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Another Weekend at the Beau

Last edit: wpsteel66 on Wednesday, 28th July 2010 4:29 pm
Last response by wpsteel66 2nd August 5:07pm

This report describes our weekend trip to the Beau Rivage (Biloxi, MS) and includes hotel, casino, and crowd conditions plus restaurants. We tried a new steakhouse (Boomtown Steakhouse) and recommend this for a great (and not expensive) steak dinner. I am really late in posting this trip report (we were at the Beau the first weekend in May 2010)

In short, maybe I just had a bad experience this trip. But I am going to investigate other hotels/casinos for our next trip to Biloxi. Yes, in the past I praised the Beau and said many good comments. Things were okay during this trip, but a noticeable reduction in service during this trip. I feel as though they no longer value long-term customers and if you are not dropping thousands of dollars, you are insignificant to them. Casino conditions were not ideal (really crowded with many disruptive drunks). We did have some good meals and enjoyed the spa/work-out facilities. However, the weather was not ideal for pool side relaxing and enjoying the outside. But especially, comps were pretty much non-existent this trip for me at this property.

Our last trip to the Beau was during Nov 2009. A lot has happened to us from customer service perspective. In short, do not hold your breath for getting things comped, expect to pay to use one of the pool side gazebos (always free in the past), crowds are more heavy and security is slow responding to people fighting, fewer craps tables means waiting to get onto a table and more people crowded on the table, and more wait time for customer requests being responded to.

I posted a report of the Beau Rivage resort/hotel/casino on this website last year (May 2009) and some additional details in Nov 2009. So I am not going to restate all the details of the rooms, casino, pool, and spa. The major activity/event going on this weekend was the champions PGA tour stop. So people were in town to watch the golfing event at the Beau’s golf course. A few other casinos were sponsoring this event, so many buses were traveling back and forth from the casinos to the course.

We arrived late Thursday night (midnight, April 29). Both of us had to work on Thursday, but driving to the Beau after work is not an issue. Interstate traffic was not bad at all and drove to the Beau without any problems. I did not have to wait to be checked-in and the process was quick. However, the lady said only 2 rooms available: king smoking with gulf view OR double-non smoking with city view. In the past we had a smoking room and there was no odor in the room. So I took the king with gulf view. We opened the door and the smoke smell was pretty evident. The wife was not all that happy but was really tired so she went to bed.

I went to the casino and played for just over 1.5 hours. About 95% of my casino play is craps. The Beau did some rearranging of the table games. In the past, as soon as you walk into the casino from the hotel, the 8 craps tables were on your right, in two columns. The walkway turns to both the right and left, with the blackjack tables. Now blackjack tables are placed where the craps tables were and the craps tables are in one section where the blackjack tables were. If you have been to the Beau, the craps tables are next to the cashiers’ cage. They still have blackjack tables if you turn left on the walkway going towards the poker room and steakhouse.

Besides moving the craps tables, they reduced the total number from 8 tables to 6 craps tables. They still have the one crapless table. The minimum remains at $10 with 10x odds. I talked to some of the dealers and they said the blackjack tables were moved to the entrance to give the appearance of the casino being full since these blackjack tables are the ones always open. I did notice all the blackjack tables stating “Dealer hits on all soft 17’s”. But still pays 3:2 on blackjack. Three craps tables were open Thursday night when I arrived. I was the last player at one table, so they closed the table about 2am and still had 2 open.

Friday morning we went to the pool by 8am. We were the only people waiting for the pool to open. We knew it was an overcast day, but did not realize how strong the wind was at the pool. We also learned that the pool-side open gazebos were no longer open to any guest on a first-come-first-serve (that is why we always arrived so early to the pool to get one of these). The pool host said these cabanas were $75 per day and the other cabanas (tents near the hot tub) were $150 per day.

