Friday, July 19, 2013

Boyd up on resort fees

As of August 1

Gold Coast $11.18 ($9.99 plus tax)
Orleans $11.18 ($9.99 plus tax)
Sam's Town $11.18 ($9.99 plus tax)
Suncoast $11.18 ($9.99 plus tax)

Where I book and why

I wrote this up on a board and decided it was pretty good at defining my thinking so I'll copy it and put it here:

I don't go to the Plaza much, just perhaps for a matchplay or some freeplay that seems to come periodically.
I did hear the rooms are pretty nice.
We'll see what happens as the economy improves and as more folks focus on downtown rather than the strip to avoid room costs and high resort fees. Many visitors don't need full pay tables. They are content if the money they came to lose just goes a little farther and they get some free stuff.

I generally stay at the Four Queens because they comp three nights over the weekend for advantage 10/7 play at the best Double Bonus in the world. They also tack on generous freeplay and cashback.
I'd call that advantage play if I thought I did not make enough mistakes to ruin any real advantage. However, even if we don't play perfectly, full tables make a huge difference in our paybacks.
Rather than argue in small percentage points of overall game paybacks that don't seem to compute with most players, I often show friends the difference by sitting with them and keeping track of the full houses and flushes (say on an 8-5 JOB) that they actually hit and adding up what they lost by being short paid. It eliminates the "luck" argument. Losing sessions lose more; winning sessions win less.
Trying to convince friends and relatives that paytable math makes a difference has convinced me that very few gamblers know anything about pay tables and only some of those can be made to care.
At the Four Queens I also like my very low bankroll play on the nickel single zero roulette which still gives points for play. It is a great mindless entertaining way to play after real gambling money is gone.
I piggy back those free 4 Queens nights with nights at the D where the progressive 8/5 at the Vue is not a bad play at times and a little play gets me two for one room rates, about $15 a night, less if the coupons for breakfast and matchplay that come with room bookings are figured in the formula.
And they do have that Sigma Derby for fun as well as an ancient coin drop full pay Deuces in nickels.
American Casino guide coupons for El Cortez round out any extra nights. And I'm getting to like Sam's Town if I can get the right deal there.
They have some fine video poker there, including full pay Deuces in nickles.... (well really in dimes as ten is the max bet.) They also have it in quarters. East Side Cannery has a whole fairly new bank of full pay VP, but I don't know how long it will be there because I always see it empty.
I seeded them a bit last trip, but I've rarely gotten more than one free night there. I thought the Webpass promotion might give me a freebie, but they scaled back all the real benefits of that program so that anything beyond getting a free hat or buffet or drink is pretty useless.
Stations not long ago was advertising more 100% VP payback machines than other casinos, but I guess that campaign did not earn them customers or money because they are rolling those pay tables back. Just as CET did not get more customers with "no resort fee" marketing.
Then last trip a Four Queens host helped me figure out how to take advantage of low sale rates there to extend my booking without spoiling my daily gambling score. I'm thinking in future trips of making the reduction of check in check out more the priority than simply room cost, just for the comfort of it and patching fewer places together. I'm just too old to chase those free nights at the Orleans with my 80 pound bag of luggage.
Although it will depend on what the D does with the Vue bar. They are going to remodel it somehow (sports bar or upscale glitz bar) and that will most likely mean installing new VP similar to what they seem to do well with at the Long Bar. Then I can't play there.

I say all that because, although my choices in bookings are generally VP pay table driven, I think it would be hard for the Plaza to compete with the full pay at the Four Queens and (for folks with larger bankrolls) at MSS or California.
I suspect they are targeting customers who do not look at VP pay tables. They may be failing to attract those as well.
We'll have to see what the Downtown Grand does and then what a renovated Las Vegas Club does. And if the economy keeps improving, what will Binions do?
I still read of people who love playing at Binions; however, while owned by the same owner as the Four Queens, the VP tables there are terrible. I doubt they would open rooms again and advertise them based on upwardly revised VP pay tables. New places generally feature glitz not gambling as the draw.

I guess I might like the Plaza pool, but otherwise the basic room rates have been deal breakers in comparison with my other downtown deals, and the resort fee adds 66% to my average cost for rooms over a trip of 25 nights.

The Plaza used to attract me when it was a frugal choice and had an inside laundry and TCM on the television. It does seem to please folks on room quality. Sometimes that drives bookings.

The new bus schedule has me thinking about taking a few days to play at Fiesta Henderson, just a 36 minute bus ride from downtown now on the newly routed HDX. I used to like that place 20 years ago and they still seem to have quite an inventory of full pay machines, even in dimes, my favorite level of play.
They have a small resort fee, but generally Station Casinos don't charge it on comped rooms, so if I seeded the place one trip, I might get offers that would be really free.

The last time I stayed there no resort fees had yet been imagined, and my room nights were $9 a night. I'd like to see those days come back again, but I suppose they never will.

Sadly, they no longer serve Feel Good Soup. If they did the decision would be easy.

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Vegas is HOT HOT HOT!!!!!!!!!!!!

While we here in upstate NY suffer from high humidity and perhaps too much rain.
(Never enough for me personally, but my farming friends are pretty hurt by it.)

Vegas is in the middle of heat wave with temperatures that we might expect in Laughlin in August but not on the strip in early July.