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Saturday, November 29, 2008

Showboat Orleans Tower Room 1099 (11/2008)

Pictures from Showboat Orleans Tower Room 1099, from November 21, 2008

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Atlantic City Cuts Back on Service

During this past weekend in Atlantic City it became obvious that cutbacks in service will continue for the foreseeable future. Everywhere you looked you could find another restaurant reducing hours or a casino cutting back on some seemingly minor detail. Let's start at the cashier cage, where Showboat closed their second "cage" months ago and seems to lop off one more teller window from their existing cashier's booth every time I return. At Wild West, the line normally reserved for Diamond members disappears after a certain hour. At Caesars, the cashier near the poker room is down to one window for poker players to buy chips and the tellers who used to cash slot tickets have been gone for weeks. I've even heard reports of Harrah's closing the Diamond line for their buffet. So, if you are looking for places where the casino layoffs are affecting players, then take a look at the line that forms when a high-roller is cashing out chips and needs managerial approval while everyone else in the casino waits for the one available teller who can convert their chips to cash. This isn't the sort of service that will make folks want to return to Atlantic City.

This cutback in service doesn't apply only to the casino cage. Showboat was ahead of the curve months ago when they starting closing their buffet two days during each week and have now drastically cutback on the hours of their Mansion Cafe coffee shop. Slot Club booths are no longer open late in the night on Fridays and Sundays. The My Borgata club wasn't even open at midnight this past Saturday and midnight is long before the party crowd kicks into full swing in Atlantic City's most upscale resort. Among the most telling examples, however, of the mediocrity that casinos are presenting to their customers were the signs I noticed on a variety of video poker machines explaining that certain promotional "cupons" will not "be issued for Hand Paid Jackpots paid on this machine." I'll forgive folks for bad spelling, but in order for these stickers to be applied across the casino they much first have been printed without anyone proofreading them and after the stickers arrived, management must have decided it wasn't worth the few dollars it would have cost to reprint the labels to correct this spelling error. It's sloppy and unprofessional, although you may be able to forgive casino employees these days, since their management isn't providing them with the resources to take care of routine customer needs and is forcing the employees who haven't been laid off to pick of the slack of their sacked co-workers. It's not fair to them and it's certainly not the sort of thing that makes anyone believe that anyone in Atlantic City has a plan to retain what remains of their customer base.

Things aren't looking good.