Viva the Parq Vancouver?
No....it is my opinion that the Parq Vancouver casino had potential to be a true hot spot for locals and visitors but unfortunately, Viva Las Vegas it's NOT!!!
The Parq Vancouver is described as a "world class casino resort" and was voted Vancouver's "Best Local Casino, 2018”, in the Georgia Strait. I can see why...it features two luxury hotels, diverse restaurants, lounges, spa, fitness studio, meeting spaces, Vancouver's largest hotel ballroom, etc...Unfortunately, it is my opinion that they missed the mark with the actual casino.
The Parq casino has all the same games as in any other casino but it is the entire package that is weak. I'm not familiar with the most successful casino design in terms of the floor plan for the games (tables, slots, etc...) but the Parq casino lacks essential components that make me, as a visitor, not want to gamble and not want to come back. These are the three essential components that I believe a successful casino should have:
1. Attractive Visually---When I enter a casino, I want my mood to be uplifted. I want to feel like I have entered a whole different world. I want to escape my real life and feel glamorous. Parq casino has nothing unique to offer. It lacks elegance, decor and a theme - all things most Las Vegas casinos have mastered. Also, their "lounge" on the main casino floor is an eyesore and it lacks purpose. I want to sit in a lounge that is easily accessible (main floor of casino), listen to free live entertainment, enjoy a glass of wine and either celebrate my winnings or forget my losses. Who knows? Maybe the music, the energy of the people dancing and conversing or the attractive band members will lift my spirits and lure me back to my favourite gaming...the slots. Isn't that what they want?!!!
2. Excellent Customer Service---In my three visits to this casino, I did not find the staff particularly friendly. No-one greeted me when I entered the casino. No-one approached me while I was playing the slots to offer me a "free" beverage or take my order. I had to hunt down a staff member to order a cup of coffee. The woman behind the counter who gave me a Parq Encore Rewards Card was friendly enough, however I have yet to receive any promotions in the mail. Not everyone has a computer or the time to check the Parq website for their promotions. Finally, their parking rates are ridiculously expensive and free parking is only offered to those who gamble regularly. Why would I want to visit a casino whose parking rates are unreasonable? The slot machines eat up my hard earned cash as it is, so the least they can do is offer free parking. Complimentary parking, at least for a couple of hours, should be available to all.
3. Excellent Dining--- My reviews of the two restaurants I went to are mixed. I was very pleased with the food at the Honey Salt Restaurant and I highly recommend their Tofino fry. I also tried, for the very first time, a delicious and very sweet dessert called Honeysalt Pie. I liked it so much, I revisited the restaurant specifically to have this pie again but I learned that it had been removed from the menu. Very disappointing! Why would they get rid of a delicious dessert that has the same name as their restaurant?!!! On another occasion, a group of us celebrated birthdays at the high end steakhouse at the Parq- the Victor. The atmosphere was buzzing and my experience was good overall however my "petite filet mignon" was unfortunately not cooked as I requested. A huge faux pas for a high quality, pricey steakhouse! I believe the formula is simple- if you build a casino and you consistently offer delicious food and good service, then the people will come. AND, after their satisfying meal, they most likely will try their chance with Lady Luck.
Rumour has it that the owners of the Parq suffered heavy losses which forced them to a recent sale. Perhaps some of what I wrote about are at fault. While the Parq was being built, many Vancouverites looked forward with great anticipation to the opening of a fabulous downtown casino. Sadly, it was anti climactic and a huge disappointment. Las Vegas....here I come!