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Harrah's Takeover of Planet Hollywood Is A Done Deal

By Chuckmonster on Monday, 4th January 2010 3:04pm
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 13


There's no point complaining about it, or wishing that it's not gonna happen, Harrah's debt purchase of Planet Hollywood is a done deal.

In early September 2009, Harrah's began purchasing Planet Hollywood's debt. Forty-five days later, Harrah's filed application with Nevada Gaming Control to buy the joint. Harrah's CEO Gary Loveman sent this email message to Harrah's employees:

The Planet Hollywood resort is currently in default to its lenders. As a result of our purchase of their debt, we are working on a plan that also would allow Harrah's to own and manage the property. This is an attractive proposition because of Planet Hollywood's proximity to our other resorts on the Strip, its high-quality product offering and its strong brand name.

Within days, two high ranking executives brought in to manage the rebirth and repositioning of Planet Hollywood left to go fix the Tropicana. We expect even more defections as Harrah's looks for cost savings and redundancies.

Commenter David on Five Hundy's 5th Anniversary Show pointed out that Planet Hollywood is leaving Starwood Preferred Guest program (SPG).

Leaving Starwood on January 15, 2010 - The Planet Hollywood Hotel & Casino, A Sheraton Resort will be leaving the Starwood system on January 15, 2010. Reservations for dates on or after January 15, 2010, will not be eligible for Starwood Preferred Guest membership benefits, award redemption or accrual." - SPG

Twitter user @josephthomas asked @phvegas about this directly earlier today:

Welcome to Planet Loveman.

Sources have told us that Planet Hollywood will enter Harrah's property pecking order right below Caesars Palace directly above Rio and Paris. The Planet Hollywood name will remain on the property and become part of Harrah's global branding strategy along with the Horseshoe, Caesars, Ballys, WSOP and Flamingo names.

Much like you, we're always sad when Harrah's gobbles up yet another property, particularly when it was starting to look like the opposite was about to come true.

Would it be stupid for us to hope that Harrah's acquisition goonsquad will take the time to glean lessons from Planet Hollywood's success? Stupid is as stupid does and here's a whole lotta stupid: people are attracted to Planet Hollywood because it provides a great return on the value proposition... from dining to drinks to dice, nearly all offerings at P.Ho are a square deal. The sharp, bright and exciting atmosphere attracts smarter, bargain aware. middle tier players and stayers who will more likely start the day with a Mimosa than a Metamucil. Being footloose does not preclude being financially irresponsible.

Perhaps the most important part of P-Ho's success - and the one that will most likely be lost on Harrah's bean counters - is the shocking reality that it became the magnet property for those who have grown weary of the Harrah's marketing algorithm. Total Rewards in their eyes is a perfect demonstration of how total information awareness can turn your psychology into a mathematical equation. Harrah's infotechnologists have effectively reduced your entirety to an array of values in a database from which a marionette of enticements can built and choreographed.

In the old days, dealers knew your name, what you drank, what you played. Today, it's like checkin' into an airport. And if you order room service, you're lucky if you get it by Thursday. Today, it's all gone. You get a whale show up with four million in a suitcase, and some twenty-five-year-old hotel school kid is gonna want his Social Security Number." - Ace Rothstein

Tropicana or bust?



Comments & Discussion:

Well, crap. That's worth a one-star drop on my profile's favourites list. Done.

And yeah, I know I sound like the most ineffective internet whiner with that statement.

They better keep @phvegas !!!

After reading this article, I'm a little scared about the future for Planet Hollywood as well. I always like going in there and the other thing this does it bring the Strip that closer to a two-company "monopoly." I know monopoly is the wrong word because it indicates one, but if two companies own everything and both have bad rules and impersonal experiences, there is no incentive for them to engage in any real competition for your business.

Also, while I agree that Harrah's rewards system is out of whack, I am a low-level grinder and have qualified for comps. The MGM reward card wouldn't rate me at a blackjack table unless I played $25 a hand. Call me naive but how many people (especially in this economy) play that much? When I was out there last time, the $5-$10 tables were packed at casinos while anything $25 over seemed like a ghost town.


Sigh, although I think PH did itself no favors in the way it changed its comp policies after the renovation, I do hate to see it go. It was one of the spots I sought out after the duopoly took over and enjoyed it for 3 or 4 stays.

It's not even so much that I don't love what HET does with their properties, it's more along the lines of MGM and HET's corporate philosophy tends to make the properties 'identical' in their own way. Whether it's the 'modern' updates of Luxor or TI, to the dumbing down of Rio after the purchase from the Marnells. It's just more of the same and a severe lack of competition.

I think next trip I'll be spreading some play downtown, at the Hilton, and the Trop. While I know the trop still has some issues, there are things I've read and seen them doing that makes me think they might be a place that fits for my mid level gambling budget at some point.

I hope Gary Loveman gets an incurable case of the clap for this.

I used to receive numerous comps and vip check-in at the Alladin. When PH took over, I did not receive any invitation as far as comps or a continuation of my vip status. We then to moved to Paris and have been well taken care of since. Numerous comps, vip check-in, vip restaurant entry, diamond lounge, penn&teller tickets...The ability to charge additional PH restaurant properties to my room and pay with Total Rewards points and casino host comps sounds great to me. One plug for the Crap Dealers at Paris and Bally's...always friendly and pulling for you...I hope the dealers at PH are the same way. Change is inevitable and in this weak economy, the stronger companies will survive. RIP Alladin and PH.

Only good thing I see out of this is that now I will be able to redeem Total Rewards comps to pay for the Spice Market Buffet. I just hope they don't downgrade that buffet like the way the Rio's Carnival World Buffet has gone downhill over the past few years.

PHo was one of my homes away from homes when in Vegas so I hope that Harrah's doesnt screw the place up. One advantage is thta I can use my Total Rewards card there because the starwood deal kind of sucked. My advice to the new owners-get rid of the timeshare leeches posted at the elevator exits and the front door.

People have heckled and made fun of The Trop for so long. But... it might step in to fill the void PH is leaving once the remodeling is done.

Also, lots of "old school" guys are heading over to run The Trop. Which may result in more of an old school attitude toward players and comps. By modern standards, Trop will be boutique.

PH is going to be ripe to capitalize on business from CityCenter. From much of CC, it is a closer walk to PH casino than to Aria. Plus, those staying in CC will be constantly looking at the warm, inviting desert colors of PH (with the warm, desert mountains behind it) which creates an inviting contrast from CC.

Uh, no. The PH looks like a control room at a television station with a tower of shit in the background.


Ah, Harrah's buys another property. I'm sure they can buy the Trop, Sahara, and the Riv if they want to, but I fear Kirk, Steve, and Sheldon will disrupt their plan for owning ONE ENTIRE SIDE OF THE FREAKIN' STRIP!!! Sorry Gary Lovetrain!

Russel, you did make me laugh a little bit though at calling Harrahs a strong company, but even that I guess is subjective, since in this case, they can buy enough debt.

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