The Right Moment for a Complaint (2015/28/01)
When I worked in hotel operations, I would hate it when people would wait to complain at the very end of their stay. There’s nothing I can do at the end of your stay to make anything better, just apologize and possibly offer for you to come back. But you can’t always expect someone to offer you a free stay or free meal when you complain. If you complain at the very end, then you have excepted the poor service or poor quality of the item. The idea of complaining at the end is just to let them fix it for the next person, you’re pretty much telling them you have already excepted the fact that it was ruined for you. I am a firm believer that if you want anything fixed for you, whether it be the quality of the hotel room or a meal or even service you were getting at a show, you need to tell somebody right away. You have to give them a chance to fix it. If they can’t fix whatever the problem is, then you have every right to expect a refund or other compensation.
I went to the Thomas and Mack at UNLV to see Disney on Ice. I know that I booked the cheap seats, and I’m okay with that. We like sitting in the balcony because we get to see everything. I noticed that when we went to get up at intermission that my feet were sticking to the ground. Having been there for many performances, I knew this was not the norm. I could have said nothing and complained later, but that would have done me no good at all and I am determined to raise my daughter to understand that if she pays for something, she deserves to get what she paid for. We don’t accept the ground so dirty that our feet stick. I mentioned something and not only did they apologize and admit they did not have time to clean the balcony floors between the day and night performances, they made it right by taking us to the front row for the second half of the show! That more than made up for the sticky floor and my daughter was threw the moon and so was I. The seats we had were $30 seats. The seas I got were $130 seats. Much better than a partial refund or free ticket for another show.
It goes to show you what can happen when you give a company a chance to make up for what’s wrong while you are still there.
Shake Shack, Just a Hype or is it really That Good? (2015/02/13)
As soon as I heard that Shake Shack was opening in Las Vegas, I got really really excited. Not because I’ve had any first-hand experience with the restaurant but because a lot of my East Coast friends say how awesome it is. So I watched and I waited and I waited and I watched and finally it opened at New York New York Hotel & Casino. The lines were a tad ridiculous at first so I waited until last night to go.
It’s on the corner of New York New York near Monte Carlo on the outside, and you can only get to the restaurant from the outside. I like this because it means there’s no contamination from the smoke in the casino. When you first walk up, there is some outside seating and you see that there’s two lines: one for us regular folks and then another line if you have a high ranking players card with MGM resorts. Needless to say, there was no one in the players card line. There were about eight people in front of me but I was only in line for maybe five minutes. They did a really good job of working you through the line. The first thing you see on the inside is a giant menu board that list alcohol burgers, hotdogs, fries and their Concretes, which are like their Blizzards. I got really excited over the concrete as everyone talks about how amazing they are. So I ordered a special one that used vanilla custard, banana cheesecake and chocolate covered toffee. For the Concrete, one soda, a cheeseburger, a bacon cheeseburger and two french fries it came to $30. A bit pricey for fast food but I had high hopes so I was willing to pay.
The ambience is really fun, and they even have a glittery hamburger on display. When the buzzer went off telling me my food was ready I pretty much slipped on my drool on the way to the counter. And that’s where my amazing experience ended.
The french fries are Chris cut fries and deep-fried. I didn’t taste anything special or amazing about them. My hamburger was so salty I couldn’t taste anything. Really, I couldn’t taste the meet, the cheese, their special spread, or the bun, all I could taste was salt. The lettuce was limped and had the texture of cooked spinach. I was so disappointed in the french fries and burger. I turned my attention to the Concrete and that was a bigger disappointment. The custard itself was really good but nothing was mixed in. The banana cheesecake and toffee pieces were just thrown on top and they were very big bites. Neither of which tasted particularly good on their own. Months and months and months of waiting and this was one of the biggest letdowns I have ever had. The soda was good. If I was thirsty I might go back for a soda. Maybe. Probably not.
