Started by level42 on Wednesday, 16th January 2013 8:26 am
Since the closing of the Two Way Hard Three blog, I'd like to light a fire over here and hope all the great minds that hung out there will pull up a chair and bring their wisdom with them.
Seems like it was around this time last year that Tom McCartney took over as COO at Cosmopolitan. I know, at the time...all the pundits were interested in seeing what he would do to turn the casino operations around, improve the seemingly clueless hotel operations, and fix their broken loyalty program. As someone who drinks and dines at Cosmo every trip, but hasn't stayed or played there since the opening months, the only changes I have seen are:
1. Free Wifi gone
2. Resort Fee added
3. Video Poker pay tables tightened up
Will that be Mr. McCartney's legacy at Cosmo...going back on their word from opening day that they would have free WiFi and NO Resort Fee?
Things that haven't changed:
1. Loyalty Club website still down (over a year now!)
2. From the various trip reports I've seen, the hotel operations are still as clueless as ever. People being booked into un-cleaned or occupied rooms, people being charged for services they never used, people not being able to get the room type they have booked...etc.
3. Unreasonably high table limits in the middle of the day when the casino is empty.
4. Empty promises and no callback from hosts.
Seeing as how the Cosmo cleaned up in the Trippies this year, I'd like to hear from some of the readers...what made you vote Cosmo for anything other than food and beverage? Are the burgers at Holsteins, the beats at Marquee, and the balcony views enough to overcome the other major issues I listed above? Has gambling become such a small part of your Vegas trips these days that it isn't even a factor in deciding which property you like?
Additionally, I'd love to hear some discussion on what the heck McCartney has been doing over there for the past year. Is his ability to turn things around hampered by the ownership? Is he just treading water until he finds his next job? Maybe he really wasn't responsible for anything good in the Tropicana turn-around...and we gave him more credit than he deserved?
Last response by lewintn 17th January 6:41pm
Malibugolfer responded on Wednesday, 16th January 2013
Excellent post. Great questions I would likewise like to hear responses to.
detroit1051 responded on Wednesday, 16th January 2013
Great questions. What has happened since McCartney was named COO in the past 13 months?
I found it interesting that someone from Deutsche Bank was recently appointed to American Gaming Association's Board of Directors. Is this a sign that DB wants to stay in the gaming industry?
AGA Board of Directors
HedgedBettor replied on Thursday, 17th January 2013
I can guarantee you Deutsche has no intention of staying in the industry longer than it has to. This is all about exiting at the right price, which means waiting for the logical buyers (MGM and Caesars) to be healthy rather than ailing. If that means a 3-5 year wait then Deutsche is large enough that it can afford to be patient. Plus, they just stick it on their balance sheet as a Level 3 asset and get to value it at whatever they want so operations or industry valuations would have to go south very fast for them to take a large hit.
level42 responded on Wednesday, 16th January 2013
FYI, here is a link to the original article predicting McCartney would do good things at Cosmo. Nothing too memorable in the article, but worth a look for Misnoper's comment below.
michstatemark responded on Wednesday, 16th January 2013
I believe the free Wifi was ended before Tom McCartney joined Cosmopolitan.
Mr. McCartney was a great guest on the Vegas Gang at Podcast-a-Palooza III, but it seems to me his recent record might not suggest you should have expected any major change or improvement.
Tropicana is still stuck at "meh" since the extensive rework of that property when he was there.
The Planet Hollywood thing didn't work out so well either with the under performing property being taken over by Caesars.
thebig747 responded on Wednesday, 16th January 2013
Amen! About time someone questions the blind faith many on this board have for Cosmo.
lewintn replied on Thursday, 17th January 2013
I don't have blind faith in it and get the shortcomings of Identity players club. However, to me, there is no better facility in Vegas than Cosmopolitan. I love the design of the public areas, the car entrance, the rooms, the attitude, etc. Also, I think their collection of dining options is first rate. For my style, Wynncore is overdone and too opulent and Caesars/MGM hold little charm. I've stayed all over the Strip and even downtown and still visit many properties when in Vegas but, if I can swing it, I make Cosmo my home.
jonasjones responded on Wednesday, 16th January 2013
I can only judge the place on my two visits. Both times I had excellent customer service, it wasn't fancy, it was friendly - that is the way I like to be treated. Personally, I love the rooms, (but, I've only stayed in a wraparound suite) and yes, the balcony is a truly special part of why I adore the property so much. I hate clubs and have never been in Marquee, but I really like the service and quality at the bars as well as the restaurants. I can't judge the casino except that I think it has a stunning asthetic, as I like to gamble downtown.
