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Mayhem at HR Tampa

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Casino Hotels' started by Chump, Mar 1, 2017.

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  1. Chump

    Chump Low-Roller

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    HR Tampa is well into a major construction project playing mayhem with its parking. At the same time, they have made a sharp U-turn with their player’s club promotions which is intended to attract as many people as possible regardless of their play in the casino.

    The south garage, now called the Draper garage, sits atop their new poker room which has become wildly popular. This group of players mostly fills this garage by early afternoon. The only problem with that is that it was the only garage offering easy access to westbound I-4. The road behind the casino, Draper Place, will be closed for the next several years or perhaps permanently eliminating this easy I-4 exit from the two larger north garages, Lucky St. and Winners Way. A portion of the front open ground level parking has re-opened and the newest garage, the Orient garage, is expected to open in the next 60 days. Neither of these garages will have access to the westbound I-4 exit either. Soon, 80% of HR’s parking will all converge on the uncontrolled Orient Road exit unless one wishes to go eastbound on I-4. Just several hundred feet down from the busy Hillsborough intersection, they will never get a permit to install a traffic light to allow traffic to exit.

    Last Saturday night, even before the opening of the Orient garage, patrons leaving the two north garages were backing up on the down ramp and all the way across the front of the casino in order to make their way west on either I-4 or Hillsborough. You can throw in a dozen pedestrians trying to walk in from the ground parking adding to the problem.

    Those who contributed to this design mess should lose their jobs! The parking lot is beginning to look like the congestion on the Strip and the players club sweepstake weekend nights make the casino look like NYE in Vegas!
     
  2. Itchy Sporcle

    Itchy Sporcle Tourist

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    I heartedly agree Chump. The whole HR parking experience from entry to exit is a total cluster these days.
     
  3. Chump

    Chump Low-Roller

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    After our HR-Tampa experience last Saturday night, we concluded that if we were to visit there again on that day, we should leave no later than 7:00pm in order to avoid the developing weekend mob scene in the casino and parking lot. As an experiment, we went down there yesterday, a Friday. We arrived about 1:30 pm and found the front of the property filled with construction equipment, workers and with considerable patron traffic. We just headed for the $20 valet service rather than hassle around the parking lot. When we visit, we most often end up playing for eight hours and then try to find one of their restaurants that aren’t mobbed as well. We didn’t and so we headed for the valet about 9:00pm. The valet worked fine but we again found it difficult to weave our way through all the people pouring into the casino. Maybe Sunday is going to be our ticket as the workweek is still out for another five months.

    I recall discussions going back over a decade ago on how the local casinos in Henderson and Summerlin had become community entertainment centers not only for the gamblers but also for their families providing theaters, restaurants, bowling alleys etc. As we walked out of HR last night, the thought occurred to me that this is what is happening here as well. Tampa is among the largest casinos in the country, bigger than anything in Vegas, and is equipped with nearly 5,000 machines and hundreds of tables. There wasn’t an empty seat in the house. Half the people weren’t playing, they were texting , talking on their phone or just sitting around and people watching. I don’t know of another casino anywhere that allows someone to play a few hours a year and walk out with a new car or $25,000 in a cash drawing. To date, I have thought that these recent casino changes were financially driven. Perhaps that is not the case at all. There is still considerable resistance to gambling in Florida. Is HR simply trying to expand goodwill among the non-gaming population in the hope of future expansion?

    By the 1830’s and following three wars, our federal government had seized all Seminole land and only a handful of survivors escaped into the swamps of the Florida Everglades. The Seminoles don’t own any land to speak of throughout most of Florida. The only reason they have their 8 acre tract here in Tampa is that a large downtown construction project uncovered a Seminole burial site in 1980. They gave the Seminoles this land to re-bury their dead whom the Seminoles did and also to open their first bingo hall. To be fair to what is going on at HR, they could never go out and buy a much larger suitable piece of land and build a casino there. It would never be allowed by Florida. There are over 10 MM residents within a 100 mile circle of HR along with 105 MM annual visitors. I think perhaps the Seminoles know full well that what they are doing at HR is far less than optimal but if they are to take advantage of this staggering market, what choice do they have?
     
