VT takes on casino logos

I’m fooling around with using ScribeFire to create posts, so this might not work. Hopefully it does, because I really think people should check out this neat feature at Vegas Tripping, a detailed rumination on the evolution of Las Vegas casino logos:

But what is it that makes for a successful logo in Las Vegas? How does
a casino’s logo typographically distill a properties essence into a
single, identifiable mark? What does a continually changing logo tell
us about the validity of given properties theme or identity?

Vegas Casino Logos – Turning A Name Into A Vibe – VegasTripping.com

Chuckmonster’s done a great job of running down how several MGM Mirage logos have changed over the past few years.

A while back I was doing some research on casinos in the 1970s, and I was amazed at how haphazard many of the logos were. Different publications used really different logos and typefaces for the same casino, and there didn’t seem to be any real rhyme or reason for it. I’m almost positive there was no professional design firm at work; instead, it was just whatever the ad designers had lying around that filled the space.

One thing’s clear: casino names are getting less directly evocative these days. There’s not the same immediate semantic difference between, say, Echelon and Cosmopolitan than there was between the Stardust and the Tropicana.

Now that I think about, I might be cherry-picking there. For a while, Strip casino names tended to reference the desert (Sahara, Sands, Dunes, Aladdin, Desert Inn). And names like Riviera and Last Frontier were hardly unique, particularly when Las Vegas itself was promoting itself as “the last frontier.” Even Stardust and Tropicana are kind of vague, though you get the point that one of them will have sparkly things on the ceiling and the other will have lots of water and vegetation. Don’t ask me how the Tiffany glass windows got into the mix over at the Trop, or the ski chalet lowrises. Clearly, someone was going off message.

Maybe we should give Jay Sarno credit for bringing specific names and property identities to the Strip. As Chuck pointed out, the Circus Circus logo hasn’t changed since he opened the place, and the Caesars Palace typeface has remained the same. There was a big logo change, though. Originally, the logo was a fat Caesar lying on a couch being fed grapes by two girls, but in the 1980s they dumped that for the angry-looking centurion. What better way to say, “the corporate era is here?”

In any event, that’s a great feature that everyone should read.

And there’s also a great review of Hooters up, with an embedded video that answers the question, “what do the air conditioners at Hooters sound like?”

Strip shell game!

It’s hard to believe, but one of the oldest gambling con games is alive and well in the shadow of the Las Vegas Strip. I snapped some pictures of a shell game in action on Monday between the Tropicana and Hooters. Technically that’s not the Strip, but it’s in the Strip tourist corridor, so the headline is accurate. Click through to see indisputable photographic evidence and some homespun analysis.
Continue reading “Strip shell game!”

Hooters going away

If you still haven’t made it down to Hooters Las Vegas, you’d better go soon, because the property is slated for a complete re-branding. From the LVRJ:

Say goodbye to those orange short-shorts.

Hooters Hotel will be rebranded into a yet-to-be named boutique hotel following a $130 million redevelopment of the property that could begin later this year, the investment group purchasing the hotel said Monday.

Santa Monica, Calif.-based Hedwigs Las Vegas Top Tier is completing its financing for the $225 million transaction and hopes to close the sale by late spring, Hedwigs principal Richard Bosworth said.

“This will be a complete redevelopment of the asset that includes a lifestyle, entertainment-driven boutique hotel and casino complex,” Bosworth said.

ReviewJournal.com – Business – Hooters brand will get the boot

This is the typical casino acquisition: buy what you think is an under-performing asset, spruce it up, and watch the money roll in. At least that’s how it goes in theory.

There’s something to be said for a smaller property, particularly for repeat customers. So the idea of a boutique hotel isn’t a bad one. But they’ll have to position it very carefully, particularly with mountains of high-end rooms coming on line at about the same time the re-branding is scheduled to be complete. For my money, you couldn’t go wrong with a clean, friendly, affordable alternative to the big resorts. But there’s probably a very good reason why I’m not the one with $255 million available to buy a casino hotel.

Comments that don’t stay in Vegas

You might have heard about Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee’s wife staying at Hooters Las Vegas the night of the Taylor/Pavlik fight. Browsing the comments at SF Gate, I thought one of them really put the whole story in perspective:

I think I’d be more worried that the Huckabees’ want to get in the White House and don’t have any juice to get a better hotel room? hahahahaa…

Huckabee’s wife takes a breather at a Vegas fight, rests at Hooters

Maybe we should cancel one of the debates and instead give each of the candidates a challenge: they’ve got one hour to get the best comped room in Vegas they can. After all, we want a candidate with ingenuity, charm, and connections, and trying to get a room here, particularly on a fight weekend, requires all three. If we combine this with the drug and intelligence/aptitude tests I’ve advocated before, we’d get a much better idea of who we’re voting for. I mean, would you want someone to be the leader of the free world if they couldn’t do better themselves into the Riviera?

On a related note (by which I mean that this is completely unrelated), I have further evidence that Vegas is, in fact, part of the mirror universe: I got more feedback and attention for the only harsh review I’ve ever given a book than I have for all the other’s I’ve done, combined. Being optimistic, understanding, and supportive=labor in obscurity. Being mean=instantly engage readers. Maybe the behavior control technician was right, after all.