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Harrah's Takes a Spin at Recession Marketing

By MikeE on Friday, 13th November 2009 1:05pm
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 4


It seems low rates and freebies just haven't been enough, which is great news because we're starting to see resorts flex their marketing idea muscles a bit.

It started with MGM's Prima where if you're going to eat at Robuchon or fine dine and wine with three others, forking over the $500 is a no-brainer. Then, as has been discussed on The Admiral's blog, Planet Hollywood is pitching 10 nights to be used from November 15 through March 15 for $600 - an ok deal for the Sunday through Thursday crowd, a phenomenal deal for the weekend warrior.

And now Harrah's is getting into the game with their Total Experience service offering personalized concierge and VIP access to anyone booking three or more rooms. Considering that it's clearly marketed towards the Vegas n00b who's overwhelmed by the city's options, the program's got both pros and cons.

The bad: It's Harrah's. What does that mean? It means the concierge is going to take advantage of a newbie and recommend a bachelor party a restaurant at Imperial Palace before anything at an MGM Mirage property. After dinner (and the runs), they'll feel extra special with their own private 6:5 blackjack table.

The good: It might be a saving grace to Caesars Palace, which if you'll recall, didn't score highly on my most recent trip. If the service can get you to bypass any line in the hotel, you might actually have a relaxing time there.

Conclusion: a nice perk to have with a large group, but if your party of six is perfectly happy with three people to a room, don't bother booking more rooms just for the benefit.



Comments & Discussion:

Rather odd that the Total Experiences web page is bordered with the grill of a GMC Denali.

The success of this idea depends heavily on the offerings and level of service. As opposed to Prima and the PHo bulk room offers which only vary depending on room availability. If Harrah's really allows the concierges to act like hosts by freely making available and offering use of VIP lounges, limos, club access, and room upgrades then this could be great. Alternatively, if this is no different than the existing concierge services and is just an excuse to charge convention room rates (as opposed to lower discounted tourist rates) then this is nothing more than a sham. Unfortunately, there is no way of knowing what you are going to get and they can change the rules at any time. I don't have much faith that Harrah's is the company that can make this work.

I wonder if they can book me a table on the patio at Mon Ami Gabi or if I still have to wait in line?

Considering that Mon Ami is independently owned by Lettuce Entertain You and won't even court Diamond holders, I highly doubt it.

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