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RIP Golden’s Deli

Posted Friday, September 15th, 2017 10:58 am GMT -5 in Business,Food,Links at 10:58 AM

http://www.startribune.com/golden-s-a-lowertown-deli-classic-closes-its-doors/444497363/

A New Era with Chuck

Posted Monday, June 26th, 2017 01:02 pm GMT -5 in Business,Casinos,Travel,Work at 1:02 PM

The 2017 Cisco Live Keynote @ Mandalay Bay

Learn the system

Posted Sunday, June 4th, 2017 08:54 pm GMT -5 in Business,Cars at 8:54 PM

Free downtown parking feels like winning the lottery

St. Paul 1st

Posted Saturday, April 8th, 2017 07:48 pm GMT -5 in Business,Design at 7:48 PM

Glad that sign is back

My Top 7 Online Publications

Posted Tuesday, March 28th, 2017 12:52 pm GMT -5 in Business,News,Politics,Reading,Technology at 12:52 PM

* paid subscriber

(Also just resubscribed to the print edition of The Economist)

Dayton’s, no more

Posted Friday, March 24th, 2017 09:01 pm GMT -5 in Business,History,Shopping at 9:01 PM

End of an era 🙁

Marketing Genius 

Posted Tuesday, February 21st, 2017 11:35 pm GMT -5 in Business,Casinos at 11:35 PM

Terrible scratch-off gameplay; brilliant targeting

Badass business cards

Posted Monday, February 20th, 2017 12:17 pm GMT -5 in Business,Design,Football at 12:17 PM

That really says it all, doesn’t it?

Top 7 Stocks I’d Buy

Posted Monday, February 20th, 2017 08:43 am GMT -5 in Business,Personal at 8:43 AM
  • Apple (APPL)
  • Coca-Cola (KO)
  • Disney (DIS)
  • McDonald’s (MCD)
  • Nike (NKE)
  • Target (TGT)
  • 3M (MMM)

(if I had a portfolio)

Annual meeting swag

Posted Thursday, February 9th, 2017 04:34 pm GMT -5 in Business,Fashion,Work at 4:34 PM

Thanks for the hat, downtown council 

Credit Unions Forever

Posted Monday, February 6th, 2017 01:48 pm GMT -5 in Business,History at 1:48 PM

Joined NWAFCU almost 32 years ago – can’t believe they used to have your SSN right on the statement

That new scoreboard though

Posted Monday, January 9th, 2017 11:33 pm GMT -5 in Business,Sports,Technology at 11:33 PM

Nice job on the remodel so far

Spot the monkfish

Posted Monday, December 12th, 2016 04:58 pm GMT -5 in Business,Food,Travel at 4:58 PM

Home of the lame training session

Finally

Posted Monday, November 21st, 2016 08:50 pm GMT -5 in Business,Casinos at 8:50 PM

More hotel rooms coming to Mystic Lake 

Armory looks weird inside

Posted Friday, June 3rd, 2016 12:33 pm GMT -5 in Business,Design,History at 12:33 PM

Not what I expected…

A Message from the Artist

Posted Monday, May 16th, 2016 01:58 pm GMT -5 in Business,Links,Music at 1:58 PM

View story at Medium.com

Coming Soon

Posted Monday, March 14th, 2016 08:35 pm GMT -5 in Business,Work at 8:35 PM

The new parking ramp and Wells Fargo Skyway

Yippee-ki-yay

Posted Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016 03:28 pm GMT -5 in Business,Movies,Pop Culture,Work at 3:28 PM

Up on the roof of the IDS Tower, Minneapolis

Makers and Managers

Posted Thursday, February 25th, 2016 09:27 am GMT -5 in Business,Links at 9:27 AM

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/28/magazine/meet-is-murder.html?_r=0

The Open War in Los Angeles

Posted Sunday, February 14th, 2016 10:46 am GMT -5 in Business,Football,Links at 10:46 AM

http://espn.go.com/espn/feature/story/_/id/14752649/the-real-story-nfl-owners-battle-bring-football-back-los-angeles

Super Bowl on WordPress

Posted Saturday, February 6th, 2016 09:40 pm GMT -5 in Business,Football,Links,Technology at 9:40 PM

http://www.sfbaysuperbowl.com/

2015 G2E in Las Vegas

Posted Thursday, February 4th, 2016 12:41 am GMT -5 in Business,Casinos,Food,Friends,Travel,Work at 12:41 AM

Last week I had two different people ask me if I missed the casino world. After some inner reflection, I realized I do a little bit – it’s an exciting industry filled with a lot of great people. I still enjoy visiting places like Mystic Lake and figuring out which machines are new, how they change floor layouts, what types of promotions they run to attract more business and other aspects of the operation (which I still feel is one of the best around).

