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WOW: Bellagio Institutes Surge Pricing At Bars

By Chuckmonster on Wednesday, 18th November 2015 10:43am
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 22


MGM Resorts International has another new front in their Profit Growth Plan war on customers... the bar. Just like tightening slots and table games, MGM is now turning their cost control and variable pricing focus to squeezing more money out of booze sales.

I'll turn the mic over to VT superfriend Donnymac66 for this amazing story about what he found at Bellagio recently. Take it away Donny!

- - - -

Monday morning waking up with another post #VIMFP hangover I had 8 hours to kill before I needed to head to the airport. After picking up my swag from Chuckmonster (12 Not your Father's Root Beer, 2 Waffle House coffee mugs, 1 Ballys pen and a "When The Fun Stops" pamphlet) I checked out (late) from my Golden Gate Suite and headed to what has, for the past 2 or 3 years, become our Vegas homebase - Bellagio.

I love rolling up to Bellagio's beautiful porte cochere and being greeted by their friendly, professional staff. This time was no different. I dumped my bags with the bellman and bee lined to my favourite bar for some poker slots and a beverage or two to kill some time.

I saddled up in one of the extra comfortable stools and was immediately greeted by my favourite bartender (who shall remain nameless.)

I ordered a beer and proceeded to chat and play, nothing out of the ordinary. A guest arrived and ordered a Baileys and coffee, the same drink my wife prefers to start her day with. This bartender always pours a generous amount of Baileys. On this occasion, he grabbed a jigger to measure the booze. Huh? Is it possible that we have been receiving special treatment as regular guests. I mentioned to the bartender that my wife always loved his Baileys and coffee and that's when he told me that recently they stopped free pouring booze and every drink was now to be measured. He said the bartenders were not pleased by this and neither are customers.

I played a bit longer and a guy came up to the bar and ordered a Bud, it was $8.35, I think. After he left I commented to the bartender that that was pretty pricey for a domestic macro beer, he agreed and told me that on Friday and Saturday nights the prices are increased to $9.45. I asked if that was the case for all drinks and he confirmed that on weekend nights and holidays drinks went up in price.

- - - -

Amazing! Welcome to MGM Resorts International's Profit Growth Plan, a scheme to save money by switching to generic toiletries sheets and amenities, optimizing costs and adding fees that customers wont see.

Since when does pissing off customers please stockholders?


Comments & Discussion:

Wow they are hell bent on ruining a good thing. Next up: paying to view bellagio conservatory, pay to ride the mandalay tram, pay to use bellagio moving side walk, toilets that accept slot vouchers, water meters on your showers (pay per gallon), restaurant Fee (includes dish cleanings, silverware and access to in restaurant menus!), and finally, peep windows @ the bellagio fountains only 1 dollar per minute of your viewing pleasure!

Me thinks its time for MGM to go private. Worry less about stockholder experience and more about customer experience. Customers drive profits.

MGM will push this too far, and it will snap back on them like an overstretched rubber band. I hope.

You aren't naming your bartender because his name is Scott, right?

I remember they had weekend drink pricing at the Mirage about 8 or 9 years ago (before the recession), so it is more like re-instituting an old policy rather than something brand new.

This policy sucks, but it makes sense, as long as the price stays consistent and truly isn't surge.

All of Vegas caters to different people on different times of the day. Mid week convention folks on business have different expectations than those who show up on weekends to drink and have fun.

Want to talk about surge pricing? Go on Chinese New Year...then we'll talk

I'm sure that MGM along with Caesars get some pretty good volume discounts on their booze, likely even cheaper than what someone like Walmart pays. I would venture to guess that two beers pay for the entire case.

Since we walk most places, it's so easy now to just go into one of the many CVS or Walgreens along the way and get the brew you want, great selections of IPAs, and bring it into the casino. You can get a 40 for the same price as a 12 oz beer at those casino bars.

This is also taking place in the retail shops owned by mgm

Bellagio has also changed its website. And for the first time I see you can book online the Chairman/Presidential suites and even the 2-and 3-bedroom Villas.

Bellagio has been my home base for about the last five years and I have a similar fave bar and bartenders. It used to be the Wynn, but they got stingy with the liquor and I moved. I guess I'm left to going back to CP, my old home from yesteryear. Sigh...

The buffets also have holiday pricing. Not a big surprize there. Fair, no.

The thing is, while people that follow this site surely notice these things... I'd bet 70-90% of Vegas visitors do not, which is why MGM is moving forward on these anti-customer initiatives. W

Okay, time to try out Tahoe. This last trip to Vegas might be my last for a while. Profit Growth Plan = making this customer feel over Vegas.

Dont know why this is surprising. Vegas is booming, so theyre cutting down on the freebies and milking the visitors for all that they can. Wynn is raping people with the gaming (2x odds in craps and 6:5 BJ? f#ck off steve...which is why i didnt book my next trip there), now MGM is doing it with the amenities. The best you can hope for is another crash so they can all reset to regular pricing.

The new Bellagio website is awful, and based on the template used by MGM Grand and Mirage, both of whose websites I hate. I really do hope they're not going to pull a Caesars and basically make every site for all of their hotel properties the same (given that they're both ugly and hard to navigate), but I'm not optimistic.

Don't you know there's an Arena coming? They have to get everyone ready for when the Arena opens and everyone sees Arena pricing for the first time, and the Arena fills the strip with hundresds of thousds of people who have never been to an Arena before and don't know what an Arena is like.

I cannot say that this is a shock. Rates is other places change due to the day. They figure you aren't going to notice since you are alread paying a higher room rate for Friday and Saturday. They measure the amount of meat you get in a sandwich at Subway so doing the same for a drink is par for the course.

Casino Royale looking better and better

I agree with 44inarow. The MGM and Bellagio websites are horribly designed. Much less functional than they were before. The only good thing being that you can now book the Lakeview and Grand Lakeview Suites on the website instead of still having to call. Still, "generic" "luxury" MGM soap, and being nickel and dimed for everything else doesn't really make me want to fork over $1500 a night to sleep in the same bed MikeE did.

Gag what an ugly website... The conservatory webcam is still up though and, oddly enough, still looks and links to the old website...

WOW, $10 for a Bud??!!! They will continue with these prices until the bottom falls out again or people wise up and stop paying.

I guess I'm not surprised, but still disappointed. The Strip is becoming that Friend that keeps changing, hanging out with new, stupid people, and even though it is sad to see them growing apart from you, there must also be an acceptance.
I went to the Cosmo a few days and had my traditional opening day snack at Holsteins-buffalo chicken wing dip and two beers $41.
At Triple 7 that evening, I bought my (other tradition) philly cheesesteak and two beer dinner, it was $14.
Another thing that struck me as I left the Strip to return to L.A., is that I always used to look at the Strip in the rearview mirror. Multiple times. This time, I didn't even think about catching that last view until it was completely out of sight.

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