April 2009
« Mar   May »



Let me dealertain you

This Dealertainer at Imperial Palace is apparently meant to be Elvis.

Tell me, am I insane for thinking – right up until the minute he started singing – that it was actually Robbie Williams?  Apart from the obvious clue that nobody in America has heard of him.  It’s uncanny, don’t you think?

Elvis impersonators and dealers probably make up something like 99% of the Las Vegas workforce, so is it really that hard to find someone who can both be a convincing King and deal blackjack?

I only managed to a identify a few of the other dealertainers that were on that night.  I struggled with the obligatory country singer (although "some dude in a cowboy hat" is always an acceptable answer as far as I’m concerned) and failed to identify the Rihanna looky-likey, although to be fair chances are I’d never have recognised the real thing either.

I must be getting old.  Seriously, is Rihanna really in the same league as Elvis, Britney, Prince, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder and… err Leona Lewis?

Nope, apparently she is meant to be Mariah Carey.  You decide:


Texting Las Vegas

It’s the first time I’ve seen these "text X to Y to get spammed with offers" campaigns from Las Vegas casinos.  I’m sure there must be more than just these two, but these are the ones I saw on billboards and duly sold my soul to:

Text "RIO" to 227466 :

Text "MGM" to 30364 :

MGM’s texts began by asking me to verify my age.  Because, surely, if Rusty Griswold wanders up to the bar with his iPhone looking for a free drink, they won’t need to check his ID if he’s already answered this question truthfully.

Then they sent me a room offer, which is a little bizarre when I saw the billboard only about 10 minutes out of town.  I guess there’s a chance I could have driven in from LA without a reservation, hoping for a last minute cheap deal and think this is the one, but it seems unlikely.

Then, they chased up the same room offer later that day.  Just in case I was still homeless.  Seems like a waste of marketing to me, but what do I know?  I just want the freebs.

It’s not really a competition, but Rio wins this one for me hands down.  I received 8 of the promised 10 offers in 3 days, with a new one being sent like clockwork three times daily.  I’m sure I only missed out on the last couple because I was already on the plane home by the time they sent it.  (MGM stopped much earlier, I had nothing at all on my last full day in town).

It’s not hard to see Boobilee for half price – it’s been a staple of the POV for many years, you can usually get it when you stay in one of their hotels, and it’s perpetually a discounted show at the tickets for tonight booths.  In fact I expect almost nobody pays full price.  I also don’t know what discounts there are for Voodoo Lounge, but I know I can get free entry any time with Total Rewards Diamond so I expect it’s not hard to at least get a discount.

However, it was the completely free Eiffel Tower admissions that turned this from being a bunch of coupons I wasn’t really bothered by into a great deal.  It helped that it was something I wanted to do anyway, but you can’t argue with the price to get one of the best views of the Strip.  I’ve seen this as a 2fer before but never as a completely free deal.

The only possible drawback is having to collect a voucher at the Rio’s players club, even to redeem an offer at a Strip property.  If the Harrah’s properties on the Strip are operating similar text campaigns they might be doing more Strip-centric promotions, or at least allow you collect the vouchers at a more convenient location.

As we were staying at the Rio, claiming this was a doddle.  They didn’t even want to see a player’s card, they just read the phone screen and handed over a ticket to take to Paris for completely free admission.  No name on the ticket, just an expiry date so you have to use it within 3 days.

It would ordinarily cost $10 each daytime, or $12 at night.  And you can’t sneak up craftily just before sunset – they close between 7.15pm and 7.30pm to make sure you pay extra if you want the view at night.

Yes, I have photos.  They’re coming soon…