1. Welcome to VegasMessageBoard
    It appears you are visiting our community as a guest.
    In order to view full-size images, participate in discussions, vote in polls, etc, you will need to Log in or Register.

Harrah's Council Bluffs after the lockdown?

Discussion in 'Casino Industry & Development' started by dmr, Apr 3, 2020.

  1. dmr

    dmr Registered Abuser

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2011
    Messages:
    14,216
    Location:
    Somewhere in Middle America
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    70
    There was a rumor posted on a local chat board to the effect that CET may not be reopening the casino at Harrah's.

    They do have (or had, have not been in a while) a decent restaurant, hotel, and a very popular concert venue, all which obviously had a positive cash flow.

    However, the casino, since they moved it to land from the boat, is tiny and crowded. They obviously don't have the physical room to space out machines, and if they have to do something like keep every other machine turned off for social distancing, it may not pay to open it back up.

    I'm hoping this is not true, however! :(
     
    • Wow! Wow! x 1
  2. Leeza14

    Leeza14 VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2007
    Messages:
    1,232
    Location:
    Iowa
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    46
    Maybe they will close the buffet and expand the casino there. I would be surprised if they shut down the casino for the reasons you mentioned—great restaurants, excellent concert venue, nice hotel. My host from there just called me a couple days ago to check in, and she didn’t give any indication of a closure, so I hope that is a good sign.
     
  3. HuskerBB

    HuskerBB High-Roller

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2007
    Messages:
    946
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    37
    Hope the rumor is not true. Horseshoe casino is nicer but we stay at Harrahs quite a bit - much easier to get room comps there than from the Horseshoe nearby which does not really have its own hotel. As mentioned the restaurant on top of the hotel is nice - decent food and a great atmosphere / view. Plus the Stir Cove concert venue is really great. It would make sense to eliminate the buffet IMO - a few months ago they were giving free buffet passes if you accumulated a certain # of points so I did eat at the buffet one night. It was awful ! Have had the buffet breakfast a couple times in the past and that was OK - but the dinner recently was really bad.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. dmr

    dmr Registered Abuser

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2011
    Messages:
    14,216
    Location:
    Somewhere in Middle America
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    70
    Great news, thanks.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. jgates8

    jgates8 VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Messages:
    7,905
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    23
    My host called me Thurs or Fri (the days are a blur...). They were anticipating opening up on 5/1. No mention of Harrahs not reopening. I think the buffet could go also (although we love it). Or they could move that to the back area that headed to the boat. I was told once it was just storage and meeting rooms now.

    Our safer at home was extended to close to end of May in Wisconsin. So doubtful I would be making a trip there in the near future anyway.
     
  6. HoppinHardWays

    HoppinHardWays High-Roller

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2018
    Messages:
    683
    Location:
    OMA
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    9
    I really hope this is not true. I prefer Harrahs over Horseshoe any day of the week. I like the craps game, 360, and hotel. The Horseshoe is my last choice. I’ll go to Ameristar before Horseshoe.
     
  7. HoppinHardWays

    HoppinHardWays High-Roller

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2018
    Messages:
    683
    Location:
    OMA
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    9
    I remember when they first opened. I wasn’t old enough to go in the casino, but could go in the buffet. It was 24 hours and amazing. It really started to go down hill for some reason as a whole. So did the popularity of the property. I remember a huge big screen in the hall before you could enter the casino, and the nightclub/bar which is rental space now.
     
  8. dmr

    dmr Registered Abuser

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2011
    Messages:
    14,216
    Location:
    Somewhere in Middle America
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    70
    Well, I'm glad to hear that the rumor is presumably false! I seldom go there, but I would hate to see fewer gaming choices in the area.

    Speaking of which, I wonder how Prairie Flower (aka What?) will do once the lockdown is lifted? The machines in there are PACKED together, and the only way they could keep the revenue with fewer machines is to tighten things significantly.

    As far as that "headed back to the boat" space, I'm assuming that you're referring to the closed-off area just west of the LGR. IIAC, that's a movable ramp. I'm trying to imagine a buffet in there, and all I can visualize is a very long narrow one. I also vaguely remember that the ramp tended to be warm in the summer and chilly in the winter, as in little if any heat/ac.
     
  9. jgates8

    jgates8 VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Messages:
    7,905
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    23
    I was told the had meeting rooms -so I expect that is right behind that wall by the bathrooms & door to the concert area? Not sure. I know door to that area was open one time but I never glanced in there lol.

    I really expected them to cut down the buffet size and to put that sports bar more into that. They cut out part of the buffet but not much. I’ll be a bit leery of buffets in the future until there is a defined handle on this virus. So wonder if they will do sit down service? But then what is the real difference between there & the BackStage grill (or whatever it is called). The DL is very small & close quarters also.

    To me (although construction costs would be a factor) - Close buffet. Move DL into the far end of that. Expand casino floor into the rest of the buffet area. Expand BackStage grill into current DL area. Does that make sense @dmr ?
     
  10. jgates8

    jgates8 VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Messages:
    7,905
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    23
    Here is a pic from an event website. I am not sure if this might be that area? Not really huge at all. I think it listed only 50 x 50 with the back bar it shows edge of at about sake square footage.

