A Room with A View; but not for $8 an hour

ImageJustin M. Bowen

A look at the entryway of the Greek villa at Caesars Palace’s Octavius Tower. The villa is one of three in the Octavius Tower and is nearly 10,000 square feet.

The Las Vegas Sun ran a story today on the latest suites at Caesars; the three suites cost $45 million to build, they are meant to remind high-rollers of their villas in the South of France, with a view of the bathers at the pool and will rent for $40,000 a day.  [Las Vegas Sun] Of course, they won’t rent often, instead the best of Caesars players will stay free as rewards for their gambling habits.

A little while ago when one of the Las Vegas newspapers did an article on condominiums at CityCenter, I complained that the rooms as depicted in the photographs looked more like Motel 6 rooms than luxury apartments priced at millions of dollars each.  Well, the same cannot be said about the suites at Caesars; in a world of one upmanship, Caesars has outdone the previous “most expensive” suites in Vegas and produced some really spectacular suites.  I remember in the 1980s, when Hilton spent a million dollars each on suites for its high-rolling whales from Asia, Steve Wynn doubled and tripled that in building the best of the suites for the Mirage and Bellagio and CityCenter seems to think it has gone one up on everything that existed before its opening and it may have.  But Harrah’s seems to have outdone everyone with its Caesar’s offering; someday someone will out spend Harrah’s, but given today’s economy it probably won’t happen anytime soon.

Across the country, the Press of Atlantic City published some of the details of a report from Michael Pollock, publisher of Gaming Industry Observer.  [Press of Atlantic City] The report gives some of the characteristics of gamblers in Atlantic City; the length of stay of a gambler is longer than it was previously, in fact the longest yet recorded; but on the downside, players are spending less than than they were last year or the year before.

The average length of stay of a gambler in Atlantic City is 15 hours, although a full 30 percent of Atlantic City’s customers stay overnight. The average gambler spends $8.84 an hour, down from $10.54 in 2006 when it hit its peak. And herein lies the root of the Atlantic City’s problem.  True, Atlantic City is now besieged with competition for each of its customer; but Atlantic City was never successful at building more than a day-trip customer base.  Those day-trippers driving or coming by bus are most vulnerable to the temptations of casinos the lie in the path of their journey.  And certainly that kind of a customer base does not lead to building 10,000 square-foot, $40,000 a day suites, does it?


1 Response to “A Room with A View; but not for $8 an hour”

  1. 1 Shu April 30, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    I agree. Many of so-called upscale hotel rooms are often just nicer than others by a hair. I’ve stayed at Bellagio a few years ago. Their shows were awesome and foods were ok. The swimming pool was too crowded by those from outside the hotel. The room was located on a high floor but not impressive.

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