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Posts Tagged ‘Harrah’s’

Save these dates for Vegas “gift” days

Monday, October 19th, 2009
Harrah's will host the "Great Gift Wrap Up"

Harrah's will host the "Great Gift Wrap Up" from November 12 - 16, 2009. Another event happens at Caesars Palace in December.

If you’ve been playing Las Vegas this year and using your all-important players club cards, you’ve probably been racking up “gift points” at lots of casinos up and down the Strip.  Now is the time to make plans to cash in those annual points by attending the big “gift-o-rama” events held each year by the various participating casino companies.  Make your room reservations now since you must be there in person to cash in your points and these special shopping days bring in lots of visitors to Vegas.

Here are the dates and venues for this year’s big gift giveaways in Las Vegas:

Harrah’s Entertainment will be hosting their fourth annual “Great Gift Wrap Up” on November 12th – 16th, 2009 at Harrah’s Las Vegas and again from December 3rd – 7th, 2009 at Caesars Palace.  Go to GreatGiftWrapUp.com for details plus a look at this year’s merchandise catalog. You can even get your point total.

MGM Mirage’s popular “Holiday Gift Shoppe Event” will be taking place at participating Las Vegas properties from November 28 – December 13, 2009.  Check out this special event at the company’s PlayersClub.com site and click on the “Holiday Gift Shoppe” logo for gift ideas and a special count-down clock.

Grazie Club members can cash in the points they’ve earned by playing at both the Venetian and Palazzo resorts during the “Grazie Gifts” Holiday Shopping Extravaganza in November.  From November 20 – 29, 2009, players here can choose from such high-end names as Tag Heuer, Ralph Lauren, Coach and more in exchange for their points.  Get the details on this event at Venetian.com and click on the “Grazie” tab then select “Grazie Gifts” as your destination.

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Where should we stay in Las Vegas? In praise of Bally’s location and “Old Vegas” charms

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009
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Bally's Las Vegas features big, comfy rooms, a great center-Strip location and more at discount rates.

Several years ago (and, no, we’re not saying how many) when we first started taking frequent trips to Las Vegas  we got a recommendation for a hotel from an unlikely source: our dentist. The topic of “favorite hotel in Vegas” came up during one of those routine visits — the type where you can still talk during the appointment — and our fav D.D.S. (who is a native of Phoenix) told us he traveled to Vegas quite a few times each year for both vacation and to attend dental conferences. His hotel of choice on the Strip: Bally’s Las Vegas.  Now here’s a guy who could stay pretty much anywhere — and had — yet he chose Bally’s time after time.  He gave us a bunch of reasons so we decided to give it a try and ended up agreeing with a lot of what he said.

Since that conversation and first stay, we’ve hung our hats at Bally’s a number of times not only because we use our Diamond status in Harrah’s Total Rewards® club to get free rooms but also because we actually like staying at Bally’s. Is it the fanciest hotel on the Strip? No, not by a long-shot but it may be the best budget hotel on the Strip! (more…)

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Las Vegas, Atlantic City Gambling Revenues Show Continued Downward Trend

Tuesday, January 13th, 2009
You'll have to wait awhile to book a stay in the new Octavius Tower as Caesars stalls the project.

Caesars Palace will wait to add 660 more rooms as Harrah's puts hold on new tower.

When it comes to gambling revenues these days, if there is any bright spot to be found for Las Vegas casino managers it could be — “Well, at least we’re not Atlantic City.”

The numbers coming in from the two biggest gaming Meccas in the country aren’t pretty and certainly serve to justify all the recent changes and holds* we’ve seen on several casino construction projects.

Gambling revenues for the state of Nevada fell 14.8 percent in November compared with a year ago according to figures released last week by the state’s Gaming Control Board.  Within the state, LV Strip properties recorded a 16.02% drop while North Lake Tahoe casinos fell a whopping 26.94%. (more…)

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Casino Promotions in Over-Drive to Attract Gamblers

Tuesday, December 16th, 2008

Has your mailbox been as stuffed with casino offers as ours has lately?   Thanks to the downturn in the economy, P.B. and I are hearing from every casino we ever stepped foot into over the years.  Stacks of promotional flyers for free room stays – now for three or four or more nights at a time! – and invitations to tons of slot, video poker, live poker and black jack tourneys inundate us.  (My mail carrier, Veronica, must think Doyle Brunson’s living in my guest room!)

We’re also being showered with bigger and better coupons for “free slot play.”  Even our local Indian casinos here in Arizona are not only joining in the marketing fray but upping the ante with $100 for Diamond members at Harrah’s Ak-Chin in Maricopa and $25 from Fort McDowell in Fountain Hills, just to name a couple.  Those same offers usually come with food coupons as well.  Free buffets, free dinners, free food vouchers – if you’re hungry they’ve got you covered.

Email offers?  Check.  Offers by phone?  Check again.  Leather jackets, Dooney & Bourke handbags, gift cards?  Check, check, check.

So what really gets us into the casino and sitting at a machine or table?  Locally, coupons for free slot play or cash are number one for us with merchandise giveaways a close second.  But only if the item is something we want like the Sony PSP® we got last year at Harrah’s Ak-Chin.

