Sunday, May 21, 2017


By Harry Dunne

Last week my lovely bride of 41 years accompanied me to Lake Tahoe for our anniversary. I had contacted my Harrah's Casino Host and negotiated comps versus gambling. Let me state that I enjoy Harrah's Casinos because the old crew is still alive and well at their locations. Harrah's had a junket going to Reno, but it was full so I called my host who paid our airfare and comped our suite at Lake Tahoe. We travel to Lake Tahoe every year and have built up relationships with several of the staff members. I know hosts, craps dealers, slot techs, bartenders and restaurant managers. Everyone is friendly unless you want trouble. Let me explain that. Nobody wants trouble but sometimes behavior invites it.

I earlier referred to the "Old Crew". I can spot them immediately. The bent nose, unusual facial scars and slicked down died black hair usually around fifty to sixty years old. They always wear a black suit, white shirt and usually a dark tie. They wear good quality leather tied shoes and never loafers. They are gentlemen who's job is to make paying guests feel comfortable and deal with trouble. The uniformed security can usually handle a drunk or couples disagreement but if a person is dumb enough to cheat or make money spending patrons feel uncomfortable then a member of the crew will visit them. Members of the crew don't visit with guests. They will assist you with directions or get your host, but they aren't going to have a long conversation with you.

One evening, two drunken trashy women settled down to play a slot machine together. Their total bet on each spin was thirty cents. If they lost, they loudly mother-fucked the slot machine. If they won, they yelled, "Fuck Yeah!" They yelled for the waitress to bring two more "Buttery Nipples". My wife didn't care for their behavior and several other money spending over the age of sixty patrons felt the same way. Then their two prison tattooed boyfriends wearing wife beater shirts and smelling of weed and Old Milwaukee beer arrived. They thought they were bad and pointedly tried to stare people down. I told my wife they would all be gone soon. It was as if they had disappeared by magic. There was no fighting or even loud talking. The crew arrived spoke softly and they were last seen boarding the down escalator to the basement floor. The only thing left was a smoldering cigarette in the ash tray. A housekeeping lady arrived cleaned the slot machine and smiled.

We reserved a car rental for our third day to see the sights. I arrived at the car rental counter to pick up the car and no one was there. I asked the concierge about it and he texted the rental agent who hadn't shown up for work that day. I had reserved a Toyota Corolla because they are affordable and dependable. The agent still didn't show. The concierge came up to me and handed me a set of keys and said, "Take the Tahoe". It was waiting for us in the valet lane. It wasn't free, but we got for the Toyota price and it was nice.

People don't appreciate good service anymore. I seek it out. I gamble. I give the house a shot at my money and Harrah's appreciates it. We still do things the old way. Before we leave we buy thank you cards filled with tips for the host, driver and any housekeeping. Even though Harrah's falls under the umbrella of a much larger corporation, they still keep their name and they continue treat their customers like old friends.

I also noticed that every day at lunch time, state and local cops were eating in the café. As they approached the cashier they were waived off. They thanked the cashier and always left a gratuity.

I assume these would be the same cops that may have to take a missing person's report on a casino patron who disappeared and was never seen or heard from again.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Vinnie the chin and Danny two times have always been standup guys!