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Vital Vegas: Downtown Grand Is Shrinking

Discussion in 'Downtown Hotels & Casinos' started by RockyBalboa, Jun 22, 2014.

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  1. RockyBalboa

    RockyBalboa VIP Whale

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  2. marksind

    marksind Low-Roller

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    Sad. We've stayed there twice (actually paid for the rooms the first time!), and we like it. I'd hate to see them fail. So much of it is right, at least as far as offering something a bit different from other downtown choices. The table game limits and rules are pretty good, but they could definitely do more to keep our video poker money in house.
     
  3. merlin

    merlin VIP Whale

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    They mention that the prices are a "little bit" higher than downtown patrons are used to, gee, I wonder why they're not getting the business?
     
  4. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    Didn't eat there, but it was ~$14-$15 for a glass of house wine at Triple George.
     
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  5. Electroguy563

    Electroguy563 Over-Fried Gambler

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    The article mentioned some good points as to how to re-vive the Downtown Grand. I'd hate to see it fail but when I visited this past April it didn't appeal to me.

    Of course I am from the older generation, maybe that's why. I also secretly hoped that it would attract more of the older clientele but I don't think that is the case.

    Maybe if they had a buffet?
     
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  6. RockyBalboa

    RockyBalboa VIP Whale

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    I haven't been there yet but it is on my list of places to check out when I go out in September. I am planning on checking on the Mob Museum so I will drop in.

    The "Street Dice" game is appealing to me in a fun way to donk off a couple bucks to see how it is.

    As for their failures...I understand the location isn't the best so when you're at a disadvantage there you HAVE to make people want to go out of the way. By lowering the VP pay tables and having higher than normal pricing for a downtown venue it doesn't help.
     
  7. Gem

    Gem Tourist

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    I visited the casino this past week. I was very impressed. The decor is very beautiful. Lots of slot machines. The walk from Fremont street is nothing. Just one open block up from Binions. No worries.
     
  8. topcard

    topcard Older than the Stardust!

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    ~sigh~
    There are solutions to their problem.
    Why they have never been tried (this century, anyway) is beyond me. Fear? That's the only thing I think it could be.
    But - for the 10th time or so on VMB, (not for DTG, but in general) here are what I consider to be no-fail solutions to their problems:

    Blackjack - all 3:2, 80% 2-deck pitch, DAS permitted. $5, $10 & $25 tables...with a guarantee that no player will be unable to find a seat at whatever minimum they wish.

    Dupars & Magnolias aren't over-the-top "great"...they're good and they're at a decent price... and it seems as though they are always busy. Imagine that. Come up with a dependably-good, 24-hour cafe/diner/coffee-shop. Nothing on the menu should be over $10. People will come. People will most definitely come, Ray.

    The casino entrance needs to be very obvious - and open - and loud (not like 'theD' at night, but audible from the street).

    Put a dozen or so very-attractive women (and 2 or 3 similarly good looking guys) under the canopy every early-evening...say around 6PM. Give them discretionary power. They would hand out flyers that offered match-play on table games...or BOGO for dinner before 8PM...or 2 free drinks at the VP bar. These flyers each evening would also advertise a raffle for each night, tied to the flyer...something not too outrageous, but attractive enough to bring folks over from the canopy...say, $60 in free-play + plus a $40 meal-comp, given away each night to one lucky person using their flyer. Put serial numbers on each flyer, and make it truly random.

    VP - get the pay-tables back to being comparable to 'theD', 4-Queens & MSS.

    Craps - come up with a gimmick. Something to make DTG craps stand out. Perhaps pay 10 TO 1 (instead of 10 for 1) on hard 6 & 8, or make the 12 a push for both sides on the come-out. That sort of thing... $5 minimums, no more than that.

    Roulette - single zero. Easy fix!

    Pay what you must, but get a Burger King, What-a-Burger or In-and-Out right there on that block. Keep it fast-food "classy", but don't charge $12 for a $4 cheeseburger. Oh, and add a Starbucks while you're at it.

    Offer free transfers to/from McCarran for all hotel guests...every hour or so.

    Hire Keno girls. Just a couple of them. As demand for them increases, add more. Keep them young & hot.

    Old-school spotlight out front. Cheesy? Sure. Effective? You bet.
     
    Seems like forever from now, but the flights are booked, so it counts!
  9. ruralhipster

    ruralhipster Low-Roller

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    Top card has a lot of good points. A couple "Grand ambassadors" handing out an old school funbook on the corner of Fremont and 3rd would be helpful. Food-wise highlight Pizza Rock and triple George for guests seeking a higher end dining experience. Replace all in-house restaurants with one awesome funky old-skool 24 hour cafe. Get a Tim Hortons and watch the Canadians beat a path to your door. Replace 9th Island with a slushy drink bar that undercuts competitors on Fremont, offer said drinks to gamblers. Improve VP, do something to get a little buzz going in the casino.

    I have to say the main failing of the DTG has been in the marketing, it's been targeted in my opinion at too narrow a field. Instead of trying to made a highly devised money-making property they should have just tried making a really good Hotel and Casino. To be successful downtown you have to figure a way to get people in and get them to spend.