  4. Chump

    Chump Low-Roller

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    We didn’t go to HR this past Saturday but we heard from friends who did. The giveaway was Patrón Tequila. By 9:00pm, they had handed out over 7,000 bottles of Patron to invitees. The casino was packed once again. Apparently the dealers in the poker room have been put on a six day workweek as they are so busy in there. HR employees are being bused to their remote parking lot and arriving at their cars over an hour after they punch out. I’ve never seen anything like it! HR has elected to pull in many thousands with their promos. Next weekend, they intend to give away $500,000 in cash and free play again giving everyone one and only one entry. I think we’ll skip the crowds.
     
  5. jayperiodsmith

    jayperiodsmith Low-Roller

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    I was there on saturday. I arrived at around 4pm, no parking anywhere. It took me about 25 minutes or so to finally get a spot. I was going to leave after driving all around and going up to the roof level to park with nothing there either. I went into the casino packed with everyone with their patron bottles. I sat down at a DDB dollar machine, and hit Aces with the kicker. I got paid the $2k and left, all with in maybe a half hour. The place was too crowded and smokey to enjoy anything. Parking situation needs to be addressed, but the funny thing is I left at around 5pm and there was many spots to be found on the 5th level. So I guess it depends on timing too, but I would avoid the Tampa HR on weekends, just not a good experience.
     
  6. deansrobinson

    deansrobinson VIP Whale

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    Parking at the SHR is akin to driving in Tampa in general: you cannot, under any circumstances, show weakness. You can not be indecisive.
    Remember, sports fans, it's March...and that means we're still infested with snowbirds. They'll be heading back to 'Where's Your Coat" county in a little bit and we should be able to test the new parking facilities. On weekends...un uh. Nope. Not gonna do it unless we're there during daylight hours. It is waaaay to crowded for what is offered to spend much of an evening there. As for the promotions...it gets bodies through the door...and that is all that matters.

    The SHR is the only game in town and they can do as they see fit. Wanna see changes...then opt for expanded Vegas resort style gambling and don't be so weepy about Florida being a vacay destination for families and how increased gaming will bring in the "wrong crowd". 'Cause I'm pretty sure the casino crowd and the theme park crowds are gonna gravitate towards their interest. Do you think Mom and Dad ever have the conversation about should we take the kids to Vegas or just bring the gamblers to Disney? But you know...every nickel that goes to the Tribe is one more nickel the mouse didn't get. And in Kissimmee/Orlando that's viewed in a negative light. :wink2:
     
  7. Fafa2e

    Fafa2e High-Roller

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    Thanks for this information. I'll be in the Tampa area in a couple of weeks and was considering hitting the HR there one night, but based on the parking cluster, it sounds like its probably not worth the trip. I'm in South Florida and right now the Hollywood HR is not too bad, but they are building a new tower and the construction may cause similar problems down here. We'll see.
     
    It's been a long time coming!
    First New Year in Vegas
  8. Chump

    Chump Low-Roller

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    I enjoyed your comments folks. It seems we all agree that HR isn’t much fun on the weekends at this point because of the crazy crowding. Jay, good job on that ace quad! Dean, I think Florida was closer to opening up Miami to casino competition five years ago then it is today. I don’t believe I will ever see MGM/CET or anyone else open here in my casino lifetime so we have what we have and that will be it.

    The Orient Garage will open in the next month or two with an additional 700 whatever spaces but it will just make the Orient Rd exit that much worse. The Pool Bar and North Casino will soon close permanently. The Lobby and Center Bars will be each closed for several months this summer as they are both being completely redone. I guess we’ll see more portable bars opening all over the place.

    In the meantime, rather than to allow things to quiet down during this construction mess, HR has elected to pull in as many people as possible with players club promotions. They have something going on most every day. Here is what I’m showing for next week over the normal earned free play and property credit. I just don’t get it! They can't sustain this, why now?

