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Thread: Report on the 2015 Great Gift Wrap Up at Paris

  1. #1
    I was there the first day, and it appeared that there were more vendors displaying. The event is always well run but on the first day, when I was there, the check-out lines were very long... even for 7 Stars. We had to wait about 15 minutes and in previous years there was never a wait for 7 Stars.

    If you were not 7 Stars the wait when I was there must have been a half hour or even longer.

    One change this year that is very welcome: you pick up your gift cards at the event and they are not mailed to you. In previous years gift cards were always mailed.

    There is a large inventory of cards and when you check out the cards you "buy" are activated. If you are buying a large number of cards, be sure that each card is activated.

    Also this year there is a table with what they call "point burners" for low-priced items to eat up points that aren't enough for larger items. Some of the "point burners" probably have a retail value of $5 but pick one up if you can't get a $10 gift card.

    I did not see a separate room to speak with a host if you have a problem with a "point shortage" and at Paris there was a table in the "check out area" for players who had a problem. I did not recognize any of the hosts.

    Yes, you can redeem gift points for free play and there were two stations set up for converting points to free play but I didn't see anyone using that option.

    Several vendors who were there in the past but have been missing in recent years are still missing including Tiffany and some of the other high-end jewelry retailers.

    There are the usual electronics and computer companies.

    Remember, you are probably dealing with district managers and even company vice presidents at the Great Gift Wrap Up. Caesars insists that these companies send high level execs and managers to talk to players so that the players get the best info on the products.

    When we went to a vendor selling designer handbags I asked the gentleman who was helping us if he was a "district manager." He answered "sort of." That was my clue that he was even higher in the chain -- and he was. He was a top vice president of the designer handbag company.

    Top execs from the companies show up at the GGWU because Caesars demads it. I found this out a few years ago when I walked in one event and saw half a dozen top execs that I had interviewed for the news when I was with KCAL.

    So if you are shopping for a TV or a computer or jewelry and have a question or complaint -- these guys and gals will be paying close attention.

    By the way, if you have any doubts about the "value" of an item, use the knowledge that these company reps are top execs. For example, before we got one gift item I asked the gentleman "what's the retail price?" He said they couldn't tell us. And I said "I know you're a district manager or maybe a vice president -- so you know." And then he leaned over and whispered the retail price in my ear.

    The second GGWU is at Caesars Palace next month.

  2. #2
    Electronics items are usually very poor value at the GGWU. The only exception was the iPad 4 in 2012, which I got for about equivalent price in points as it was in the Apple Store. But you don't get such value anymore.

    The lack of hosts for "point shortages" is actually a good thing. As I mentioned in a previous year's report, the host I dealt with wanted to charge me 1200 RCs ($12) for $2 worth of GGWU points. When I asked why I would ever do this, he responded, "Well, you have $2200 in RCs anyway", as if that makes it okay. When I told him that was irrelevant, he sheepishly admitted, "I know, it's a bad deal, but for whatever reason people here want to do it."

    Then I went to the checkout desk and a supervisor just comped me the $2 worth of points I was short. So that's a way better option if you are barely short of points, especially if you're a Seven Stars.

    I haven't decided if I will attend the December GGWU. Probably not, as I think I only have about $150 or so worth of points, so that would barely cover my gas.
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  3. #3
    Hi Alan:

    Did you see the exchange rate for free play? Was it 30,000 in Great Gift Wrap points for $100 in Free play like last year?


  4. #4

    Did you get another set of his and her bikes like last year? Might have to get another set stud.

  5. #5
    No bikes this year but we got a lot of Shell gas cards.

    I just found out that near the end of the event at Paris they ran out of gift cards at the event. Cards that were purchased would be shipped.

    I don't know if they will get cards for pickup at the Caesars event or if cards purchased then will just be mailed/shipped.

    Fab I'm sorry. I didn't check the price for free play conversion.

  6. #6
    I received emails today that my orders have shipped.

  7. #7
    Yes FAB, same as last year -- 15k gift points for $50 freeplay. Increments of $50. (Yes, better exchange than the gift cards... or rather, on par considering the payback of slots/vp).

    I elected to get freeplay at Bally's, and they had a booth right there to distribute freeplay tickets, so I didn't have to go to the cashier. Also went on Sunday around 2 p.m. and there was no line.

  8. #8
    Thanks Maxev.

    Also nice to hear from a new person.


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