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What the recent CET changes mean to me

Discussion in 'Misc. Vegas Chat' started by ref59405, Dec 11, 2014.

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  1. ref59405

    ref59405 Low-Roller

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    There has been a lot of talk lately about CET properties starting to charge a resort fee, and now their decision to no longer waive the resort fees for those who are platinum, regardless of how they achieved that status. I realize that unlike some others, I am not upset about these changes because I am a low roller who only got to be platinum because of the credit card. But what surprised me is the end result of this move by CET and what is now happening to me and my choices when it comes to Vegas.

    My wife and I started going to Vegas about 10 years ago and we first stayed at the Monte Carlo. Our second trip we stayed at Harrah’s and then 3rd time was at the Excalibur. We choose our hotel based mainly on the cost. We now go to Las Vegas 2-3 times a year and we are extreme low rollers. I would say that if either of us loses $100 a day gambling that we would be done for that day. Now, if we win or stay close to even, we will do a lot of gambling on that hundred bucks, but once it’s gone we are done for the day.

    Even at that low level of play, after a few trips we started getting comped weekday rooms at the lower tier CET properties. As a result we started staying at the IP (now the Quad), Harrah’s, Bally’s etc. We liked the free rooms so we stayed there and played there. Our free rooms progressed to some weekends and we even got Caesars and Paris comped occasionally. Life was good. Even though it was never our plan, we became loyal CET people and when we booked our rooms we never considered a MGM property or any other hotels where we would have to pay.

    Then CET decided to start charging a resort fee. I didn’t care because I had gotten the credit card that made me platinum so I didn’t have to pay the resort fee. By now my comped rooms disappeared, so even though I was now paying for rooms, having the resort fee waived kept us at CET hotels instead of similarly price MGM properties.

    Here is the part that surprised me, and I suspect I am not alone in this situation, and if there are a lot of people in the same boat, I think CET is making a big mistake. Now that being platinum no longer gets your resort fee waived, and since I no longer get free rooms, when I book our trips to Vegas all I go by now is the cost, including the resort fee. Since CET has taken away the perks, they are now on even ground with the similar MGM properties. I found that I am not one bit loyal to CET and during our last trip to Vegas we stayed at the Monte Carlo. My wife and I tend to play, and eat and drink at our hotel, so while our play is minimal, most of that is now going to MGM.

    But I was in for another surprise (you know what? I am way too old to be learning new things about myself, but I keep doing it!) Last night I was looking at hotel rooms for an upcoming trip, and I saw that I could get most lower tier places for about $50 a night during the week. Nothing great, but I had a choice of at least 10 different places in that price range. I was sure that I would stick with one of the cheapest options, but then it hit me. I can pay $50 plus resort fee for a low end place, or I can spend $100 and get a really nice place. The better hotels never appealed to me because I was getting a room for free, and the difference for me between free and $100 is huge, but I was shocked to learn that for me, the difference between $50 and $100 is not that much, and I could be persuaded to spend the extra money for a really nice place.

    The recent decisions by CET has opened my eyes, first to considering other lower tier properties, but now I see that I may be able to justify spending more for a very nice hotel.

    It’s game on!
     
  2. salukidean

    salukidean Low-Roller

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    If you think Caesars is going to miss your $100 per day gambling budget, they won't. You are exactly the type of person that these changes are made to drive away. You were getting way overcomped before as your play didn't even cover their cost of a free room (lost revenue of not being able to get a paying customer for it and also the cost of housekeeping to clean it). If you think a rant like what you've typed above is going to cause Caesars to reconsider, it ain't gonna happen. They're glad to see you disappear.
     
  3. waverunner

    waverunner BBHMM

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    Ref, i hear you, i am also a low roller, although much higher than you while maintaining my Gold status. I gamble and spend most of my money at CET, i have done this the last few years. However, Vegas has gotten cheaper for me and as an example, i was comped for 5 nights a couple of weeks ago (Sun-Fri). My resort fee was about $125. I paid it off with my SR credits that i have accumulated, and continue to do so, by using my computer every day at home to gather points.
    I have gotten spoiled these last few years by getting comps. My rate calender has really dried up for 2015, just Harrah's, Flamingo (certain weeks each month), and Rio are comped (i always go Sun-Fri). But i noticed that i can get new room at the Linq for about the same as a nightly resort fee. So i can stay at Harrah's, Flamingo, and Rio comped in addition to my SR acct which i use to pay off the resort fee...........or, stay at Linq with much nicer rooms, a fridge, 47" TV, etc. pay the nightly fee knowing that my resort fee will be paid off at checkout.
    Yes, CET, MGM, etc take away things, but you can compensate with things that CET, where i play, can give you in return.

