The Cosmopolitan Hotel Fiasco
When I was in 7th grade I fell head over heels in crush with a girl named Sharon. We would eat lunch together, hang out during recess together, make goo goo eyes at each other during orchestra class and talk on the phone for hours after school. One could say that we were definitely on the cusp of "going out."
After a few months of unofficial courtship, I decided that I would ask her to be my girlfriend at her upcoming birthday party. I was excited! And nerrrrvous and... a little bit scared! This is a big deal for a very dorky yet supremely cool 12 year old!
As my parents sped away after dropping me off, I rang the doorbell. Sharon answered the door, stepped outside and closed the door behind her, sealing off the sound of the ongoing teenager birthday hijinks emanating from within. "Chuck, I wanted to tell you that Sean asked me to be his girlfriend yesterday and I said yes."
I don't remember what my verbal response to her was, but I do remember my internal emotional one - I was crushed. For the next four hours I watched Sean and Sharon making out, occasionally unleashing my anger by throwing donuts at them. When my parents arrived, I darted to the car, climbed in the back seat and cried my eyes out all the way home.
Sometimes things just don't work out.
Today, the day of Cosmopolitan's grand soft opening, was another one of those days.
For the last ten months, VT has spent a considerable amount of time dissecting and deciphering every single shred of information we could uncover about the Cosmopolitan. In advance of the opening, we strategized a detailed plan would result in our providing some of the most comprehensive on the ground coverage of a casino opening we ever have. Today, I arrived at Cosmopolitan at 12:35pm, 25 minutes before I was told check-in would begin. At 1pm, I was told that check in would be delayed 15 minutes. No bigs. At 1:15, I was told that check in would start at 2pm. At 2pm, I was given keys to a room, but no room number and was told that the front desk would call with the room number shortly. Fine. Weird. But sure... this is the first day of operation, I'm more than willing to cut a whole huge gigantic bunch of slack. At 3pm I went to see if my "room was ready." It wasn't, so I went to the bar where I drank two ginger ales and shot the shit with Hunter, Dr. Dave and the rest of the VT crew. By 3:45pm, most of the other folks started hearing that their rooms were ready and vanished. 4pm comes and goes. 4:30 comes and some of the high level Cosmo execs who I met during the previous days' pre-opening events come by and ask how things are. When I tell them that I've still got no room, they all offer to escalate the issue so I can get my room ready. Respectfully, I decline their offers... it doesn't feel right to me that I should get special treatment in this scenario just because I write for some stupid website. I may have interviewed the CEO a week ago, but today, I'm Joe Shmo, casino tourist.
A half hour later, still no room. By now, I've spent so much time with the concierge staff, we're adding each other to Xmas card lists. Meanwhile back at the bar, one of the aforementioned Cosmo execs arrives with a waitress and a bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue - a scotch that was bottled during the Eisenhower administration 50 years ago - compliments of the house, for our troubles. A phenomenal gesture considering that JohnH was just rebuked by a bartender when he asked if said tipple was available for tasting during their pre-opening open bar. I still respectfully decline to let them expedite the room situation, but waiting just got a whole helluva lot easier. I got drunk before I got a room.
After five booze filled hours sitting in limbo with a dead phone and an empty stomach, I was nearing the point of complete physical and mental meltdown. By now, the property was filled with folks - Steve Wynn, Jim Murren, Bobby Baldwin, Tim Poster and Elaine Wynn were all walking the property along with thousands of other guests. Finally, shortly after 6pm, I stepped to the concierge desk once again, and after some furious typing, was handed the keys to my room... just over six hours after I was told to show up. I headed down to the parking garage to grab my bags, dragged them across the packed casino whereupon I ran into the VT posse, all of whom had spent the last three hours resting, showering, fucking, drinking, relaxing and getting themselves all dressed up in their luxurious Wraparound Suites.
And here I am once again, a 41 year old 12 year old boy, standing at the front door of a party that went south. Now, like then, I wanted nothing more than to dart out to car, climb in drive 300 miles straight home. If I wasn't drunk on 50 year old apology scotch, and didn't have responsibilities, I would've.
I scampered up to my room, angry, tired, drunk and hungry. I stumbled through a shower, fat fingered getting all dressed up, picked up the shattered pieces of a fucked up waste of a day and dove back into a throng of punters flooding the casino floor. The rest isn't important and was mostly forgettable. I hope to forget as much of it as I can when I pack my car and go home.
The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas is a two minute egg... it isn't done yet and under certain circumstances can make you incredibly sick. The place looks great, in particularly the art. The staff are incredibly friendly and eagerly willing to help, if only they knew what they were doing. The hotel operation is a nightmarish disaster of epic proportions. My suggestion to you is to come and take a look, but until they get this mess sorted, book somewhere else.
I realized shortly after the birthday party incident that Sharon was mostly using me to make this Sean guy jealous as they had "dated" previously. If she had only massaged my preteen heartbreak with a bottle of Pepsi Clear, I might have accepted her Facebook friend request.
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Vegas Gang #125: Nov 12th, 2015
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