The Cromwell, the last resort on the Strip with lights still off, isn’t slated to reopen to adults until October 29th.
According to a statement from parent company Caesars Entertainment Inc. on Thursday, the boutique hotel’s hotel and gaming floor are open seven days a week to people 21 and older.
Josh Swissman, founding partner of Las Vegas gaming and hospitality consulting firm The Strategy Organization, said the new adult-only rule at The Cromwell, a smaller boutique that focuses heavily on its casino offerings, makes perfect sense.
“All bets are closed as companies open after COVID,” he said. “There’s no better time to reinvent yourself.”
Fill a niche
According to Brendan Bussmann, director of government affairs at Global Market Advisors in Las Vegas, many are trying to find ways to increase visitor numbers during the pandemic – especially during the week – to lure many people back by submitting certain niches.
One example is Park MGM, which reopened as a smoke-free hotel last month. Opening the Cromwell over 21 is another way of responding to customer needs, Bussmann said.
“Cromwell sees a niche here,” said Bussmann. “It’s about listening to customers, and now is the most important time … listening to customers to restore tourist confidence.”
According to Swissman, Caesars has picked the perfect resort in their portfolio to test the 21-and-over model. It is a smaller property, which means that trying a new policy has a relatively low financial risk. It also has a history of being a “hardcore gambling venue” that used to be Bill’s Gamblin ‘Hall and Saloon before it was renovated in 2014.
The property still offers popular gaming options including single zero roulette, double deck blackjack, EZ Baccarat and 100x craps odds.
“They have many of the great odds and types of games and offers that savvy players are looking for,” said the Swiss. “It only makes sense that a place that encompasses the gaming experience as much as the Cromwell is taking a step for all adults. … You tie that to (Drai’s Nightclub) on top of the typical adult deals in Las Vegas, and it makes sense worldwide. “
The repositioning of the property could create a buzz for Cromwell and allow its marketing team to focus its resources on a tight market, said Mehmet Erdem, associate professor at UNLV College of Hospitality.
“Given the poor outlook for our city’s convention business (and) travel for the foreseeable future, it is not surprising for casino resorts to shift the focus to target markets and try to establish a sustainable business model,” he said.
Take E. Abouzeid, president of consulting firm LaunchVegas, said the move also helps Caesars differentiate Cromwell’s brand from other properties.
“Brand differentiation is important for consumers to know what kind of experience they will have if they stay there,” he said. “It allows Caesars to segment its database and put compelling marketing offers in the hands of the people, especially as the city tries to rebuild its occupancy amid COVID-19.”
Is it a growing trend?
Another adult-only resort opens in Las Vegas next week: Circa.
The property, open to the public on Wednesday, is the first to be built from scratch in downtown Las Vegas since 1980. The hotel tower is slated to open this year.
While the 21-and-over rule seems to be gaining traction in Las Vegas, it remains to be seen whether it will become a trend.
Swissman anticipates operators will wait to see how the policies work at Circa and Cromwell before making changes to their properties.
“The other (resorts) are so much bigger, and a big counter like this one may carry a higher risk,” said the Swiss. But “it seems like it’s becoming more and more common to revert to this adult-only programming.”
Abouzeid said larger resorts need to appeal to the broadest possible audience in order to fill spaces year-round
“When sports and entertainment come back, these vehicles drive visitors of all ages here,” he said. “Being 21 and older can be limiting then.”
Guests of all ages are admitted to Cromwell’s Giada Restaurant.
Additional amenities include the Eatwell Restaurant, which is open for quick service and mobile ordering. Linked Cocktail Lounge; Interlude Casino Lounge; Drai’s Lounge; The Abbey, a high-limit slot area; Board games; a fitness center and the Curios retail store.
The 188-room hotel will also unveil its newly branded William Hill Sports Book next week. The venue now says it includes self-service sports betting kiosks and an expanded betting menu with live in-game bets.
Valet parking is not available at first. Resort parking is free to hotel guests, Nevada residents, and Platinum Caesars Rewards loyalty members and above. From October 30th, everyone else will be charged for self-parking.
The property has not been open to the public for more than seven months. The Cromwell took over “Love Island,” the CBS dating contest series, for its second season last summer.
After the Cromwell opens next week, Caesars will have to reopen another property in Las Vegas: Rio near the Strip.
“Caesars will open its remaining Las Vegas properties based on customer demand, regulatory requirements, and additional health and safety concerns,” the Caesars statement said.
Contact Bailey Schulz at [email protected] Follow @bailey_schulz on Twitter.