Get them while they’re hot……uh….affordable? (2015/02/27)
The last time I saw Jeff Civillico perform it was at the Quad as it was just changed over from Imperial Palace. The hotel itself was sketchy but his show was magnificent and I knew this guy would be going places. I went to see him again the other day and was amazed at the renovation of the Quad to the Linq. The drive to the valet was a bit sketchy as you went under some scaffolding and the building until you came out at valet, but the service from the valet and doorman was a breath of fresh air. They treated you like you mattered and they were truly happy you were coming to visit. The inside of the Linq is also amazing and fresh and new. I hardly recognized the place.
I made my way up to get my tickets and found out that every Sunday Jeff partners with a local charity and gives 50% of all his ticket sales to them. Every Sunday. Not once a month, not once a quarter, but every Sunday. This just tells you a bit about the character of the artist. I can go on and on and on about how amazing Jeff is as a person, but that’s not what this is about.
By now you are asking yourself what I am rambling about, and it’s not just Jeff’s amazing show. (Seriously, go see. You can thank me later.) It’s about knowing how to get the best bang for your buck when it comes to shows in Las Vegas. You don’t have to spend $150 per ticket to see a Cirque show that looks a lot like the Cirque show you saw 4 years ago. My recommendation is to think outside the box. Never heard of a show or artist performing? Look them up. Are the reviews good? Then perfect, buy your tickets and see the show. An artist does not start out headlining at The Mirage. They have to work their way up to get there from one small part in someone else’s show to headlining for an afternoon show and so on. See them while their tickets are still under $50. You will see them put their heart and soul into their show and you can say you “saw them when”. For Jeff, he is #29 out of 227 attractions in Las Vegas with a 4.5 out of 5 rating. 88% of people recommend his show out of 684 reviews. That’s pretty darn good for a show you can get starting at $38! To give it some perspective, Le Reve is the #2 show in Las Vegas with a 4.5 out of 5 rating and 92% would recommend. Jeff is not that far behind!
So my recommendation to making Vegas unforgettable is to catch the performers before they are the headliners. You will get the same amazing show but ¼ the price! Oh, and if you happen to see Jeff, there is an amazing ice cream place in the Linq outdoor mall that has Captain Crunch ice cream. There are no words for how amazing this ice cream was.
Where Do You Want to Eat?? (2015/04/24)I like to think that I have a cool and collective attitude and can normally think (or talk) my way out of any situation. But there is one thing that makes me crazy: Where to bring a visiting friend for dinner.
I know you would think this is easy, and the logic says it should be. There is every major food chain here in Las Vegas and some of the best chefs have a restaurant here. But you have to remember that we Las Vegans normally avoid the Strip for dinner unless we have to be up there for another reason. There are two reasons for this, number one and most importantly is that food is much more expensive on the Strip. Case in point, there is an Outback Steakhouse right next to MGM and their signature 6 oz steak dinner is $29 at that location. Go a few miles down La Vegas Blvd and there is an Outback Steakhouse near the Outlet Mall South and the same 6 oz steak dinner is $14 AND they have a much better selection of sides! I am sure every tourist notices that even fast food restaurants jack up the prices by at least $1. I just can’t bring myself to pay more for something when I can get it for less.
The second reason a local will avoid the Strip is that it’s not worth the traffic just to eat. Totally different if you are seeing a show or want to play tourist. But that’s a whole other subject. So, when friends and family tell us they are coming to town and want us to pick a place, it’s not a simple choice. Do we pick a local favorite? Do we stay on the Strip? Do we eat near the hotel you are staying at? And if you have any time constraints on the evening, that adds to the stress because we not have to factor in wait times, service times, etc. It’s stressing me out just to think about it right now!
My expert advice to you when meeting friends in Las Vegas, please, please, please have a place in mind that you want to try. Something you saw on TV, read about, anything! Even check out blog sites to see reviews. This way it gives us an idea of the type of food you want, the price range you are OK with and a starting point. Or, you might end up eating Taco Bell!