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Aria's Latest Recipe For Cost Cutting

By Chuckmonster on Tuesday, 7th September 2010 4:26pm
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 12


The turgid regrowth of the Las Vegas tourism and even slower adoption of its newest resort complex - CityCenter - is taking a toll on many of Aria's dining offerings in ways that will surely impact the Vegas tripper experience. With only one of Aria's restaurants - the fabulous Julian Serrano - generating the megabuzz that the property desperately needs, sources inside CityCenter have told us that the Operations and Finance folks are looking to the Food and Beverage department as a place to carve out a large chunk of cost savings until occupancy rates trend higher than the 71% they've managed to discount and comp their way into.

The removal of the booze from Aria's Sky Suites is just the tip of the iceberg of cost cutting currently being packaged for the entire City Center complex. Two full quarters of disappointing results are forcing the company to take drastic cost cutting measures at all of their properties. Numerous inside sources are telling us that many members of middle management, full and part-time employees, union and non-union employees will have their productivity increased (some taking over similar job titles at adjoining properties), full time employees are having hours reduced, benefits cut and many will be made redundant.

Operational hours at most of Aria's restaurants have been either shortened or had entire days gone dark. Most notably Bar Masa, Union, Blossom, American Fish, Sage, The Buffet and have been opening later, closing earlier, are now closed at least one day per week or open only on weekends (Breeze Cafe) or have shut down for weeks at a time. Additionally, we've learned that The Buffet at ARIA has begun to eliminate some of the higher cost stations and menu items - crab legs, carving stations, artisan cheeses and charcuterie etc. - from their offerings but not changing the original price point.

Taking away Sky Suites tipple? Cutting the quality of the offerings/ingredients? Reducing hours at their underperforming restaurants and cutting hours for the employees who work there and interact with guests?

Perhaps we should organize a save CityCenter bake sale?

Tagged: aria   dining   jim murren   economy   


Comments & Discussion:

Wow.. I imagine it's going to get worse when Cosmopolitan opens..

Maybe if they stopped spending so much on literature they send out for a freaking comp offer. I don't need a booklet to tell me I'm invited. Yet alone a magazine quality one. Wynncore sends paper letters. Lesson learned?

Failure is a self-fulfilling prophecy, or something like that. If F&B outlets close or reduce hours, staff gets burned out by "having their productivity increased" and housekeeping suffers, what will draw anyone to Aria and CC? Why not just stay next door at Bellagio where at least you'll still get crab legs in the buffet....I don't know what a charcuterie is, but I'm sure Bellagio has it.

I have to say I'm enjoying this Roman holiday. I'm not a complete ass, so I do genuinely feel bad for the employees of City Center who are getting jerked around (or worse). I'll reserve my vitriol for the corporate types who conceived of this smoldering turd.

From the time the wrecking ball hit the frightening Boardwalk clown in the nose, we started hearing about how City Center was going to change everything we knew about Las Vegas. Except the tone that was taken by MGM was palpably smug, i.e., "You fools have no idea what we're about to bestow upon you." The tone was almost belittling:

If you weren't intimately familiar the achitecture firms employed to design City Center, then you were an unsophisticated rube.

If you questioned the placement of non-gaming hotels at the epicenter of the gambling capital of planet earth, then you were gauche.

If you felt that the completed CC looked like so many nondescript office buildings in Anycity, USA, then you were a simpleton.

If you remarked that Aria's ad campaign failed to offer a single suggested instance of the "fun" that might be had there, well, you were an uncultured boob.

If you offered that Aria's interior color palate of mocha, cocoa, and cafe con leche brown made for a dull interior, then it was you, dear sir, who was the dullard.

If you failed to hail City Center's many pieces of corporate art (His name is Robert Paulson!), then there was no hope for you, you unwashed, fanny-pack wearing baldknobber!

You know what's funny? Across the street at MGM Grand, there's an attraction called CBS Television City, where you can view pilots of yet unaired television programs, and you have the opportunity to submit feedback. Network executives actually use this data in determining whether or not to air some proposed shows. Just think - the mechanism was right there. Rather than telling us, the Vegas buying public, what we wanted, they could have asked, "Should we build an $8.7 billion dollar monument to banality, in the hopes that Las Vegas tourists have simply tired of having fun?"

I'm guessing the answer would have been, "No." This is such sweet, sweet Schadenfreude.

The beatings will continue until morale improves.

blackjacker - actually, some internal info suggests they're cutting back on expensive mailers. Either they're still working on that or you're just that good.

The more I read about City Center the less I care about it. I will be heading to Vegas in 2 months to see the futility up close and personal.

I received a fancy mailer from Aria today. I had the same thought as blackjacker1979.

+1 to Misnomer's comment, I couldn't have said it better myself. As much as I don't like the high end trend on the strip, pushed forward as an agenda by Steve Wynn, I do believe that his resorts still manage to hang on to the essence of Las Vegas. CC from it's inception hasn't had a clue to what it should be, if it wasn't for some of the lieutenants that understand the strip itself, I wonder if it would have had any sort of footprint that was necessary to function on the strip (i.e casino, casino restaurant layout, etc).

As much as there is some satisfaction in seeing CC get its "comeuppance"
I DO want them to succeed.
I don't want another Echelon sitting there....

Back the Chuck's bake sale idea. I can bring the brownies. Things will improve in Vegas but it will take a long time. Way too many rooms added over the last couple of years with nowhere near enough trippers to fill them. Thanks to the bright egotiscal brains (we know everything) who can't see the forest for the trees. Okay enough cliches.

Maybe if they stop putting Charlie Trotter prices on a Wrigley hotdog people would actually eat there. MGM deserves what it gets for copping the "if you have to ask you can't afford it" mentality and acting as if they were going to fill 4004 rooms with Paris Hiltons who wouldn't notice a $9 hot dog as being absurd.

I still like the poker room there but Murren and Company have put on the "we're too good for you" act and snubbed the little guy. Guess what? The top end profit may come form the whales but there are a whole lot of bills that need paid before you hit profit. That is what the little guy does. We pay the bills.

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