I used to love Imperial Palace on the Strip in Las Vegas. When I was living out of state, they used to send me the most incredible deals -- cheap rooms, plus a fun book that had two free buffets, and four free drinks, along with match play, tournament play, freebies to the IP Car Collection, and drawing tickets.
Sure the hotel was old, with a layout so convoluted that I still hadn't quite figured it out after staying there probably 20 times, the elevators were slow, and the beds had no blankets -- but the comps were generous, the food was edible, and most importantly, the slots were relatively loose for the Strip.
And of course, you couldn't beat the location, right across from Caesars and within walking distance of 80% of the major resort casinos in Las Vegas.
Imperial Palace was a budget minded gambler's dream. But alas, all good things must come to an end, and for me, yesterday it did. I was on the strip with an hour to kill before rush hour calmed down, and decided to check in with my old friend.
I sat down at a machine as a waitress was walking by and ordered a beer. The machine would not take my player's card, and kept saying "Reinsert Card." I reinserted my card over and over, but to no avail. I tried another machine, and another with no luck. The waitress walked right by me with my beer, and I became increasingly frustrated. I had about $4 in comps from previous play, which could have gotten me a slice of pizza or a burger upstairs, but I knew something was terribly wrong, and I would have to visit the player's club. I grabbed my stray beer at the bar, and headed on over to the desk. That's when the bad news hit me like a ton of bricks -- I was told the IP cards were obsolete, and had been switched over to Harrah's Total Rewards.
I knew this day was coming eventually, as Harrah's has owned Imperial Palace for about a year, but I had missed the memo. I was told the switch occurred about a week ago. I was crushed -- I absolutely hate Harrah's Total Rewards, which should be called Harrah's Total Ripoff.