FleaStiff
FleaStiff
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February 11th, 2010 at 5:17:30 AM permalink
Quote: AZDuffman

I will always prefer a place with good rules and reasonable limits to a place where I can play near a fake Empire State Building but have neither.
I keep saying the more "flash" they put in the resorts the more the real "gamblers" will play elsewhere.

Right! Most people want a restaurant where the food is good rather than the owner is famous. Glitz, Glamour and Gizmos just don't cut it. The Palms is supposed to feature the presence of a great many sports stars and Hollywood starlets. Well, I'll go elsewhere thank you!
Two thousand guys are lined up to go to a swimming pool party because three hundred half naked girls will be cavorting there? No thanks, I'll swim elsewhere.

Oh don't get me wrong. I'm impressed by a nice building and by beautiful women but if I am in a casino, I'm probably there to gamble. The booze, waitress's cleavage and shrimp cocktails are extraneous matters. Its the game and the odds that matters. And if I win, I'll spend my winnings at stores that offer value, not the glittery shops featured in casino complexes.

I think a good deal of Arizona Charlie's business is due to location and traffic patterns and parking, but if there gambling outreach is a factor, then thats great, but its due to their offering a good gamble rather than glitz.
pacomartin
pacomartin
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February 11th, 2010 at 11:02:28 AM permalink
Somehow people have gotten the idea that this place is charming. Many of the oldest places downtown have some charm, and a sense of history. AZ Charlie's Decatur is pure vanilla, with hardly any pit, bland food, and in a semi-run down neighborhood shopping center. Only two miles in any direction is a locals casinos with something there (movie theaters, some food selection, a bigger pit, a brew pub, cute girls).
FleaStiff
FleaStiff
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February 13th, 2010 at 6:02:24 AM permalink
Quote: pacomartin

Only two miles in any direction is a locals casinos with something there (movie theaters, some food selection, a bigger pit, a brew pub, cute girls).

Okay. So what gives AzCharlies their loyal following? I'd opt for a brew pub and cute girls. Might even opt for a movie theater and a bit more variety in the menu. So what is it? Accessibility, outreach, parking?
Select the locals casinos "only two miles in any direction" and find out: are the odds any different? Are the slot machines any looser? Is the parking lot significantly less inviting?
pacomartin
pacomartin
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February 13th, 2010 at 1:59:56 PM permalink
Quote: FleaStiff

So what gives AzCharlies their loyal following? I'd opt for a brew pub and cute girls. Might even opt for a movie theater and a bit more variety in the menu. So what is it? Accessibility, outreach, parking? Select the locals casinos "only two miles in any direction" and find out: are the odds any different? Are the slot machines any looser? Is the parking lot significantly less inviting?



It seems to be simple loyalty. The Wards in Las Vegas are 100K people and AZCharlies shares the ward with Palace Station which is within a mile of the strip. Palace station has steak houses, oyster bars, Chinese, Pasta Bars, and Mexican. Palace Station is the oldest locals casino in the city, while AZCharlie's is probably 3rd oldest. However Palace Station is positioned to capture budget crowd from the strip where AZCharlie's is too far away.

On the assumption that the locals may not want to mix with the tourists at all, there is Texas Station and Fiesta Rancho which are across the street from each other about 3 miles to the north. These casinos are newer and have a greater variety of games, food, and movie theaters (& dancing girls). There is only a rare tourist in these places.

There is no obvious difference in odds (although there may be a perception that the slots are tighter). There is no obvious difference in accessibility or parking.

It seems that even small differences in driving distance matter.
In Pennsylvania they announced that slot revenue in their 10 casinos had topped slot revenue in the 11 New Jersey casinos for the first time since they legalized gambling in PA. PA has it's casinos and racinos spread out so that most of the population is now within 20-30 miles of a casino. NJ still has them all in Atlantic City, which is at least 100 miles from it's main population centers, and 60 miles from Philadelphia (which now has two casinos in it's suburbs). But the data seems to indicate that people won't drive 3 miles extra for an upgraded newer casino.
FleaStiff
FleaStiff
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February 13th, 2010 at 2:44:39 PM permalink
Quote: pacomartin


It seems to be simple loyalty.

Loyalty? In Vegas? Loyalty in Vegas lasts as long as your bankroll.

