I just returned from the Grazie Gifts event. In the past, you could use other November offers (monthly, birthday) during Grazie Gifts week and still shop at the event. This year other offers were blacked out, and the Grazie Gifts offers had a reduced amount of freeplay. The Grazie Gifts Premier Night offered small bites, passed champagne and an open bar. But, this year there was no welcome gift for each shopper. There were more gifts cards to choose from, but many of the values increased. 57,000 points used to get you a $100 gift card, this year it took 60,750 for Lowe's and 62,600 for Best Buy. In the past, $25 gift cards were available, this year the minimum was $50. The least expensive items were over 14,000 points. There were no inexpensive treats like moose munch, chocolate covered pretzels or espresso beans to use up remaining points, or other grab-and-go gifts like a money clip or coffee mugs. If you were a new Grazie member who earned a few thousand points, I guess you were out of luck. I have to think more points remained unused this year. Although nothing like the comp debacle a few years ago, there's been a trend of changes, maybe driven by an improving Vegas economy or a shift in strategy by the new V/P President. The Gold Lounge was eliminated and repurposed, and food offerings were reduced at the Platinum/VIP lounges. This trip, the Platinum lounge was too crowded, with players who would have been spread out at the Gold Lounge too during last year's Grazie Gifts. In contrast, the new High Limit Slot Lounge was relatively empty and underutilized. The old Zebra/Label Lounge at the Palazzo was also eliminated this year. The live music in the evenings made it a great, small place to take a break from the casino floor and play at a bartop machine. We'll see what The Dorsey will be like as a replacement for The Bourbon Room. The new Atrium shopping at the Palazzo is nice, but doesn't add much value to me as a slot player. Over the past few years, Grazie has held special events that added variety and made each stay a little different. There were property-wide events like summer Carnevale and Winter in Venice. No more. There seemed to be more special casino events like 'Sweetstakes' with pull tabs and little boxes you could fill with candy from IT'SUGAR, or the Monopoly promo with game pieces. This year there was no Summer Grazie Gifts. The Grand Dragon Baccarat Tournament was moved from October to July, but not the best substitute for slot players as a summer event. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy staying and playing at V/P. The Venetian suites were updated last year, the Palazzo suites are currently being redone. Hotel and casino employees are consistently friendly, competent and customer oriented. I enjoy the V/P restaurants and casino floors. Offers and backend comps have been steady. So far the V/P cutbacks aren't deal breakers, but do indicate a change in focus by management that's noticeable. In terms of money, the impact is likely small to individual players compared to the aggregate impact in savings to the casino, I'd imagine. Let's see what next year brings, drink tickets and parking fees seem to be in style!