    Seminole Wild Card Offers
    Bonus Free Play
    3/9/17 - 3/10/17 Bonus Free Play - $60
    3/11/17 Email Perks Early Bird Bonus Free Play - $60

    3/7/17 - 3/8/17
    $1,500 Free Play Frenzy
    One winner of $1,500 Free Play every 15 minutes on Tuesday, March 7th and Wednesday, March 8th from 1pm to 9pm. Insert your Seminole Wild Card into any slot machine or open a table games rating from 11am -8:45pm on each promotion day for your chance to win. One entry per person. Open to all Seminole Wild Card Members.

    3/9/17 $100,000 Elite Drawing
    Thursday, March 9th from 12:30pm-8pm with drawings every 30 minutes. 25 winners of $250 free play at each drawing. 400 total winners! One entry per person. Insert your Seminole Wild Card into any slot machine or open a table games rating within 1 hour of each drawing to activate your entry. Must be present to win.

    3/11/17 - 3/12/17
    Seminole Hard Rock Tampa's Anniversary $500,000 Sweepstakes
    $250,000 Each day! Saturday, March 11th and Sunday, March 12th! Insert your Seminole Wild Card into any slot machine or open a table games rating from 11am-7:45pm March 11th and March 12th for your chance to win. One entry per person. Open to all Seminole Wild Card Members.
    1pm-7pm Hourly:
    1st Winner- $10,000 Cash
    2nd Winner - $5,000 Cash
    3rd Winner - $2,500 Cash
    4th-5th Winners - $1,000 Cash each
    6th-20th Winners - $500 Free Play each

    8pm:
    1st Winner - $25,000 Cash
    2nd Winner - $15,000 Cash
    3rd Winner - $7,500 Cash
    4th-5th Winners - $3,000 Cash Each
    6th-20th Winners - $500 Free Play each

    3/15/17 Elite $50,000 Slot Tournament
    Wednesday, March 15th from Noon to 6pm in the Hard Rock Cafe, Registration begins at 11am. RSVP required by March 12th. Space is limited. To reserve your spot, please call 866-388-4263 and enter your Seminole Wild Card number for personalized service.
    Prize Structure:
    1st Place: $10,000
    2nd Place: $2,500
    3rd Place: $1,000
    4th Place: $750
    5th Place: $500
    6th-50th Place: $250
    51st-100th Place: $150
    101st-230th Place: $100
    231st-300th Place: $50
    All prizes paid in Free Play

    3/17/17 St. Patrick's Day $100,000 Sweepstakes
    Friday, March 17th from 1pm-8pm. Insert your Seminole Wild Card into any slot machine or open a table games rating from 11am-7:45pm on March 17th for your chance to win. One entry per person. Open to all Seminole Wild Card Members.
    Hourly Drawings 1pm-7pm:
    1st Winner - $5,000 Cash
    2nd Winner - $2,500 Free Play
    3rd Winner - $1,500 Free Play
    4th Winner - $1,000 Free Play

    8pm Drawing:
    1st Winner - $20,000 Cash
    2nd Winner - $5,000 Cash
    3rd Winner - $2,500 Free Play
    4th Winner - $1,500 Free Play
     
  9. Gino

    Gino "The King of Inappropriate."

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    Have had a love/hate affair with this place for years.If you want to gamble there, get there early. Like 7-11 a.m early.. They had revamped their comp system a few years ago, and you could earn a decent amount of "Comp dollars" for half ass play/coin in. Now you can sit at a bad pay VP machine for hours, or a tight slot, and not even earn enough for a "free" beer. Again, until there is competition for these guys (which may never happen mainly because of the Orange Park/Kissimmee Crime Family..er legislators) were just going to have to do one of 2 things; spend our gambling dollars in LV, Biloxi, AC, Tunica et al., or bite the bullet and play there. Nights or weekend it's full of EBT tax burden scum just looking to "hit a lick..." However, I'm stocking my bar with these corny booze giveaways..lol
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  10. deansrobinson

    deansrobinson VIP Whale

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    Kissimmee Crime Family...why, Gino....whatever do you mean?:whistle:
    [​IMG]
     
    • Funny Funny x 1
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