and I like The Griddle and have quickly learned to go in there during the week as on the weekends getting breakfast there requires lining up. Not only are the pancakes awesome, but they serve coffee to your table in a French Press that is some of the best I've had in a restaurant.

    Bill
     
  17. ClownHo

    ClownHo High-Roller

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    I'm not the expert, but I have read some things about each property, and was hoping I'd get meaningful critiques rather than "why I love it," laundry lists.

    From what I understand, both set the bars somewhat high when it comes to room rates. That's perception, but neither property warranted premium rates in my book, based upon location. I read stories about people being offered quick and easy comped rooms to try to draw traffic. I'm an idiot, so the idea of setting a competitive rate for your rooms and encouraging people to give you a try must be preposterous.

    DG isn't a far walk from Fremont, but it's not as accessible, so you've got to blow the competition away if you want to convince people to spend more to stay away from the action. SLS is still a lousy location on the strip, so you'd better offer a lot of reasons to get people in the door and keep them there, because most people want to spend time on more than one property. I didn't sense either did a good job of putting asses in the beds.

    Both overestimated their ability to draw visitors to the restaurants. It appears to me that SLS made the bigger miscalculation, based upon how much they cut back versus what they initially offered.

    SLS isn't targeting the gambling crowd. Right or wrong strategy, they weren't as ridiculous as DG was in reducing the pay tables on video poker (IIRC) within the first week. DG bought itself a host of bad publicity with that move. Lousy is lousy, but don't draw attention to it by choosing lousy a week after you open. You can correct it down the road, but you'll be remembered for the stupidity long after you correct the error. Minor mistake in terms of the big picture? Maybe, but a brutal decision.

    I have no idea how good or bad the occupancy rates have been for either property, but DG needed to capitalize on its location and failed to do so. Arguably the opening of both properties were not ideal.

    I have not been in SLS, and I may never get there, but I have made two cameos in DG. One days after it opened, the other on a recent Friday night. For a Friday night, there was some atmosphere, and the casino looked to be targeting ElCo-caliber gamblers, not Bellagio, which made sense. No idea how good/bad the pay tables are across the board, but it seems they're doing something to draw a bit of a crowd for an off-Fremont property.

    It's hard to say definitively which did the bigger belly flop, as my info is limited, but despite the major cuts in food service at SLS, reports are that it's not all bad thus far. I think DG blew it big time with its opening months, however, but perhaps the stigma of that is behind them. Hard to say, however, I don't see a lot of people talking about it.
     
  18. Tree DA

    Tree DA High-Roller

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    Everything I have ever seen on this topic about these properties is anecdotal and inferences. Do we really know whether either of these properties are not hitting whatever numbers they are trying to hit?
     
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