    My resort fee for the Spring 2015 will be already paid off. My hotel room at Flamingo will be zero, at the Linq it will be about $30 per night, but no resort fee.
    Harrah's = $ 0 fees = 0
    Rio = $ 0 fees = 0
    Flamingo = $ 0 fees = 0
    Linq = $28-$32 fees = 0
     
  4. Tellafriend

    Tellafriend High-Roller

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    Spot on. They were just trying to fill all the rooms they had to make it through the last four to five lean years. Those days are gone. MGM learned this about two years ahead of CET which isn't surprising since CET is at the bottom of most everything else on the Strip.
     
  5. Brewfangrb

    Brewfangrb Low-Roller

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    To be fair to ref, I don't think he was really "ranting", nor was he "ranting" with the idea of "sticking it" to CET, necessarily. He's really just saying, I took what I could while it was given to me and now that CET made these changes, it shook me out of my routine. So now, instead of sticking with a lower end property and not only paying for rooms that used to be free, but also paying resort fees that used to be waived, he can fit even better properties (and it seems, mostly on the MGM side) in his budget. Maybe I did completely misread his post, but that's how I took it.

    And sure, he was probably way overcomped---when he was being comped. But as he noted, the comped rooms had gone away, so he was paying for rooms but still at the lower end CET props. So sure, since he's a low roller anyway, his "paying for room + minimal daily losses" is still probably way less than a upper-low end or middle roller who maybe has comped rooms at a lower end CET prop but has actual losses of say $500-1000 a day...and for a Harrah's, they'd gladly take a guest with actual daily losses of $500-1000 (not just ADT) on a free room vs a guest who pays $50/night for the room and has a true daily stop loss of $100. In the end, you're probably right--they won't miss him. But he's not really getting comped anywhere else and if he's expanded his budget, then someone else is benefiting from his visits.
     
  6. Krh2o

    Krh2o MIA

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    They are going to miss a paying customer. Pretty much most nights the hotels are not sold out, so the room that he was booking will now need to be filled. The restaurants he ate at will not get his business. Maybe now he uses his TR Visa less. Since The Resort Fee Announcement, I have shifted to using my American Express Card for all my purchases. I had spent roughly 10k a month on the TR Visa, but I will only use it now at places that don't take Amex. I booked a spring time trip and am staying at Aria, rather then PHO, because now that both have a resort fee, the $20 a night more for Aria in my opinion is well worth it. Before it would have been $48 a night more. In 2015 I will probably spend a lot less money at CET properties. I will use the TR Visa a lot less, in 2014 I spent $115K on the TR Visa, prob would be $135K after Holiday shopping, and end of the year bills, etc. In 2015 that won't happen. So if they don't care great more power to them. If others are like me and see that they are taking away a perk, and change habits thats a problem.

    It's been a month since the resort fee changes, has anyone else changed how they use the TR Visa, made a reservation a non CET property because of this?
     
  7. UKFanatic

    UKFanatic The Arbiter of Taste Caviar Kid

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    I agree with the first couple sentences you wrote. But here is what I don't understand ........ if you're putting that much on your TR Visa every month, why are you worried about resort fees? You clearly have significant disposable income. And even if you don't want to spend it on resort fees (I don't either!), you're generating $100 a month in comps on your Visa. You can just use that to pay the resort fees, right?
     
  8. leo21

    leo21 VIP Whale

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    Sorry but it's just not true. The folks gambling on the low budgets gave them more than enough revenue to expand nationwide and buyout Park Place. The model was to develop a program for people no one else valued and funnel them into Vegas. They didn't just start comping low rollers because the recession hit. Instead, it was because they had developed those players, they had occupancy during the recession. Those customers weren't being overcomped - they got free rooms when no one else was going to come to town, with the way the system worked they got free rooms as comps on a future visit instead of other discretionary comps they may have gotten elsewhere and it's not like low rollers don't dine or pay for show tickets when they come to town.