Since the wind was really strong and the weather not good to be outside, we went to game plan B after breakfast. We went back to the room. I responded to emails via my phone and she got ready for the workout center/spa. After my emails, I went next door to the Hard Rock. They had only 1 of their 4 craps tables open (all 12 footers). There were about 9 people playing and I joined in. The table limit was $5 with 10x odds. I played for about 2 hours and had some good rolls along with a few other players. This table was not too bouncy.

After leaving I went to the Beau and shot craps for about 2 hours. I did okay and then decided to take a break. I went back to the tables after checking emails and played until about 4:30pm. Results were mixed, in fact not that great.

For dinner, we decided to try a new steakhouse that opened a few months ago. We went to the Boomtown casino about 2 miles north of the Beau. This casino has no hotel but primarily caters to locals. I was a bit surprised to see the casino was so busy with gamblers. I failed to make dinner reservations the night before, but thought that dinner by 6pm would not be an issue. Well, I was wrong. They were not able to accommodate us, so I made reservations for the next night. We went back to the Beau and ate at the Coast restaurant. Again we were seated immediately, but there were a lot of people eating by time we were finished. During our past trips, this restaurant was not busy at all. We had a really good meal, and ordered one of our usual meals, pepperoni pizza and chicken nachos. We did not finish either dish and took the pizza back to the room in a to-go box. But we first stopped at the gelato place and had a great tasting bowl of peanut butter plus chocolate fudge gelato.

I decided to go back down to the casino about 9:30pm. Man was this place busy and packed with people. All 6 craps tables were jammed with people and I had to wait almost one hour to get onto a table. I actually went to the room and got my car keys to drive to another casino, but decided against that since I figured on a Friday night all other casinos worth going to for craps play were going to be busy. I finally got onto a table at the Beau about 10:30pm and stopped playing about 2 am, but nobody had any really good turns shooting the dice.

Saturday morning I did not bother going to the pool and she went to the workout center/spa. This morning I decided to play some craps at the Grand Biloxi, a Harrah’s property. I arrived abit after 10am and only one of their two craps tables open. Both tables are 12 footers; the open table had a minimum of $5 and 10x odds. The table was crowded and I was not able to be in my favorite table position. This table was not doing well and I saw them opening the other table. So I went to this table (12 footer but $10 min and 10x odds). I was able to get my favorite shooting position. My first roll was really great; hitting the 6, 8, and 10 consisting. There were only 2 other shooters at this table. But during my last roll a man came to the table and was really disruptive with his hands on the table, confused on his bets, changing his bets, etc. So I left. Overall, I did okay money wise, but nothing spectacular. As I mentioned in my last Biloxi post, Harrahs is still on hold with building Margarittaville casino/hotel (with Jimmy Buffet). I went back to the Beau and continued to play craps on one of their good tables. Again the tables were cold so I decided to go to church at 4:30pm. The church is an easy walk from the Beau. After church I met the wife in the room and we watched the KY Derby. My horse did not win.

We went to Boomtown to eat at the steakhouse Saturday night. Boy was this worth driving back to this casino. The food and service were right on target along with the price. I was surprised to see the selections on the menu and affordable prices (for a casino steakhouse). We ordered the crabcake appetizer, great taste. They gave us a basket of different breads; not your normal bread types. I ordered the NY strip with the rice pilaf plus ordered a side of mac-and-cheese while she ordered the filet with baked potato. Both steaks were cooked to our specifications and plenty of food on our plates. Both of my side items were large enough to share and her baked potato was on steroids. After dinner, they brought the dessert cart for us to view. We could not resist a piece of the homemade peanut butter pie; they have a bakery on site. Man was this pie heavenly and they gave us a piece of pie that could have fed 4 people. The total bill for two steaks, appetizer, side items, dessert, and cokes was under $65.

Since the casino was really busy Friday night, I waited until about 10:30pm to go down to the casino. Again, people were crawling over each other in this place and all 6 craps tables were packed. Luckily I had to wait only about 15 minutes to get onto the good table in my favorite spot. This night was better for us, but not a bank buster.