This also made me realize that I never wrote up a trip summary from last fall’s Global Gaming Expo (G2E) in Las Vegas, held way back on September 28 – October 1 at the Sands Expo and Convention Center. I hadn’t planned to attend this event originally, so my hotel choices were a bit limited and I ended up at the newly branded LINQ (formerly the Imperial Palace). While the location is great, I don’t think I’ll be going back there again. Nothing majorly horrible – I just prefer other resorts.

G2E is a huge show and I was lucky enough to attend five times during my casino career. The same companies and people are usually present every year and you have the added benefit of the Vegas Strip as a backdrop. This usually leads to a number of great (free) parties and the 2015 edition was no different. This time I held back a little on the drinking side of things, but was excited to finally see the inside of Tao, Lavo and Omnia. It was also great fun to spend time with Vanessa, Jason, Ryan, Peter, Shannon, Mike, Jenn and EJ. Hope to see all of them again at some point.

On the business side of things, I love evaluating new slot machines. As you can see in the photo gallery after the jump, licensed theme games continue to be extremely popular. My favorite new titles were The Simpsons, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Game of Thrones, Downton Abbey and Cirque du Soleil Kooza (a natural for Vegas slot floors if there ever was one). Games I felt were duds include Caddyshack (dislike 3×3 reel games), Frogger (complete waste of a license, poor gameplay, major let down from normally strong Konami) and Space Invaders (skill-based arcade games will only work when you have controls as good as the originals, IMO).

A few other items I remember from the show floor include seeing Pitbull promote his new Playboy slot machine (along with multiple Bunnies), a James Bond-themed welcome party and the Ultimate Chef Showdown judged by Cake Boss Buddy Valastro and Gavin Kaysen’s mentor, Daniel Boulud. I also had an interesting discussion at the MICROS booth (now owned by Oracle). Turns out I’m not the only one who feels the merger has basically destroyed what was once a solid, reliable business partner.

Speaking of food, I had quite a long list of Vegas restaurants I wanted to visit. I was hoping to hit db Brasserie at the Venetian right away, but they were “out of food” by the end of lunch that day. Spots that were open: Hash House A Go Go at the LINQ, Giada at the Cromwell, Bouchon at the Venetian and Yusho at the Monte Carlo. All were wonderful.

Ended up taking a red-eye home, so I had a lot of time to walk around various properties on the last day of the trip. I hiked over to New York, New York to get a glimpse of the new arena being built by MGM and AEG (now called T-Mobile Arena). The new hole in CityCenter where The Harmon used to stand was a bit dramatic. I also stopped in at the Bellagio Gallery of Art and took in the Picasso – Creatures and Creativity exhibition (for free, thanks to MyVegas).

Perhaps this post was best left unwritten, as now I just want to go back again…

Inglewood for $3 Billion

Posted Thursday, January 21st, 2016 08:25 am GMT -5 in Business,Football,Links,Sports at 8:25 AM

http://mmqb.si.com/mmqb/2016/01/19/los-angeles-rams-nfl-ownership-meeting

Just like Beetlejuice

Posted Tuesday, January 19th, 2016 07:53 pm GMT -5 in Business,Cars at 7:53 PM

Hennepin County Service Center for driver’s license renewal 

How low can you go?

