I just got back from my daughter’s wedding celebration in Philadelphia. We stayed at what they call a mid-level hotel in the center of the city.
The stay reminded me of what great value is still available in casino hotels. In Center City Philadelphia, for just under $200 a night, you got no room service, no housekeeping services, no ice—seriously, one of the ice machines was broken, and my nephew couldn’t get the front desk to identify one that was working. In an example of stellar service, the front desk sent an ice bucket to his room.
It was empty. No ice for you!
In the morning, we checked out and called for the bell services to collect our luggage and the stuff we brought back from the reception. It was a lot. I was told there were no carts available. Apparently, there was a volleyball tournament that weekend, and the teams were passing the carts among each other.
No carts for you!
(Thanks in print here to bellman Weldon, who managed to swipe a cart from a volleyball mom to get us on our way.)
Don’t get me wrong—the hotel was very nice, it was convenient in the center of the city, and the shuttle service to and from the ceremony was spot on. Still, I can’t help comparing the experience in between to the level of hospitality service where I normally stay, at casino hotels across the country. With few exceptions, casino hotels bend over backwards to please their guests and meet all their service needs. And as far as weddings, well, Las Vegas is the wedding capital of the world.
In fact, the Waldorf-Astoria Las Vegas just announced a bargain package deal—a four-day, three-night “luxury wedding experience” including private use of the hotel, celebrity wedding planners, private flights and more.
Celebrity wedding planners? I wonder if they can get Clapton to plan your wedding. Or Paul McCartney. (You’ll probably have to settle for a Kardashian.)
The bargain-basement price of all this? Just $5 million.
OK, I’ll admit that’s a bit beyond my budget, but Vegas offers a wealth of other options for your nuptials. Like the Graceland Chapel.
My lovely bride and I renewed our vows there in 2010, in honor of our 25th wedding anniversary. (Yes, I’m that old.) That’s where Elvis actually serves as the officiant. Well, at least an Elvis impersonator dressed up in his best jumpsuit, there to serenade you as you celebrate your union. As proven by framed photos at the venue, it’s where Jon Bon Jovi got married.
As I recall, we opted for the “Love Me Tender Package,” which covered the ceremony, complete with vows including corny Elvis references—“I promise I won’t be cruel; I’ll get you all shook up”—and capped off with three songs, sung live by the ersatz King of Rock and Roll. If memory serves, it was $350.
You’ll no doubt have to adjust that for inflation, and I’m sure you may want to spend a bit more, but that price leaves a lot of funding for craps and video poker, if that’s your thing. (It’s certainly mine.)
Moving on, by now, everyone’s heard that the company once known as Scientific Games Corporation is now known as Light & Wonder Inc.
It’s the latest in a parade of name changes for the company that started out way-back-when as Bally Manufacturing. It was Bally Gaming, then Bally Technologies, then Scientific Games after it merged with the lottery supply giant. In our “Five Questions” feature this month, the company’s gaming CEO, Matt Wilson, notes that the name change was necessary because the supplier has sold its lottery division, which has been known as Scientific Games since its founding in 1973.
SG employed a company called Lexicon, which, apparently, makes a business of naming companies. After whittling down a list of 2,700 names, they came up with Light & Wonder.
Well, OK. While I am curious about the other 2,699 suggested names that were dumped, we’ll deal with it. It’s just going to take a while getting used to typing it. Light & Wonder. Light & Wonder.
What I wonder (sorry) is if this will lead to a gaming supplier name trend. Five years from now, maybe I’m writing this paragraph:
Light & Wonder Inc. has edged out its closest competitor, Pretty Flowers & Baby Bunnies PLC, in the red-hot slot market. A new competitive push by rivals Polka Dots & Moonbeams Inc. and Puppies & Sunshine Leisure Limited could change the gaming supplier landscape.
Maybe we can change our name. Global Gaming Happiness, from
Grinning Unicorn Publishing LLC.
Hey, that’s not bad.