>But the data seems to indicate that people won't drive 3 miles extra for an upgraded newer casino.
Perhaps there are subtle differences not considered by you yet. Are the upgraded newer casinos more crowded? More noisy? Less friendly to retirees? Tables closer together? Further apart? Something has to make the customers of AzCharlies "loyal". They are not loyal to the name AzCharlies, they are loyal to something about the place. Decibel levels of the music? Lighting? Something!!
pacomartin
pacomartin
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February 13th, 2010 at 3:20:41 PM permalink
From their prospectus:
For the years ended December 31, 2006, 2005, 2004 and 2003, approximately 90.9%, 89.3%, 90.0%
and 90.8%, respectively, of the property’s gaming revenue was generated by slot machine play.
Arizona Charlie’s Decatur also derives other gaming revenue from bingo, keno, poker and the race
and sports book, which primarily are intended to attract customers for slot machines and table
games.


With 90% from slot machines, I would think that they are mostly older people. Perhaps the noise level is high enough at the other locals casinos that it makes a difference.

The entire company which runs four casinos, Arizona Charlie's Decatur, and AZC Boulder, the Stratosphere, and Aquarius casino in Laughlin was sold for $1.3 billion in March of 2008. A huge amount of money for casinos with net revenue of $450 million. Carl Icahn was the seller and Goldman Sachs was the buyer. The huge purchase price was justified by 17 acres of empty land near the Stratopshere. Revenue had to go up just to cover the debt service. Instead it was a spectacular crash with losses as a significant fraction of a billion dollars.
FleaStiff
FleaStiff
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June 16th, 2011 at 5:29:46 PM permalink
Quote: pacomartin

It seems to be simple loyalty.
These casinos are newer and have a greater variety of games, food, and movie theaters (& dancing girls).
There is no obvious difference in odds (although there may be a perception that the slots are tighter). There is no obvious difference in accessibility or parking.
It seems that even small differences in driving distance matter


So the formula for success seems to be Plain Vanilla in a location with lots of retirees who display loyalty to Vanilla and don't drive far.
A recent review of AZCharlies (EAST) mentioned the "non upper echelon of society" on the Boulder Strip. Perhaps there would be fewer car-owners/drivers there or perhaps not. It seems that many businesses have realized that dollar bills given to them by the non-upper echelons can be deposited in the bank account of the upper echelon owner. Something gives Arizona Charlies business despite the lack of any frills at all even when a nearby non-frills place exists and offers more to the locals even though the "more amenities" may still be rather bare-boned.
Ayecarumba
Ayecarumba
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June 16th, 2011 at 5:56:39 PM permalink
Quote: pacomartin

It seems to be simple loyalty. The Wards in Las Vegas are 100K people and AZCharlies shares the ward with Palace Station which is within a mile of the strip. Palace station has steak houses, oyster bars, Chinese, Pasta Bars, and Mexican. Palace Station is the oldest locals casino in the city, while AZCharlie's is probably 3rd oldest. However Palace Station is positioned to capture budget crowd from the strip where AZCharlie's is too far away.



If I recall correctly, Palace Station was on the $72 million revenue list, so they appear to get their fair share of business. Between bingo and $4 blackjack, AC Deacatur has found a nice little niche. There are restaurants, and even a dance club. However, I think they succeed by number one, offering a good gamble, and number two, by not screwing up number one.
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication - Leonardo da Vinci
pacomartin
pacomartin
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June 16th, 2011 at 8:23:45 PM permalink
Quote: Ayecarumba

If I recall correctly, Palace Station was on the $72 million revenue list, so they appear to get their fair share of business.



Palace Station has remained on the over $72 million dollar in gambling revenue list for the all these years. Falling off the list in Vegas area are Stratosphere, Arizona Charlie's Decatur, Circus Circus Vegas, Las Vegas Hilton, Texas Station in N. Las Vegas, and Rampart Casino in Summerlin.

I find it hard to believe they are putting up that many tourists since it has become a wasteland between Palace Station and the strip. They must do a very strong locals business still after all these decades.

PALACE STATION HOTEL & CASINO is registered for 1760 slots, 52 table games, and 9 poker tables
ARIZONA CHARLIE'S DECATUR is registered for 1160 slots, 16 table games, and 3 poker tables

So Palace Station is a much bigger casino and hotel.

And the general manager of AC Decatur is still paid $1/4 million per year plus $30K in bonus money. Executive salaries have not gone down despite a 25% drop in revenue and a 90% drop in operational income. As a matter of fact these salaries have gone up.
EvenBob
EvenBob
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June 16th, 2011 at 11:17:52 PM permalink
I was in Arizona Charlies once. As I recall they had one roulette table with felt that hadn't been changed since they opened. It had gouges in it, cig burns and beer stains. And the table had no marquee and nothing to write results on. Nobody was playing. Half the people in there had oxygen tanks. I left.
"It's not enough to succeed, your friends must fail." Gore Vidal

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