    It's not the customer's fault they took on all that excessive debt and can't get out of it. The reality is that so many of the hotels in the chain have such a poor reputation due to their failure to do upkeep until recently is that they are still not going to draw the cash customers they need to cover the low rollers they are pissing off and the reason they keep jacking up the resort fee is a reflection of it. They can't advertise higher room rates without being laughed at so they need to get the extra money through the backdoor. I mean, the new casino floor at Harrah's is attractive. Most people still won't spend one extra cent to stay there. The renovations at Bally's sound great but all that did was stop the rate freefall. Flamingo is one of the oldest casinos on the strip and completely looks like it. And they've mishandled Rio so badly that they could pour $200M into and not get any traction on the room rate.

    The problem for me with the resort fee is that they are coming to customers who would traditionally get comped, some of whom have been around for along time, raising their rates and not really giving them anything for it. The casino experience is not fun because they program out any opportunity to win. Two devices on Wi-Fi is not worth $25. You could probably do a prepaid hotspot option for less than that if you wanted. I can't fool with these clowns anymore, whether it's CET or the other strip operators. I am sick of gamblers being treated like bottom feeders when they used money they made in the casinos to build the strip, across the country and around the world. Macau may be pulling in tons of revenue but they wouldn't have gotten there without money made in Vegas casinos. I don't buy that the younger generation doesn't gamble and that's why the casino side is drawing less revenue. The casinos are drawing less revenue because they've wrecked the casino experience.
     
  9. leo21

    leo21 VIP Whale

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    When I bank TR points, it's to spend them on things that give me enjoyment - a really good meal, a show, a gift for a friend in a shop. I am not doing it to pay a fee for services that are not worth what is being charged. This has a lot to do with why my last trip was a Orleans and Gold Coast and why I am looking for other places to try.
     
  10. Aces and Eights

    Aces and Eights VIP Whale

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    Question to ref: Even though you don't gamble that much, about how much do you spend at the hotel that you are staying? I'm wondering what it costs a hotel to have an otherwise unoccupied room be occupied. Unless an employee has to work overtime to accommodate the added guest, the cost is probably the cleaning supplies, water, electricity, and wear and tear of the room and contents. I'm wondering if the opportunity costs of the guest is a meaningful amount to the hotel to give a comped room. Of course the hotel can't give everybody a comped room, but I would think that they take into consideration how much is spent at their property through the use of the player's card when purchasing items, shows, and food.
     
  11. Kickin

    Kickin Flea

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    I think you're misreading his post, or I maybe I am. But I don't see him as ranting and hoping CET reconsiders. Also, he WAS paying for his rooms along with food and bev during this time he was getting his resort fees waived for being Platinum. What I got from his post is he's discovered that paying for a CET room + resort fee is a pretty shitty value compared to prices for better non-CET hotels. I don't doubt that is true. Like most people who stay in comped rooms I don't pay much attention to Vegas room rates, but whenever I do see them I'm reminded of how cheap they are even on the high end. Also, considering CET casinos target the lower spenders more than most of their competitors on the strip, I think it should be a concern for them if low rollers start thinking the value proposition of higher end places is better.
     
  12. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

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    Puttiing 10k a month on a TR card is really not the best way to use your money. There are WAY BETTER credit card deals out there.

    Higher cash back. Get new cards with awesome signup bonus deals.

    Points that can be used somewhere besides Total Rewards.
     
  13. waverunner

    waverunner BBHMM

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    Depends on what brings you enjoyment. I have never used and never will use the "perks" of resort fees. But that's true everywhere. I love the fact that i can take a few minutes on my HDTV and watch some videos, etc. to earn rewards. I actually enjoy making comments about my favorite pasta dish.
    Perhaps because i go solo and don't fine dine and hit Absinthe might have something to do with it. But i have come to realize that some things may not be fair. But instead of whining about it, i just accept the fact that resort fees are here and find ways to offset that.
    Do you have Cable or Sat? I had over 300 channels, i probably only watch a third of them, but in order to watch what i want, i must pay for the entire package. So i compensate, i lowered my base package, but added more premiums at a discount rate, and enjoying the channels i do watch at a cheaper price.
    I haven't whined about anything in Vegas for 30 years.
    Well, OK, the escalators/walkways at Bally's haven't worked 1985, but other than that............
     
