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Howard Stutz

Some $7 million in upgrades a pleasant turn of events for Terrible's

4 January 2013

LAS VEGAS -- The off-Strip Terrible's Hotel and Casino doesn't have movie theaters, high-end restaurants and bowling centers like other local gaming properties.

That's not what customers of the casino are seeking.

"We have a solid 70 percent local customer base that is loyal," said Chris Angelo, the casino's marketing manager.

Terrible's, at the corner of Paradise and East Flamingo roads near the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and just north of the Hard Rock Hotel, is completing $7 million in renovations.

The 60,000-square-foot casino was upgraded with nearly 1,000 new slot machines and a William Hill Race and Sports Book.

The table game pit area was reconfigured for better access, new carpeting was installed and a wall near the sports book was torn out to create a center bar area, with seating that allows views of the sports book television monitors.

The front desk area was combined with the casino's players club reception area, freeing additional space on the casino floor.

Terrible's also renovated the property's 327 hotel rooms with new furniture and furnishings. One hotel room on the third floor was renovated into a hospitality suite for the hotel's meeting guests.

In the grand scheme of Las Vegas hotel renovations, $7 million might not seem like a large amount. But for Terrible's, which was in limbo for several years because of the Herbst Gaming bankruptcy reorganization, any amount for renovations was a welcome gift from the corporate parent.

Terrible's is owned by Affinity Gaming, the reconfigured Herbst Gaming following the reorganization. Affinity licensed the Terrible's name from the Terrible Herbst Oil Co.

"This is a property that has to compete for the locals market," Angelo said. "The changes we made speak to that customer. We opened things up more in the casino and that works well with our size."

Angelo said the bulk of the local business comes from the neighborhoods off Flamingo Road near the casino. The casino has two restaurants, a cafe and buffet.

Terrible's was originally known as the Continental but the property went into bankruptcy in 1998. Herbst Gaming bought the hotel-casino in 1999 and remodeled the building to create Terrible's, which opened in 2000.

Herbst eliminated several older motel-style rooms to create a multilevel parking garage. That was one of the last changes made before the recent remodeling.

Affinity has since installed A-Play Club, a player rewards program that links with the company's three casinos in Primm and properties in Northern Nevada.

"Obviously, we're competing with the big players in the locals market (Station Casinos and Boyd Gaming)," Angelo said. "We are getting good feedback from what we've done."