Las Vegas Real Estate
Stiffs & Georges
They burned the Monte Carlo ... and may get away with it
JohnTerez said: Try see it. , <a href="http://smart.fm/lists/152... glass supplies</a>... [More]
They burned the Monte Carlo ... and may get away with it
SoloJ3ss said: Great... , <a href="http://boxesandarrows.com... to make deer a... [More]
Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog.
alex yemenidjian ameristar animals architecture atlantic city australia baseball boulder strip boyd gaming california cannery casino resorts carl icahn charity cirque du soleil citycenter colony capital colorado columbia sussex cosmopolitan current detroit dining don barden donald trump downtown economy election encore entertainment environment florida fontainebleau g2e george maloof harrah's harry reid herbst gaming horseracing igt illinois indiana international internet gambling isle of capri james packer kansas kentucky labor lake tahoe laughlin lawrence ho louisiana lvcva m resort macau marketing massachusetts melco crown entertainment mesquite mgm mirage michael gaughan mississippi missouri monte carlo fire morgans hotel group movies neil bluhm ohio oscar goodman penn national pennsylvania pets phil ruffin pinnacle entertainment planet hollywood politics problem gambling regulation reno riviera sahara sheldon adelson singapore sports stanley ho station casinos steve wynn tamares group taxes technology the strip tilman fertitta tourism transportation tribal tropicana entertainment tv wall street
Posted At : December 10, 2008 12:59 PM | Posted By : D McKee
Related Categories: Harrah's,Herbst Gaming,MGM Mirage,Marketing,Atlantic City,Sheldon Adelson,The Strip,Detroit,Economy,Boyd Gaming,Indiana
A reader recently enquired as to what became of the plan to re-name Harrah's Entertainment as Caesars Entertainment. When I asked Harrah's as to whether that was still on, no response was forthcoming.
My questioner wanted to know, "Do you think Harrah's shelved the plan to rename the company to Caesars partly because they might like to sell Caesars if the price were high enough ... Does going up market with the company image become a hindrance in these tough times?"
Second question first: This is actually a great time to be a casino patron, provided you've got a modicum of discretionary income. I was working on next year's iteration of the Pocketbook of Values today and the offers for 2009 are much better, IMO. Also, we've been seeing a barrage of bargain-oriented marketing messages from MGM Mirage, "freecations" at Herbst Gaming's Primm Valley trio of casino-hotels, plus a Harrah's Las Vegas promo for its comedy club that -- after you factored in the value of Improv tickets and buffet admission -- actually paid customers to stay there, to the tune of $1.50/person. (Some will argue that Harrah's should pay people to stay at its titular Las Vegas property.)
So, yeah, unless you're Steve Wynn, a "snob appeal" message doesn't have much traction these days. The people who can afford a high-end Vegas experience are already here; it's the other demographics we have to worry about. Even Las Vegas Sands -- hardly the image of a consumer-oriented company -- is expanding its loyalty program (Club Grazie) beyond a casino-only proposition. Expenses charged to your Palazzo or Venetian room will now earn points as well.
As to the greater fungibility of the Caesars name if it's only attached to single properties and not the whole company ... absolutely. Who'd want to buy a spun-off Caesars Atlantic City, say, if you had to forfeit or sub-license the Caesars brand? Putting any Harrah's-to-Caesars plan on hold avoids all manner of red tape and legal rigamarole, as well as keeping the option open of unloading those lucratively branded Caesars properties.
Of course, given that a strategy at Harrah's these days has the lifespan of a soap bubble, who knows if that just another of CEO Gary Loveman's will o' the wisp ideas, flung out for public consumption, then quickly forgotten. Indeed, to speak of "strategy" in the same sentence as "Harrah's" is oxymoronic, as the company doesn't evince any -- unless flailing about in every direction like a spastic octopus constitutes "strategy."
Which brought to mind another Loveman idea, mooted and apparently discarded, that of concentrating Harrah's around three brands (Caesars, Harrah's and Horseshoe), which would be designated as its "core" brands. It currently carries 11 on its masthead and has several others. Re-branding Bally's Las Vegas as a Horsehoe was floated -- though mostly razzed -- and Harrah's squandered a capital opportunity to bring the Horseshoe name back to Vegas when it redubbed the Barbary Coast with the generic "Bill's" brand.
An effort to maximize the Caesars brand moved but in fits and starts. So far it's consisted of taking it off the Glory of Rome riverboat casino in Indiana and putting it onto the former Casino Windsor, in Ontario. Harrah's Jacqueline Peterson says, "I can't put a price tag on how much it costs because so much more went into these properties than just marquee and business card changes ... there were new spaces created and upgrades made throughout."
Asked about the "core brand" concept, she was understandably flummoxed. "We have no intention of becoming three brands and we need look no further than Las Vegas to understand why that wouldn't work[:] we have eight distinctive properties here and renaming those into just three names would be silly and really confusing for customers." Of course, during the five minutes that the Harrah's/Caesars/Horseshoe-centric strategy lasted, it was thought that Imperial Palace wasn't long for this world (this was back in 2005, remember) and the Barbary Coast was still firmly within the Boyd Gaming orbit.
If Loveman has more brands than his company can exploit, he's neither alone nor the first. What used to be Caesars Entertainment (née Park Place Entertainment) went through three CEOs without ever cracking that particular nut.
So, is the Caesars brand up for grabs? I'd be very much surprised if it weren't, although that would be one of the most extreme measures Harrah's could take in order to lighten its colossal debt burden.