When we travel several times each year to Las Vegas, we do look at the offers we’ve gotten when planning the actual dates.  We especially enjoy slot and video poker tournaments and try to play in a couple of those each year.  Oh, and cash and free slot play and gift cards are good, too.  Merchandise doesn’t really get us to go to Las Vegas – too far for a leather jacket with “Caesars Palace” emblazoned on the back.

We’re curious.  What are your favorite offers?  What gets you to make the date?

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Smooth Spots to Grab a Cool Drink on the Las Vegas Strip

Wednesday, December 10th, 2008
Parasol Up lounge at Wynn Las Vegas somehow makes eye-popping decor classy.

Sink into this comfy colorful sofa at Parasol Up lounge at Wynn Las Vegas and enjoy a classic cocktail.

These aren’t the Las Vegas bars or clubs where you have to stand in line for hours and hope you get in (that is if you forgot to buy the now popular line pass.)  Nope.  And they’re not the kinds of places whose music makes you feel like the drummer just took up residence somewhere inside your rib cage.  Uh-uh.  These are just a few of our favorite spots to grab a drink, maybe a light appetizer or two, and enjoy some conversation with our companion(s).  We’ve organized these by proximity so you can find a calm little reprieve no matter where you find yourself along The Strip.

Wynn Las Vegas – Hands down, it has to be the lobby level Parasol Up lounge.  We smile every time we see the “Alice in Wonderland” parasols and the bar’s whimsical décor.  Who knew red and gold, blue and green, stripes and polka dots could be so ultimately classy when combined?  (If you take the adjacent circular escalator to the lower level, you’ll be at Parasol Down lounge with its gorgeous view of the lake.) (more…)

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Harrah’s Casinos Team Up with WMS Gaming for New Hot Slot Game

Monday, December 8th, 2008

Here’s a very smart move from Harrah’s Entertainment.  They’ve collaborated with WMS Gaming, makers of the wildly-popular Wizard of Oz machines, (you know, the ones I can never play!) and will introduce a special TOTAL REWARDS® version of WMS Gaming’s new Star Trek machine beginning this week in Las Vegas. 

Here’s the skinny from a joint press release dated December 1, 2008 (Emphasis mine) – “Players who are members of Harrah’s TOTAL REWARDS® program will be able to use their cards to create a personalized and differentiated gaming experience on the STAR TREK themed gaming machines at most of the company’s casinos in North America, as Harrah’s moves forward with a market-by-market implementation plan, subject to additional jurisdictional regulatory approvals.

“This server-enabled, networked gaming platform provides players with the unique ability to personalize their game play, allowing them to save their play status and unlock additional bonus rounds and game episodes over time.(more…)

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Black Friday Shopping? No, This Was Way More Fun Than Shopping

Monday, December 1st, 2008

So it’s now the Sunday evening after Thanksgiving and I haven’t set foot in a store all weekend.  (Well, except for the grocery store and that was just a quick stop for bread to make turkey sandwiches!)  No Christmas shopping, no bargain-hunting, no “Black-Friday-up-at-o’dark-thirty-to-hit-the-mall” stories, nothing … nada.  Instead, P.B. and I headed out to Harrah’s Ak-Chin in Maricopa for Black Friday where we played our favorite video poker game, Spin Poker.™ 

Harrah's Ak-Chin in Maricopa, Arizona.

Harrah's Ak-Chin casino in Maricopa, AZ.

Harrah’s was actually pretty crowded Friday, probably due in part to people using the free slot play coupons — good for the holiday weekend only — like the $100 ones P.B. and I had just received in the mail.  (Way to get people in the doors, Ak-Chin marketing!)  Plus Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays are when the qualifying drawings are held for the $1,000,000 giveaway finale coming up on December 28 at Ak-Chin so I’m sure lots of players came out for that, too.

We had a fun day at Harrah’s — much more fun than slogging through the stores looking for some Holy Grail of gifts.  We each started out playing Triple Double Bonus games on nickel Spin Poker Deluxe™ and not hitting much at first but then the cards started coming and we each hit for some aces, some deuces, and then threes with a kicker.  I even hit for a Royal Flush in hearts.  P.B. had the “best pay of the day” (we always have a fun competition going between us) with his four aces and a kicker on two lines which paid a little over $440.  We stayed most of the afternoon and left with a little more than we walked in with so a good trip in more ways than one. 

Oh, and on a side note, the bank of new Wizard of Oz™ slot machines was crazy-crowded with people gathered around watching the players and rooting them on during bonus rounds.  People love these new Wizard of Oz machines!  Guess you have to get there early to snag a seat at one. 

The rest of the weekend I’ve spent pulling together the holiday “Gift Guide” along with the other gift suggestions you’ll find here on our site — all for you to give to the players on your holiday list.  The Internet is a wide and wonderful place if you know where to look!

And how did you spend your holiday weekend?  Get any gaming in you want to tell us about?

