Chill a factor in
driving to casino

Mar 5, 2007 5:36 AM

Things that don’t go together: SUV drivers talking on cell phones while driving on iced-over roads in the Colorado mountains.

This conclusion was wrought because the majority of vehicles seen in the dividing ditch along I-70 toward Black Hawk and Central City were SUVs — their cell-phone gabbing commander-in-chiefs were driving too fast for the conditions.

Selfish, gas guzzler plutocrats should realize that the more obscenely gargantuan an automobile is, the longer it is going to take to bring the slab of metal to a halt on a skating rink-like road.

According to the Rocky Mountain News, the "Colorado Department of Transport (CDOT) Seeks to Improve highway to Black Hawk."

Unless the CDOT plans to put heaters under the asphalt, like all roads, at first glazing, this conduit will become slicker than a greased pig at Jessica Simpson’s birthday party.

Besides, the Central City Expressway is a perfectly functional ingress for both towns. It has been demonstrated that drivers are already circumventing Central City (to the chagrin of Central City road construction bond holders) to go the extra mile to Black Hawk.

Considering the road issue and its associated hazardous driving conditions moot, what are the Colorado casinos to do to cover fixed costs, minimize variable costs, and maximize marginal profits?

An article released by Mansion Poker.com, "winter storms and sub freezing cold snap forces gamblers indoors," suggests players seeking action go online. This does not complement the goals of the Colorado casinos and at last check is legally taboo for Colorado players.

The casino towns are high up in the mountains (nearly two miles above sea-level), which makes them my pinky toe is going to crack off from frostbite cold. Of course, once inside the cocoon of the casino, the blast furnace heated air coddles players for as long as their quarters hold out.

The challenge for the casinos is to motivate their patrons to make the trek "up the hill" — a local colloquialism, and most importantly, assure the patrons, to borrow a term from poker parlance, an "out."

In the age of hyperbole, when weather forecasts no longer exists, but "storm tracker/future-casts" rule the local television news, the only means by which casinos can counteract doomsday predictions of the biggest snow (job) since ”¦ well, pretty much anything is via more efficient utilization of the respective casinos differentiating variables.

A hot chocolate machine is good, but covered and/or valet parking and hotel rooms are better. The dread of having to scrape ice off one’s car while precariously standing on a glacier like exposed parking lot is enough to keep patrons away from properties like the Red Dolly or Doc Holidays.

The casinos that hold a definitive advantage in Happy Feet conditions are properties like Fortune Valley. Not only does this property offer the pre-warmed car return of valet, they have hotel rooms to offer guests.

On a normal evening, there are few practical reasons (save inebriation and night blindness) to stay the night in Central City or Black Hawk. On a blustery winter night when the drive back to Denver is on par with a lights-out slalom run, the safety and security of waiting out inclement weather in a toasty hotel room has merit.

Properties with rooms play their marketing cards correctly by providing the incentive of reduced room rates to draw players to their respective properties. The less amenity inclusive properties were, excuse the pun, partially frozen out of drop.

As for me, I think I will wait until I can no longer see my breath before a return to Central City, Black Hawk, or Cripple Creek. For now, I will keep warm by letting my pockets be insulated with the money that the casinos will not get during this cold-spell.

Founded in 1996, Yarborough Planning, LLC partners with select clientele to better understand and address business process issues. Core competencies include training, providing reliable and valid research, strategic/analytic marketing, and accountable Customer Relationship Management (CRM) development and implementation. David Paster is accepting new clients and may be reached at (702) 813-5062 or [email protected]