  14. danny8235

    danny8235 Low-Roller

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    I agree. We have stayed at cet joints for the last 10 trips but all has changed. We now will consider more local choices even though we love Vegas. It is just the idea of an extra $25 for nothing in return. Just put it in the room charge. Quit trying to hide it. I think our trip next week may be our last
     
  15. UKFanatic

    UKFanatic The Arbiter of Taste Caviar Kid

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    I agree, but the poster I was responding to also indicated that he would no longer bank points (by using the Visa). So he's not using the Visa points at all now. Just doesn't make sense to me
     
  16. UKFanatic

    UKFanatic The Arbiter of Taste Caviar Kid

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    I agree with that 100%. The mid-tier MGM properties are, IMO, as good as the top CET properties. And they're cheaper than the CET top tier and not much more than the CET mid and low tier hotels.
     
  17. Krh2o

    Krh2o MIA

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    I could use it to pay resort fees. In the past I have used the reward credits for the rooms or dinners. Last month I used them at Gordon Ramsay Steak (I stayed at Venetian). It was an amazing free meal. I routinely would use the credits for meals when I was not staying at a CET resort. Even dropped some slot play before and after. But there are plenty of other credit cards I can use that give me rewards at the same value, just not reward credits.

    As others have said CET is no longer a good value for Las Vegas. They can add all the open air shops they want, but until they fix some elevators what good is it going to do.
     
  18. Tellafriend

    Tellafriend High-Roller

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    I just re-read your post twice. It seems you are agreeing with me. 1). Its not the customer's fault. 2). CET is mismanaged. 3). Vegas has rebounded a good bit from the period where they just wanted warm bodies filling the rooms. 4). None of this changes the fact that CET is no longer desirous of $100 or less daily players who want "comped weekday rooms" without paying resort fees; the latter of which helped put them in their financial difficulty.

    Really folks. If you and your wife stay 3-4 days, are only willing to lose $100 a day (at most), and want a free room w/o any fees, what do you think the casino/hotel makes back off this transaction? They have power, water, housekeeping, insurance, staff, wear and tear, maintenance, etc to take care of along with the repayment of the money and interest to build the building you are in. And of course, you might actually win on some of these trips. Your decision to eat at some of the vendors, many of whom they don't own, isn't that much of an offset, unless they are just empty otherwise, which as I earlier mentioned, is no longer the case.

    CET, like what MGM has already done, is rightfully tightening up and the folks who have gotten more than what they should have for the last few years don't like it and feel like they are being unfairly treated. So, as someone suggested in another thread dealing with Southwest Airlines and their early bird check in policies, vote with your wallet and spend more time downtown .... oh yeah, they are employing the same practices.
     
  19. REELmoneySlotFan

    REELmoneySlotFan High-Roller

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    This is where I disagree with you. If they had the feeling they were overcomping their customers they shouldn't have done that. Why did they do it? Because the economy was in the tanker and they needed customers to fill the rooms. The economy is picking up and this is the gratitude Vegas shows to customers who helped them get through a difficult number of years. Vegas resorts try everything to build a base of loyal customers, but as soon as they see fit, they give these loyal customers the cold shoulder. To me that's bad business (long term). There are new resorts coming to Las Vegas, new players on the market and they will give CET and MGM a run for their money (customers). Once you lose a customer there's no guarantee you'll get 'em back when you need 'em.

    This situation is not unique to people who limit their gambling to about $100 a day. There are people who gamble far more than that (500+ a day) and don't get nearly the comps they got a couple of years ago. I call that corporate greed.

    This all might sound negative. To be honest we really, really love Vegas. We're not too enthousiastic about how Vegas resorts are managed though.
     
  20. hammie

    hammie VIP Whale

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    Loyalty is a two way street, I have a total rewards card and an mlife card, am I being disloyal?

    As for corporate greed, this is a company that has not been profitable since it went private at the height of the market. Who is being greedy.......CET or it's customer? Yes, thank you for your business for the last few years when we were on the balls of our a$$. It's a new year, your love gives me thrills, but don't pay my bills, I want money.

    I think the OP was basically saying we all have choices.
     
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