    Stop trying to get the "right people" through the doors and just get everyone you can.

    Remember that MSS and the elCo have found a way to get people through the doors so location isn't the issue.
     
  10. Royal Flusher

    Royal Flusher Savvy Gambler

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    Top Card those are great ideas. I do notice they have been ramping up the number of promotions going on. Point multiplier days, draws and the like. What good is a draw if you have to be onsite to win? What good is a point multiplier day if there is nothing good to play?

    ruralhipster - right on, that's so true about El Cortez. I think the Grand has a really good location, its just like they have this idea that they were going to swim against the tide downtown and establish a different kind of property. That's all great, except it doesn't work downtown!

    They've got to get established and busy, and then they can start moving slightly in the direction they want over time. Like the Nugget has.
     
  11. Dtyst1

    Dtyst1 Tourist

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    I went into Downtown Grand in December and thought the property was great. I had fast, friendly drink service and some of the most personable dealers I've seen anywhere.

    With all that said, I had already eaten that night and wasn't looking for any other amenities other than throwing dice and drinking booze. I'll be staying there next week, thanks to the couple of free nights and other perks they mailed me based on that one night (maybe an hour) of play. I really hope the good experience I had at the tables transcends the rest of the property. If the great customer service is property-wide they should have little problem retaining customers. However, it seems like the issue is getting people through the doors that first time.
     
  12. melbedewy

    melbedewy Low-Roller

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    Many great ideas.
    Also match 4 queens and Boyd in hotel prices with NO resort fee and add a 97% slot area as 3% of something is infinitely better than 100% of nothing.
     
  13. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    How about having your mailers arrive in a timely fashion. My May offer arrived on May 2nd. June arrived on June 3rd. I know some of you can do last minute trips, but for us planners, that is not timely.
     
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  14. VegasRandy

    VegasRandy Low-Roller

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    I'm actually shocked Stewart+Ogden is still open 24 hours. That place is never busy. I'd hate to see the Downtown Grand fail though. I think it's a very nice property that's just not being run correctly.
     
  15. RockyBalboa

    RockyBalboa VIP Whale

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    Solid post, Top.

    As I said I haven't been down there yet but it makes all the sense in the world for them to step up the marketing and the attractions. If memory serves me correct when they opened they were trying to become a strip-like property downtown. That is a failure because dedicated downtowners don't want that. I am a stripaholic but will go downtown for a night. But when I go downtown I want the downtown experience...not overpriced and piss poor odds. And the downtowners want that downtown feel.

    You can still operate a "classy" downtown joint without it being a money pit for customers.
     
  16. vegasfan2010

    vegasfan2010 Tourist

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    I was there during the construction. We missed the opening by a few weeks. Never been inside. I hope it is still there when we visit again.
     
  17. makikiboy

    makikiboy VIP Whale

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    Yes, but how busy was the casino? Were the tables busy and crowded (and I don't mean on fri and sat night, what about the rest of the week?). The crowd is an indication of how well the casino is doing. Visit the Fremont hotel, most nights the tables are busy. I visited the DTG in January during CES week, the tables weren't busy, many were empty. In comparison most other DT casinos were busy. I didn't even bother playing at the DTG, table minimums were too high IMHO and the "vibe" wasn't there.

    One of the problems is that the owners wanted the DTG to be more of an "upscale" hotel. While the hotel is nicely done that isn't enough to bring in the crowds or spend more to play there. Other posters had good ideas on bringing the crowd in but there are others, like having $3 tables during the day or maybe having some giveaways with some play. They need to find a way to get the crowd into the casino. The Asian draw was interesting but this isn't macau, there are other strip hotels that cater to the rich Asian crowd already, why would they come downtown to play at the DTG.

    While the DTG is only a block off the FSE it could be on the moon if it doesn't have something to draw the crowd in. The EC is starting to pick up with the addition of the container park and the bars/clubs in the area. The DTG might want to consider crossing the street and making a canopy from the FSE or having something in that open walkway area leading to the DTG to entice people to visit and play at their casino.
     
  18. tvon

    tvon VIP Whale

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    OMG THIS!!! I was there and it was quiet as a mouse outside and the blacked out doors closed. I was near the entrance on the corner closest to Binions and I saw people walk in and ask security "are you guys open yet". This is a no brainer. So much of their problems are fixable. Management sounds clueless.
     
  19. Iamrice

    Iamrice High-Roller

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    Top is dead on.

    I remember how the Lady Luck got people down there when it was open (lower class, but equally effective). Free popcorn, hotdogs, a free picture of you by a slot machine! All of that got us down the street and they kept us there with the drink cart service!!

    I miss those ladies...
     
  20. PopMegaphone

    PopMegaphone VIP Whale

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    This is a shame. I'm really rooting for the DT Grand. My big complaint is they ruined mob bar. They should have replicated the old venue which had an excellent atmosphere. The new bar lacks personality.

    I also agree the entrance to the casino is rather nondescript. Anyone on walking FSE wouldn't look twice at it.



    To be fair lady luck closed due to a lack of business.
     
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