    I went to Harrahs website & their pdf is really incomplete & not that accurate. Shows the grill covering the entire lounge & grill area. Doesn’t display new sports bar area. Still shows gift shop that I’m sure was closed & gutted last fall.
    DE48AFA5-620A-4E9B-877B-72587A18CB4E.png
     
  11. dmr

    dmr Registered Abuser

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2011
    Messages:
    14,216
    Location:
    Somewhere in Middle America
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    70
    Wow, I don't recognize ANYTHING in that drawing! Do you know of any landmarks that I am missing?

    I'm trying to orient myself, using "restrooms" as a known point, but I can't think of any restroom on the property that fits into the image I have in my mind.

    I do admit that I have only visited a few times since the "improvement" of dumping the boat and moving things ashore.
     
  12. HoppinHardWays

    HoppinHardWays High-Roller

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2018
    Messages:
    683
    Location:
    OMA
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    9
    Isn’t the Venue across on the same side as the cafe? It used to be a bar/nightclub.
     
  13. dmr

    dmr Registered Abuser

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2011
    Messages:
    14,216
    Location:
    Somewhere in Middle America
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    70
    Ok, gang, sanity check time here, help me out, gang, OK ... :)

    I honestly could not remember a venue called "The Venue" at Harrah's, so I googled, and I got tons of hits for Stir Cove, with one in particular, a Ticketmaster page selling tickets for upcoming performances at "The Venue" at Harrah's.

    Is "The Venue" supposed to be a new name for what we've known for ages as Stir Cove? I know that they renamed the original Stir Lounge (maybe twice or more, what I think you are calling the bar/nightclub) over the years.

    The only way I was able to make maybe 10% sense out of the "map" above was to look at the Google aerial view and rotate it maybe 15 degrees to the left, making the wall of the main hotel portion perpendicular.

    [​IMG]

    The only real landmark on this view and the "map" above is the jutting-out thing from the hotel, immediately above the "C" in "cove" above. The north boundary of the outdoor audience area roughly aligns with the diagram above, but all of the other angles seem off.

    [​IMG]

    I then googled "Harrah's Council Bluffs Property map" and this is what I got, which I assume is what was mentioned as a .pdf above. This is oriented so east is at the top.

    It shows the gift shop where it was before the casino moved ashore and the Stir Cove Backstage Grill taking up far more space than I know it uses. I'm assuming that what I always called "that diner thing" (which I admit I never learned the real name of) is now the Stir Cove Backstage Grill.

    IIRC, the gift shop moved to right by the restrooms as you come in from the parking garage. I also vaguely remember (trying to dust off fuzzy memory cells) that it may have closed or changed since then. (?????)

    I **THINK** the last time I was there was so many months ago when they had a promotion where you got {mumble} if you swiped your card both at Harrah's and Horseshoe. I sorta remember putting $5 through a VP machine to be sure that the swipe "counted" and I had at least a couple of points at Harrah's that day.

    I also vaguely remember that something was going on with the bar, the old Stir Lounge, perhaps closed, perhaps renamed again, perhaps being remodeled? (Demo and meeting rooms? - I sure dunno!)

    Anyway, the map posted above is majorly confusing at best, and the .pdf is out of date and inaccurate, and I'm not really sure what is or was what since I've seldom played there since they got rid of the boat.

    Oh well, so it goes ... (And so do I.) :)
     
  14. Ol' Hoag

    Ol' Hoag Tourist

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2019
    Messages:
    42
    Location:
    Kansas
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    75
    Good news if they don't close. I too would have been disappointed. While we haven't been to a concert...yet...we've had a room overlooking the Cove on concert weekends and it looks awesome. Once I saw it, I kicked myself for NOT going to some of the shows that have been there. We often stay at Harrah's and take the free shuttle over to Horseshoe, as the casino there is far superior. The 360 Steak House is VERY good and the Back Stage Grill has unbelievably good "old time diner" food. Would miss that.
     
  15. HoppinHardWays

    HoppinHardWays High-Roller

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2018
    Messages:
    683
    Location:
    OMA
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    9
    The Venue is the old Stir Lounge.
     
  16. jgates8

    jgates8 VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Messages:
    7,905
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    23
    I only remember the gift shop being where it is showing on the outdated floor plan. However I think it has been closed for close to 2 years now. Directly across from that a chunk of the back end of the buffet became the sports bar area at entry of casino.
     
  17. rdwoodpecker

    rdwoodpecker Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2014
    Messages:
    416
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    20
    My host called today too see how we are doing. I mentioned the “rumor” of Harrah’s possibly not re-opening, he told me that has not been mentioned to him.
    He did mention they were having a “meeting” tomorrow to discuss how they move forward.
     
  18. jgates8

    jgates8 VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Messages:
    7,905
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    23

    When Chom called me a few weeks ago he had indicated they were planning on reopening 5/1. I doubt that will be happening but I haven’t monitored Iowa’s plans. I would still stay at Harrahs without the casino if rooms were comped IF they ran the shuttle more frequently (as I go there with my friends). However I doubt many others would do the same.
     
  19. rdwoodpecker

    rdwoodpecker Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2014
    Messages:
    416
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    20
    Anytime we are ever staying at Harrah’s ( weekends) it seems nothing ever happening at The Venu. I think it is a room you can rent out for parties and such but not sure. Wish they would have left it as a nightclub but it must not have making any money. Just seems to be a “ lost” space.
     
  20. jgates8

    jgates8 VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Messages:
    7,905
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    23
    yeah move the buffet there and expand the casino into the buffet area.