I'm one of those guys that looks at V.T. at least once a day, and outside of the Trippies, I haven't seen a huge swell of support for Cosmo, so I'm not sure you're totally correct in saying there is "blind faith" on V.T. for Cosmo.
etm117 replied on Wednesday, 16th January 2013
My views are similar to Jonas. I have stayed 3 times and always had friendly service. No troubles with any of my rooms.
I don't do clubs, but I (and this seems different from most on this and other boards) enjoy the club crowd. Mostly because I like to people-watch. Vegas is the best place to do it. I have found the crowd at Cosmo so diverse and different from people I am used to being around it is entertaining to just look and stare/wonder/laugh. The Blackjack pit at the bottom of the escalators from Marquee is perfect way for me to start my morning at 4-5am (7-8am east coast where I am from) drinking a coffee and cracking jokes with the dealers about the never-ending line of ridiculousness coming down that escalator.
jimmybond responded on Wednesday, 16th January 2013
I'd like to add a negative change since early last year (???) which is 6:5 BJ payout on ALL double deck (which I have never seen below $25 min in multiple visits). Ridiculous they should pay 6:5 @ $25min while offering 3:2 on $10min 8 deck shoe games. Who are they trying to appeal to???
Still love the place to eat and drink (only bad meal was at Holsteins and they were just opened so working the kinks out?) I can add that one trip I did get dinged with a 4am bar charge while we were sleeping (for a couple hundred bucks). Most annoying to me, they refused to refund it immediately on my protestations, claiming they had to 'investigate', so they went ahead and charged the fraudulent bar tab to our credit card along with other room expenses and only later refunded it separately, thus I got screwed on the credit card FX rate differential (since VISA/MC charge a spread on purchases vs. refunds when doing a currency conversion)
Diablo responded on Wednesday, 16th January 2013
For my one and only visit there 2 months ago i can only address a couple on your list...
no website? agree. its inexcusable they dont have a working website for their players.
bad hotel operations? i never had a problem. my room was cleaned every day and on the days when i had the 'do not disturb' sign on my door they would slip a note under the door to call when i was ready to have my room cleaned. on an aside, i bought a bottle of wine at around 1am and had no bottle opener...called them and they brought one up in 10 minutes. im not very high maintenance, i understand sh#t happens sometimes, so i dont get all bent out of shape over the littlest thing...maybe some people just like to complain?
high table limits? i found plenty of $10 3:2 bj in the middle of the day AND they gladly rated my play at those limits. i also found their dealers to be the most personable of any of the casinos i visited.
im not saying theyre miles ahead of their competition (they have areas that can be improved...but i can say that about every place) but OVERALL theyre at least on par with aria, bellagio, and wynncore and i'd consider staying there again.
and yes, those balconies ARE spectacular. :D
level42 responded on Wednesday, 16th January 2013
A summary of my 2 Cosmo stays...and subsequent F/B visits. Both stays for me have been 3 nights in a 1 Bedroom Terrace Suite. Both stays were within the first 4 months of the opening.
Stay 1 - Booked "Premium View" 1 Bedroom Terrace Suite. Waited half an hour at check-in line, 4pm Friday. Slipped a $20 to agent and asked for Fountain view, was told no more "Premium View" rooms were available...and that I was in a standard view room. I showed him my confirmation email stating what I had booked. He typed around on his computer for about 10 minutes...about every 2 minutes he would mention to me how slow their "NEW" computer systems were. Finally, after making 2 phone calls (I've now been there at the counter for 15 minutes), he said he could put me in a City-Center facing "Premium View" room...but he had to send someone to make sure it had been cleaned. Another 10 minutes goes by, finally he gets word the room is good to go. The room itself was nice, but I was surprised to see the furniture had already been dinged up. The phone and TV in the room were not operational...but I never complained because I don't really use either. At checkout, I had around $100 of minibar and movie charges on my bill that were not mine. That took around 25 minutes to get them taken off.
Stay 2 - Virtually identical to the first. Was told at checkin no "Premium View" rooms were available and ended up looking at Harmon again. Room was great, TV worked, phone did not. Furniture was less beat up than stay #1. This was in April, and I never could get the room cool enough for my tastes (I typically sleep with the room around 68 degrees). At checkout, had bar charges on my bill again that were not mine. This time it took close to an hour to get that sorted out, because they didn't wanna believe me and I kept asking for management.
Gaming - The only play I have put in at Cosmo was about 4 hours of VP, maybe an hour of slots, and some BJ opening night. I, unlike many others, do not hate the casino layout...though it does feel somewhat like the energy is spread around a bit too thin. The main reason that I never have put any more play in there is due to the lack of player's club info. I have no idea how many points I have, if I have any comps (doubtful), etc. I have called the player's club twice, both time waited on hold past my limit and hung up without talking to anyone.
