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Admiral Talks Plaza On NPR

By Chuckmonster on Saturday, 3rd September 2011 10:18pm
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 13

   

Here's a treat... our pal Admiral Hunter Hillegas was invited into the sanitary confines of National Public Radio to offer his take on a recent soft opening stay at the Plaza.

I agree with the accuracy of Admiral's account of the Plaza - greenhorn staff, weird hotel room layouts, unfinished areas, technical snafutti - but I'm having difficulty digesting the severity of his judgements. Aren't these issues to be expected during a soft opening?

Those of us who elected to stay at Plaza before the Sept 1 official opening volunteered to be guinea pigs. The Plaza did NOT have play dates - a week wherein the the hotel invites family and friends to test drive the hotel rooms in advance of opening. We were play date guests. As any hash house chef will tell you, the first pancake off the griddle always goes straight into the trash.

He'll get his on the next Vegas Gang. Wink nudge.

I offer kudos to the Admiral for not adopting the "NPR" voice as nearly every other guest commentator on their network does.



Tagged: plaza   admiral underpants   





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Comments & Discussion:

Have the employees become happy and wonderful since they're officially open? We'll see I guess. I think I was generally positive and I think everyone should check it out.

And yes, a topic for the next show for sure!

Oh - one other question: did you tell me there was a note/letter in your room asking for feedback and explaining that some stuff didn't work? I thought maybe I remember you saying that.

No such note in my room, FWIW. If I had booked through Expedia or some other outlet, I'm not sure I would have even known it was a soft open.

I had great attempts at semi-clueless service from employees, including the security guard who grilled me for taking photos. I did get a note which I posted about. I didn't get a gigantic bar of vegetable based soap until day 2. Hot water didn't work well at first but was great on day 2. My wifi worked fine. As did the tv (not for checkout).

It seems that most of the detractors we both encountered will easily be fixed by having the joint open for a week or two. None of it is a structural crisis or baffling display of sheer idiocy (Cosmopolitan). The berating of the dealer is certainly disconcerting but you could make the argument that this is part of the break-in dealer training process.

I don't think we're that far apart but I'd rather save this debate for the show - I think it's a good topic.

My bottom line, in case it wasn't clear in my comments on the radio, is that The Plaza has a unique opportunity to reboot their image. They just need to be sure not to bungle it.

That wasn't clear at all. It seemed to me that the host poked at the negatives too much. That they even did this renovation is a miracle and was long long long long overdue. You made the Fontainebleau point well, but I think the transformation from skunky shit hole to what it is now is miraculous. This is the downtown equivalent of the Tropicana rebirth... both had the potential to transform properties from underperforming 1.5 star shit holes to 3.5 star properties (generous) but only if the details were tackled on all fronts. My gist is that it is too early to definitively judge.

Yeah, like I said in the post and on the show, everyone should go check out the casino. It's like a whole different place.

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Dig the "NPR voice" comment. I am fine with the station but I always give my wife a hard time for listening to the interviews because it's usually filled with whispering voices and the sound of the interview-ees walking on a dirt road or doing the dishes.

On a *very special episode* of the Vegas Gang... which we'll be recording next week so you won't have to wait too long for Chuck to tell me I'm wrong.

@roaddogg preposterous.

This is creeping me out; when I listened to the interview last night I had the same reaction that Chuck did. How dare you dog the Plaza, Hunter. This is a BETA TEST, dammit!!!
But when I listened to it again this morning it sounded much more balanced. I think Dave Becker didn't want a love fest, but I'm not convinced that he chased the negative. After the third listen, the only quibbles I might have with The Admiral was an unwillingness to give the benefit of the doubt on service improving and the comment about the furniture not fitting the room. I kinda doubt that would be an issue if we didn't know it was bought for somewhere else, but I haven't see it in person yet.
Of course, we know that Hunter is a California rich- kid, Wynn- worshipping, strip-only elitist. Tony Santo is probably calling Robert Earl as we speak.

Nice topic discussion, I haven't listened to the interview yet, but I tend to lean towards Chuck's thoughts here, not only in regards to the soft opening, but more on the fact that it's the friggin' Plaza (or insert downtown property not Nugget here). The fact that they attempted anything more substantial then a thorough cleaning in downtown is groundbreaking and a significant change to the landscape.

Unfortunately every casino I've given the benefit of the doubt to in the past few years has burned me.



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