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Welcome to Venetian San Diego!

By MikeE on Wednesday, 9th June 2010 9:59pm
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 5


Ever been to Barona Valley Ranch Resort and Casino? They're the highest rolling of Californian tribal gaming. Huge limits, helipads, private rooms, phenomenal blackjack rules, and golf. A few years ago, they even experimented with a cash-only big baccarat table not unlike the early years when the game was first introduced to Las Vegas.

Why all the fancy schmancy? Because they need it. Bad.

Barona's not Pechanga where they're convenient to much of southern California, nor part of the I-10 casino corridor with the likes of Morongo, Agua Caliente, Palm Springs and the surrounding suburbs which give you that feeling like you're actually at a destination oasis. Barona is way the hell out in the sticks, a solid motion sickness-inducing four-hour round trip from Orange County (you'll never cease to question why you didn't just go to Vegas). As for “San Diego” where they claim to be, you're looking at about 40 minutes of single-lane back roads after pulling through downtown traffic. Pray you don't wind up behind their shuttle bus.

Their abysmal location has prevented me from ever getting too excited about them, but their high rolling ways were enough to capture the attention of Las Vegas Sands.

Turn excitement level up a couple notches.

A recent Sign On San Diego article has disclosed that premium players of Venetian and Palazzo will be getting comps for Barona and vice versa. Aside from the rude awakening Venetian/Palazzo's loyal customers will inevitably get when they realize Barona isn't actually anywhere near the San Diego they’re probably thinking of, this is a pretty awesome step forward.

The numero uno reason I go to Harrah's Rincon is Total Rewards, period. And I'm not even that crazy about anything Harrah's in Las Vegas, but I like the idea of getting comps towards my favorite destination. Sure, while this cross-marketing with Venetian/Palazzo isn't nearly at the same level as the Harrah's network, it's a first step that I'm certain all southern California gamblers would love to see more of.

Think about it, Vegas. Despite being all kinds of "bleh," California's tribal casinos, especially those preying on Palm Springs's well-to-do, still get some serious action that your town would love.

Big thanks to reader detroit1051 for the heads up.

Tagged: venetian   palazzo   club grazie   barona valley ranch   harrah's   total rewards   


Comments & Discussion:

my eyeballs popped out when i saw that story the other day. seems like a no brainer but why hasn't anybody other than harrah's dipped their toes into the california market. as for barona, innovation is their m.o. - they invented hand pay slots, ticket in ticket out and tons of other technological advances. venetian could learn a thing or two from these guys.

There is a book about gaming technology that discusses Barona at length. I've only seen it in the Barona gift shop, but here's the Amazon page:

The Casino's Most Valuable Chip: How Technology Transformed the Gaming Industry by Saverio R. Scheri III

Interesting. I drove to Sands Bethlehem (PA) a few months ago hoping to keep my Venetian Club Grazie points current (no LV trip for me this year, dammit), but was told that I had to sign up for a "MySands" card which is valid only at BethSands.

Granted, BethSands is down-market from Venetian/Palazzo, but still: you'd think they would find a way to create some "loyal customer" linkage between their properties. I'd return to BethSands again if I knew it was keeping my Venetian offers warm for next year. Now, forget it.


They found a pretty smart gaming expert to talk to, as well. :)

Yeah, that guy pops up everywhere! He's crazy smart! :-)

They don't serve booze.
'Nuff said.

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