So just why is Hard Rock’s Football Fantasy contest voted Best of Las Vegas for 2003 by the Review-Journal?
"Because we are about fun," said Jamie Shea, the Rock’s race and sports manager at the popular eastside locale. "We take a look at all the contests going on at the different hotels and come up with a formula that works for our customers. So far, we have been very lucky to have had such great support."
Of course, there is no lacking for football contests around Las Vegas. That’s what makes this city second to none in NFL interest.
"People are just clamoring for football," said Shea, who was the race and sports manager at The Venetian before joining Hard Rock. "As far as our contest is concerned, we wanted to do something nobody else was doing."
The slant in Hard Rock’s contest involves eight player propositions per week that accompany the standard game selection.
"We may do a receiver comparison from a particular matchup or we may just compare what two players at similar positions do for that week for teams that aren’t playing each other," Shea said. "Our staff likes to switch it around and just have fun with it."
There is a $25 entry fee for the contest, which features a weekly card of eight games (no pointspreads) and eight player vs player matchups. The object is to pick all 16 right, which is no easy feat.
"We cut off the entry list to 1,500 people and just one per person," Shea said. "This way, with less entrants, there is a greater chance to win our contest compared to the other ones. There is a $150,000 total purse up for grabs and you do have a chance."
Comparisons have been made between Hard Rock and Palms, the westside’s trendy casino resort and operators of its own $400,000 Pigskin Payoff.
"I like the Palms, but we’re two distinct venues with different clientele," Shea said. "I’m very happy and fortunate to be at Hard Rock. We’re proud of the media recognition and thrilled to have attracted great crowds."