My teenage daughter finds it funny to shout “Bingo” as we walk through the various casino halls on our way to the movies. I was going to scold him, but the scene of angry daubers being thrown in disgust is well worth it. I’ve always justified its actions with the fact that most areas that use house bingo seem to need a vibrant face lift.
I say “in large part” because the latest renovation project at Palace Station features a new bingo hall that eschews perceptions of the game. “Our goal is to attract a wider audience”, according to Palace Station general manager Scott Nelson.
Research would quickly show that Station Palace’s roots grew from the game of bingo, as evidenced by the property that was once named Bingo Palace in 1977 after being purchased by Frank Fertitta, Jr., founder of Station Casinos, in 1976. Fertitta is a community-driven man with an emphasis on the workers. That’s why in 1976 when he opened his first casino, the so-called “Casino,” it was clear local traffic was the focus of visiting dewapoker.
While the marketing department didn’t come up with a catchy name for the property, Fertitta made it up by providing a place where everyone felt welcome. Like Steve Wynn when he founded Mirage in 1989, the consensus opinion is that a hotel off the Strip corridor will not function. I consider this one of the first signs that you shouldn’t bet with the public.
While the property has its share of success behind bowling, buffet and bingo, it is fair to say that the appearance of the property is becoming outdated. It became famous because OJ was arrested because his reputation drifted away from the positive perceptions he once controlled. Clearly it is time to make dramatic changes to regain its rightful place in Las Vegan’s mind.
“It has to be more fun, more inviting,” said Nelson. “We changed everything including the color scheme,” which was dominated by a splash of red and orange, giving the room a new warm feeling.