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Great Gift Giveaway this Week at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas

Sunday, November 30th, 2008

Just a quick reminder for Harrah’s Total Rewards® club players — this week is the 2008 Great Gift Wrap Up® at Caesars Palace.  From December 1 through December 7, redeem club points earned throughout the year at Harrah’s Las Vegas properties for a wide array of gifts including jewelry, electronics, luggage, kitchen gadgets plus sporting goods, accessories and more.  Great brand names in electronics include Sony® and Apple® with high-end accessories like Dooney & Bourke® handbags and Movado® watches also well-represented.

To view your points and the gift selection catalog, visit the Great Gift Wrap Up  site here.  Also, while you’re in town, check to see if The Mirage is previewing it’s new Volcano show yet.  A recent video posted at You Tube gives us this look at the fiery new attraction.

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Playing Las Vegas — Games and Places

Wednesday, November 19th, 2008
Planet Hollywood, video poker and a chocolate chip cookie -- that works for me.
Planet Hollywood, video poker and a chocolate chip cookie…that works for me.

I get asked this question a lot — “When you go to Las Vegas, what and where do you play?”  As I’ve written in other posts, I am mostly a video poker player so I always look for my favorite games with the best pay tables.  On The Strip in Las Vegas, you can find me at Planet Hollywood where they have the games I like — Spin Poker™ and Super Times Pay™ plus the multi-game All-Star Poker™ machines — and the pay tables are reasonable for what I’m playing.  For several reasons, “Planet Ho” just has a “vibe” that appeals to me.  I like the music and I really like the adjustable chairs.  The drink servers are friendly and pretty good about keeping me supplied with bottled water and the occasional glass of white wine.  Plus, (more…)

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Hotel Deals that Make Me Want to Live in Las Vegas this December

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008
Wynn Las Vegas offers a winter getaway for you and your friends.

Wynn Las Vegas offers a winter getaway for you and your friends.

P.B. and I have always been big fans of heading to Las Vegas before the Christmas holidays.  We get a little shopping done, take in the holiday decorations — especially the winter display at The Bellagio’s Conservatory and Botanical Gardens — and just kick back and enjoy some down-time during what can be a pretty hectic time of year.  We’ve never found December to be particularly busy in Las Vegas and with the economy in such a downturn we look for it to be even quieter this year so here’s your chance to enjoy the city at a much more relaxed pace and at some great prices. (more…)

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Top Five Spots in Las Vegas for People-Watching & More

Saturday, November 8th, 2008

The top spot on our Las Vegas list goes to Mon Ami Gabi at Paris Las Vegas. Grab a table here for primo people-watching plus a great view of the fountain show at The Bellagio.

Without further ado, here are my top five best spots for championship people-watching in Las Vegas.  Rather than counting backwards like we did with yesterday’s five great spots, today we start with number one – my absolute favorite spot for checking out the Las Vegas crowds.

1.  Mon Ami Gabi restaurant at Paris Las Vegas.  Not only does this center-Strip café and its year-round patio offer terrific food – it’s voted #4 out of 1600+ restaurants on Trip Advisor’s Las Vegas forum – it also provides diners with a birds-eye roost for viewing both Strip traffic and The Bellagio’s famous fountain show.   An excellent list of wines-by-the-glass, a sublime chicken liver mousse pate and loaves of warm, crusty French bread complete the experience. 

2.  Trader Vic’s at Planet Hollywood.  Another great Strip-side patio perch – this one offers live music at night as well as a prime spot for watching the steady stream of shoppers entering the Miracle Mile Shops as well as those hoofing it down Las Vegas Boulevard.    A seriously strong Mai-Tai – a Vic’s specialty – makes the night fly by (almost before you know it.)

3.  Parasol Up/Parasol Down at Wynn Las Vegas.  They’re two, two…two bars in one!  Well, not really since one really is up (stairs) and the other is down (the escalator) but both offer prime people-watching complemented by absolutely stunning décor.  “Down” offers a great view of Wynn’s Lake of Dreams — don’t miss the singing frog — and lots of May/December couples sipping expensive wines.  (more…)

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Best Places to People-Watch in Las Vegas

Friday, November 7th, 2008
Spago Las Vegas offers world-class people-watching opportunities.

Spago Las Vegas offers world-class people-watching opportunities.

If people-watching was ever named an Olympic sport, I would be the Michael Phelps of that competition.  Really.  No, seriously, I would take home all the gold medals every four years.  Just ask P.B. 

So what better place is there than Las Vegas to grab a drink and sit and watch a microcosm of the world pass by?  Hence, (I love that word – I think I was a lawyer in a past life!) I have compiled this list of Top Spots on The Strip for enjoying the “People Parade” in all its glorious diversity.

10.  Wolfgang Puck’s Spago at The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace.  Order a thin-crusted roasted mushroom pizza, a glass of red, sit back and enjoy.  Offers lots of passers-by as well as great views of shoppers trolling the goods at high-end spots like Christian Dior and Loro Piana.

9.  Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville near the Flamingo.  There’s a small outside stand-up balcony for watching the traffic — on foot and on wheels — go by while you sip, what else?, an ice-cold tequila concoction. (more…)

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