Each night, disruptive drunks were out in force (usually they are not noticeable at the Beau). But the best show was a lady being really ticked off at what appeared to be her ex-husband/boyfriend who had his new girl hanging on him. The ex-wife was at a roulette wheel close to the craps tables. She saw ex-boy with new girl and was screaming at him and throwing objects at him. He must have enjoyed seeing her wrath and anger cause he just stood there with new girl hanging all over him. Security was slow in responding to this incident. But eventually ex-wife left the table (with her new man) and ex-boy left with new girl. The other good scene was a bride-to-be using a pillar to keep her upright right by the craps table I was playing. I turn around and noticed her and some of her friends trying to help her. Next thing I smell it. I turn around and she is barfing all over the trash can, floor, and pillar. Then she left us with the collateral damage. The housekeeping service did clean, but took awhile.

Sunday morning I went to the casino host to see what he could do for me. This one host is not the most pleasant person and he really did not give me anything ($50 in food). This trip I came in with Thurs night hotel comped but they would not comp my Friday and Sat nights (I did get casino rate ($99/night when I booked the rooms). I figured my play (almost 11 hours ) would get these two nights compedas in the past, but the host said they changed their rules about 5 months ago and would not comp me anything else. Apparently I am not the only one receiving less comps. The dealers are commenting on that along with other people whom I talk with. The host office is right next to the craps tables. I walk out of the host office and I was not planning to do any shooting since I did not have good luck the past day and half. But I see the good table with only 2 people. So I start shooting the dice and had the best rolls of my trip this morning. Needless to say that time was pretty good for me and I left on a good note. We checked out by 10:30am and had to wait about 5 minutes for a desk person.

So in the end, service at the Beau was not as good as in the past (in my opinion) and casino utterly crowded at night. We really did enjoy the Boomtown Steakhouse, which was well worth driving off campus from the Beau. Maybe in a few months I may have a different opinion of the Beau, but I will research the other casino hotel offerings for my next trip to Biloxi.

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 Chuckmonster responded on Friday, 30th July 2010

holy crap. that is a gigantic trip report!

i'm not surprised that with such a crowded casino that they were a little tight with the comps as compared to previous. until the economy rebounds, the comps will continue to be held on tightly.

i was wondering if you had transferred your MGM Players Club card to the new Mlife tiers. Beau Rivage is where they launched it.

you also mentioned: "This table was not too bouncy." about the Hard Rock and repeatedly mention that you have a favorite location at the table, sounds like you are doing sharpshooting. If so, I'm curious how successful it has been for you.

thanks!

 wpsteel66 replied on Monday, 2nd August 2010

About 3 weeks ago I received a packet from MGM that had my MLife card. I did not request the card or complete any paperwork; the card was automatically sent to me. I read in the accompanying literature that they have 4 tiers for this card. I was given a card in the second tier (Pearl).

I have not attended any dice classes, but have seen people shoot using these techniques. Since shooting from a selected table position, I have seen a difference. Although, I have not quit my day job.

 hopebh responded on Friday, 30th July 2010

Sorry that you didn't enjoy your trip but thank you for taking the time to write it all down. As an ex-smoker I can't imagine staying in a room where I could smell the smoke especially if I have to pay for it.

We took a junket their from St Pete for the first time a few weeks after you and for the most part we enjoyed the Beau. We didn't find it overly crowded, but then again we were there on a Sunday leaving Wednesday.

As far as players cards are concerned, when we were there in the middle of May the Mlife had not been launched and when they gave us copies of our cards, they were the old players club cards.

What they did have that was very cool was kiosks that you could go to and it would tell you what freeplay and comps that you had available. For example, I could have gotten 7 dinner buffets, $20, $40 or $60 off of at different hotel restaurants, etc.

I think this sort of system will be very cool once it gets to Vegas.