Caesars Casinos Show Timeshare Salespersons the Door, Reason May Surprise You
If your visits to Caesars Entertainment resorts in Las Vegas have felt more pleasant recently, we know why.
A recent change at these casinos may come as a surprise to Las Vegas watchers: Caesars Entertainment has ended its contract with timeshare company Wyndham. That means, for the first time in recent memory, guests won’t be accosted by timeshare salespersons when they visit these casinos.
This surprising turn of events hasn’t been reported elsewhere, mostly because elsewhere isn’t us.
While we noticed the absence of timeshare sellers in recent months, we figured it was related to the pandemic.
Now we’ve learned the real reason they’re out: While a lucrative partnership, Caesars Entertainment decided irritating guests simply wasn’t worth it.
This is a refreshing twist given the public’s perception big casino companies only make decisions based upon recommendations from bean counters.
One executive described these timeshare company deals as “negotiating annoyance zones.”
Timeshare salespeople are frequently listed among the more irksome things about Las Vegas casinos, right up there with resort fees, parking fees and paper straws.
That last one’s mostly us, but paper straws are really irksome.
In the past, the presence of timeshare sellers grew to the point where, at Rio, an entire section of the casino floor was devoted to sales desks. In the casino. Seriously. Here’s a “before” photo.
Here’s Rio now, sans timeshare desks.
While visitors often complain about being pestered by timeshare hawkers, many people take advantage of their offerings.
Visitors are often lured into hearing sales presentations with promises of show tickets and other freebies. Many sign up. When they do, everyone makes money, including casinos that allow salespeople to work their venues.
There are lots of strategies to co-existing with (also known as “dodging”) timeshare salespeople, and these folks often get a bad rap. They’re people, too, just trying to make a living.
Imagine a job where you’re rejected 99 times out of 100, all day, every day.
We’re happy to be able to share the elimination of timeshare salespeople at Caesars casinos, as the new owners of the company have taken some hits for moves perceived as cutting corners (like the elimination of Laurel Lounges in Las Vegas) or penny-pinching (like closing all but one buffet in Las Vegas, Bacchanal at Caesars Palace).
If you were holding out hope your favorite Laurel Lounge in Las Vegas would reopen, we hate to break it to you, but it’s not coming back. Caesars recently updated its list of lounges from “temporarily closed” to “nowhere to be found.”
While it’s convenient and popular to slam Caesars for these moves, ultimately they’re smart business decisions.
For example, buffets at Caesars Entertainment casinos lose an average of $3 million a year. Casinos aren’t charities, so keeping money sucks like buffets open makes no business sense.
As for Laurel Lounges, we trust the decision was to reward valuable players in other ways. Guests now get vouchers for free drinks and food. The result is a substantial cost savings with no impact to the bottom line, despite some customer griping. (Psst, those aren’t the gamblers Caesars values most. The players they value most aren’t worrying about where to get free drinks and pretzels.)
The merger of Eldorado Resorts and Caesars Entertainment was finalized on July 20, 2020, and the company has been scrutinizing every aspect of the business for opportunities to trim fat and cut costs.
The new leadership of a casino whale, Caesars, was the former leadership of a relative guppy, Eldorado. The mentality is different, and the company isn’t just continuing to do what it’s doing just because that’s the way it’s always been done.
The folks from Eldorado devoured Caesars at one of the most challenging economic times in the history of Las Vegas, during the pandemic.
Some guests have chafed at decisions they don’t like, but the removal of timeshare companies from Caesars casinos provides hope customers are valued, despite the loss of revenue. And trust us, it’s a lot.
If we’re going to beat up Caesars when they make decisions we don’t like, we have to give them props when they do things right.
There are lots of untold stories about Caesars Entertainment, including the fact the company wanted to make parking free again, permanently. The reality was free parking created lots of problems, especially for security. The company was forced to reinstate paid parking to mitigate some of the bad behavior.
When parking was free, there were actually reports of RVs parking sideways, taking up 6-8 spaces, with people rolling out coolers of liquor and having parties in the garages at Caesars casinos. These parties then spilled over into casinos and onto the Las Vegas Strip, resulting in crime and even brawls.
Don’t get us started about how the actions of a few boneheads ruined free parking for the rest of us.
Are we thrilled to have been recently dinged $30 for a few hours at Caesars Palace? No. (We’re local, and locals presumably park free for three hours. It was Super Bowl weekend, so it seems that arrangement went out the window due to “special event” pricing.) Do we get why casinos charge for parking? Definitely. (A longtime workaround is to get a casino’s credit card. Getting the credit card bumps you up to a tier that gets free parking as a perk. The Caesars Rewards Visa card has a $5,000 per year minimum spend, the MGM Resorts MasterCard is much better, it has no minimum spend. There’s no fee for either card.)
Ultimately, knowing Caesars sacrificed revenue to improve the guest experience by dumping “annoyance zones” goes into the “win” column, and Vegas can use all the wins it can get as masks have come off, the pandemic is leaving the building and the world is ready to party in Las Vegas again.
Just not in the parking lots, thanks.