Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Another Day, Another Nifty Harrah's Idea

Harrah's is really having a banner week in my book, and I like to think I'm a tough one to impress. On Monday, they started taking guests with dogs at Caesars Palace, the Rio and the Imperial Palace. On Tuesday, the Paris announced they would be hosting a taping of "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me" on Nov. 18.

And today, they may have revolutionized show-ticket buying. That's all.

Basically, they're applying the Buffet of Buffets concept to shows. If you buy one of their ALL STAGE passes for $99 (or $119 for non-Total Rewards members), you can go to as many of 17 Harrah's shows you want within the next 48-hour period. Here's the list:

  • Jubilee! (7:30 p.m. & 10:30 p.m.)
  • Human Nature (7:30 p.m.)
  • Rita Rudner (8:30 p.m.)
  • Matt Goss (10:00 p.m.)
  • Mac King (1:00 & 3:00 p.m.)
  • The Improv (8:30 p.m. & 10:30 p.m.)
  • Legends in Concert (7:30 & 10:00 p.m.)
  • Chippendales (8:00 p.m.)
  • Divas Las Vegas (10:00 p.m.)
  • Nathan Burton (4:00 p.m.)
  • Matsuri (4:00 p.m.)
  • Anthony Cools (9:00 p.m.)
  • George Wallace (10:00 p.m.)
  • X Burlesque (10:00 p.m.)
  • Vinnie Favorito (8:00 p.m.)
  • The Price is Right (2:30 & 7:30 p.m.)
  • Dirk Arthur (7:00 p.m. & 9:00 p.m.)
Also, for $40 more per ticket, you can also see Cher, Donny & Marie, Barry Manilow and Penn & Teller.

One serious downside: You have to buy the thing at the Planet Hollywood box office. Then you go to the box office of the show you want to see and present your pass. You can't pick up your tickets more than two hours before the show.

The Planet Hollywood connection is a little confusing. Peepshow is not on this list owing, I suspect, to the fact that BASE Entertainment owns it and must not have been keen on this. But then why force everyone to go there? I mean, other than the obvious decision to route foot traffic there.

There's also a serious potential here for scalping, it would seem. For $99, you can get all these tickets and pop from one place to another reselling them to people on line or to pre-arranged customers and, potentially, make a lot more money. Also, if the passes don't have specific names on them, theoretically I could buy some and deliver them to customers who pay a premium for me to do so for them so they don't have to go to the P-Ho. I suspect there will be tweaks made to this program to work around that.

That said, if this works it presents the potential for terrific value for tourists.

I can only imagine what they'll be announcing on Thursday and Friday.


Anonymous said...

Heard about this on Saturday after I heard from the Five Hundy podcast! Stoked!

Michael said...

Their FAQ on the page advised on how they plan to handle potential scalping, should be interesting to see how this plays out.

Anonymous said...

Given how tight money is, this is incredibly smart of Harrah's. I'm not sure everybody else on the Strip realizes they're going to have to sacrifice some price points in order to stimulate business overall.

David McKee