Here’s a fun game: Say “Linq shrinks strength of drinks” five times fast. Know what’s not fun? When casinos downsize their liquor pour size to save a few pennies.
Linq resort has done just that. The Strip casino has lowered its standard liquor pour to .75 ounces, according to a confidential internal communication.
Hey, this is Vital Vegas. Are there really any “confidential internal communications”?
Here’s today’s gut punch, or what the kids love to call “Another Vital Vegas Exclusive and Such.”
You read that right. It’s weak. Just like your drinks at Linq from here on out.
Drinkers know the standard pour for cocktails in most establishments is 1.25 to 1.5 ounces.
In fact, there was a huge kerfuffle when we broke the news MGM Resorts had reduced its shot size from 1.5 ounces to 1.25 ounces back in 2016.
And by “reduced,” of course, we mean “improving the customer experience by offering a consistent product.” No, really, that was MGM Resorts’ response to our story back in the day. And they said it with a straight face.
Who would’ve imagined 1.5 ounces would be considered a “long pour” one day?
We anticipate a similar sentiment from Linq Hotel + Experience (the resort’s official name) and its owner Caesars Entertainment, but a .75-ounce pour seems much tougher to defend. It’s possible they’ll go the “this was communicated to staff in error” route (rogue beverage managers are everywhere in Las Vegas), but it’s possible Caesars won’t address this matter at all.
We reached out for comment from Caesars, but haven’t received a response. It’s worth noting we can’t recall ever having gotten a response to any Caesars Entertainment inquiry since about 2013, when we had the audacity to Tweet that then-Planet Hollywood headliner Britney Spears lip syncs.
Eldorado Resorts recently took the reins of Caesars Entertainment, so perhaps while they’re reviewing short-sighted policies like giving customers a thimble of liquor in their drinks, they can also take a closer at the company’s P.R. practices. Just saying.
The Linq’s new .75 ounce pour mandate is doubly concerning because this reduced pour applies not just to comped (free) drinks, according to the management memo, but also those
drinks customers pay for.
Casinos sometimes play a little fast and loose with comped drinks, including swapping the premium liquor a customer orders with a generic brand. But they tend to follow stricter guidelines with drinks people pay for.
Despite the downsizing of the standard pour at Linq, we trust the prices will remain unchanged.
The memo makes it clear if you want a “double,” or two .75-ounce portions, you’ll be dinged twice. For slightly more liquor than a traditional pour.
Our source said this puts the price of a double at Linq in the neighborhood of $32.
This move to reduce pour sizes would be baffling at any time, but seems especially misguided now.
We walked through Linq recently, and there were virtually no customers. Entire swaths of table games have been removed and replaced with slot machines. Such moves make some sense given low demand (table games involve much higher labor costs), but even if these changes are temporary, you’d think casinos would want to draw customers, not repel them with weak drinks.
The plot, like your cocktail, thins further as one wonders whether this new .75 ounce standard pour policy will be limited to Linq.
We’ve done this long enough to know big casino companies often test the waters before rolling out new procedures across all their locations.
Back in the day, Mirage tried drink ticket vouchers at one video poker bar. Today, drink monitoring is everywhere.
While Las Vegas has been distracted (understatement of the year) by the pandemic, it’s clear some of the town’s pre-COVID challenges persist.
Visitation in Las Vegas was already flat prior to the pandemic. This was mainly due to legalized gambling across the country, but it was also related to the increasingly widespread view Las Vegas has become a place where nickel-and-diming isn’t just an annoyance, it’s standard practice.
The perception problem has never been addressed, and policies like the one at Linq aren’t helping, they’re likely to make the issue worse just as people are thinking about travel to Las Vegas again.
To put this in layperson terms, “Have they lost their damn minds?”
Las Vegas visitors are looking for more value, not 40% less. Because that’s what it means to reduce a pour from 1.25 ounces to .75 ounces. Talk about a buzzkill.
Casinos that scrutinize their bottom lines at the expense of customer experiences had better get their act together. Otherwise, when visitors do flood back to Las Vegas, some casinos are going to find they’ve stepped over dollars to pick up dimes.