F/B - Since the Cosmo opening, I have been to Vegas 8 times. From the best I can remember, there has not been day on any of my 8 trips where I didn't go in the Cosmo for either food or drinks...or maybe even just to people watch. From that aspect, I absolutely love the property. All of my experiences with their bar staff and food servers have been top notch, and I've never had a meal or drink that wasn't excellent.
In my original post, I based my judgement of current condition of the hotel side, player's club operations, and hosts on trip reports that I've read here on VT, vegasmessageboard.com, vegasjonesing.com, and everythinglv.com. I'd say 60% of the trip reports involving a Cosmo stay that I read have some major issue. On the flip side, I've never had even the most minor of issues with any of my stays at Golden Nugget, El Cortez, or Bill's. I suppose it's possible that only the people that have bad experiences write reports...but, that's part of why I started this topic. Since the Trippies, it's really been bugging me that Cosmo cleaned up like they did. In Vegas of 20 years ago, when customer service and gambling were top priorities, I think they would have gone out of business already. It seems like a year ago, we thought Sir McCartney would be their savior. Maybe Misponer was right...maybe John met his Yoko...and the whole thing came apart?
levans responded on Thursday, 17th January 2013
I make it a point to go to Cosmo a number of times when I am in town because of the food options. Gambling is a minor part of my time spent there. I do not know if I will ever book a room there but every time I have talked with a staffer there they have been friendly and very helpful.
Misnomer responded on Thursday, 17th January 2013
A few random thoughts:
Right or wrong, I give Cosmo a bit of a pass on the douche factor, more so than Wynn at least. And that's because Cosmo never pretended to be the pinnacle of luxury and class, unlike Wynn. Wynn devolved into the Eurotrash disco and dive vodka bar that it has become. Cosmo said from Day 1, "Hey, we're going to have some douchey elements to this joint, but there's plenty of other great stuff here too."
I love the terraces. I like the rooms very much. I love the lounges and bars, especially Chandelier, Book & Stage, Vesper, and even Bond during the daylight hours (great place to play video poker). The video poker throughout the resort is Strip average, and the Identity club has been very good to me. My host returns my calls, and helps out the best she can given my modest level of play. The service at the preferred guest check in is very attentive. They play good music in the resort, and it smells nice. I'm addicted to the guacamole and the salt air margaritas at China Poblano. The meal I had at "e" was probably the best meal of my life - it was certainly the most fun. Secret Pizza is fantastic. Wicked Spoon buffet is real decent. Room service, particularly breakfast served on an in-room terrace, is tough to beat.
I like the promotions they run. The last time I was there I earned a $50 gift card to Zappos with my video poker play. I like that they add total resort spend (ie meals, spa treatments, etc.) to your Identity point total. I even like some of the goofy stores. My kid likes me to bring home a Kid Robot figure every trip for her to color and draw on. I love the center Strip location.
Now, it's far from perfect. There is a douche factor. My toilet backed up last trip and it took a while to get someone to fix it. They have a known problem with the stoppers in their tubs. They're almost always broken, and they're aware of this, and they will send someone up to replace a certain plastic part that repeatedly fails, but it's an ongoing problem. The service at the business center is awful. My wife had a terrible time retrieving a work fax, and got little help from the front desk. Housekeeping has been a problem in the past, but I didn't have too much of a problem last time. My wife ordered me a birthday cake last trip, and they delivered it a day early. I hate that they've added a resort fee.
But all things considered, it's still my favorite resort at the moment. I like it more than my wife does. She described it as, "Very nice, but not really luxurious." I guess that just suits me. Booked again for the spring. :)
skyyontherocks responded on Thursday, 17th January 2013
I have never stayed at the Cosmopolitan so I can't speak for the entire experience. The shortcomings of the casino are well documented. However, I have never been treated with more inter-personal kindness and courtesy for being a customer for the time I do spend on the casino floor, in their restaurants, or at their bars. In Cosmo's short existence, I have been approached by 3 of their floor managers asking me how my visit is going. That is 2-3 more times than most other properties that I frequent. I would even suggest that I noticed an increase in overall better service at competitive properties since Cosmo opened up; I believe they set the bar higher. My wife, who was in the lodging and resort business for many years is a tough sell. She even mentioned the people on the floor seem to be "different" in a good way at Cosmopolitan. The people I have interacted with seem to have a sense of ownership that I don't feel from other places. I am sure others have opposite views and experiences, and the horror stories I have heard about people staying there has indeed scared me a little which is why I haven't tried staying there yet. I would hate to have a bad in-room experience and let it ruin the fun for me in visiting the property and it's amenities.