Posted Friday, January 15th, 2016 10:38 pm GMT -5 in Business,Cars at 10:38 PM

$1.66 a gallon at an SA in Golden Valley, Minnesota 

Wells Fargo

Posted Friday, January 8th, 2016 03:40 pm GMT -5 in Business,Quotes at 3:40 PM

A sign is made to be seen…

Lightning has struck me twice

Posted Wednesday, December 30th, 2015 08:22 am GMT -5 in Business,Football,Links,Sports at 8:22 AM

http://www.si.com/nfl/2015/12/22/super-bowl-xlvii-blackout-superdome

Worst Ticketmaster Experience Yet

Posted Thursday, December 17th, 2015 11:02 pm GMT -5 in Business,Concerts,Music at 11:02 PM

Everything about that was lame

Cisco HQ

Posted Friday, December 11th, 2015 03:25 pm GMT -5 in Business,Travel at 3:25 PM

So many buildings, such an expensive neighborhood 

Guy Kawasaki 

Posted Thursday, December 10th, 2015 01:29 pm GMT -5 in Business,Quotes,Technology at 1:29 PM

Lesson #1: Fear is a great motivator

Hello there Guy

Posted Thursday, December 10th, 2015 01:25 pm GMT -5 in Business,Technology,Travel at 1:25 PM

Last time I saw Mr. Kawasaki was at the MHS

One of today’s speakers

Posted Tuesday, December 8th, 2015 08:41 pm GMT -5 in Business,Reading,Technology at 8:41 PM

Jacob Morgan, Futurist and Global Thought Leader

The Cisco DJ

Posted Tuesday, December 8th, 2015 03:29 pm GMT -5 in Business,Music,Technology,Travel at 3:29 PM

See, I wasn’t joking

CEO Sighting

Posted Tuesday, December 8th, 2015 11:18 am GMT -5 in Business,Technology,Travel at 11:18 AM

Chuck Robbins, Cisco CEO

Keynote below Moscone

Posted Tuesday, December 8th, 2015 10:51 am GMT -5 in Business,Technology,Travel at 10:51 AM

This seems familiar, somehow

Welcome, me

Posted Monday, December 7th, 2015 06:27 pm GMT -5 in Business,Travel at 6:27 PM

Lots of personalization going on at the Marriott Marquis

The decline and fall…

Posted Friday, December 4th, 2015 12:39 am GMT -5 in Business,Casinos,Links at 12:39 AM

http://fortune.com/2015/06/05/caesars-losing-las-vegas/

Reflections 

Posted Monday, November 23rd, 2015 12:27 pm GMT -5 in Business at 12:27 PM

Norwest in the IDS (or whatever they are called now)

That’s a big US

Posted Tuesday, November 17th, 2015 03:30 pm GMT -5 in Business,Work at 3:30 PM

South-side signage getting prepped for install

My new office is complete 

Posted Wednesday, November 4th, 2015 06:25 pm GMT -5 in Business,Movies,Work at 6:25 PM

Yes, I picked out a red stapler

Steve Wynn

Posted Friday, October 16th, 2015 10:39 am GMT -5 in Business,Casinos,Quotes at 10:39 AM

…the reason that these extraordinary non-gaming attractions exist is because the damn casino is the cash register…

Welcome to Mystic Lake

Posted Thursday, October 15th, 2015 10:27 am GMT -5 in Business,Casinos at 10:27 AM

Strategic planning sessions

Tao was beautiful 

Posted Wednesday, September 30th, 2015 02:34 am GMT -5 in Business,Casinos,Food,Travel at 2:34 AM

Aristocrat G2E Party

Thoughts on Treasure Island

Posted Monday, September 21st, 2015 09:01 pm GMT -5 in Business,Casinos at 9:01 PM

I don’t usually write a lot about casinos on this site, but there has been so much Minnesota news this year, I just can’t pass up the opportunity to offer a little commentary. I’ll start off with Treasure Island Resort and Casino, operated by the Prairie Island Indian Community outside Red Wing, Minnesota. Like many rural Minnesota casinos, they are Goodhue County’s number one employer, with a large gaming floor (roughly 2200 slots, 50 tables and bingo), 500 hotel rooms, RV park, marina, 24-lane bowling center, multiple dining options and the Island Event Center, which can seat 3000 people for concerts and other events. The tribe also purchased the Mount Frontenac Golf Course in 2000, which is located about 22 miles south of the casino on highway 61. Oh, can’t forget the 120 passenger yacht Spirit of the Water,” which is unique among casinos in the state.

We started visiting Treasure Island early on, long before they added all these newer amenities. An early favorite memory was getting my first royal flush on a quarter video poker machine. I’m pretty sure this was when I was still a poor college student, so instead of $1000 for a max coin bet ($1.25), I won a grand total of $62.50. Still not bad for a single quarter bet, but I later learned a nickel machine pays $200 on a 25-cent bet. Other memories include seeing Ron White in concert (and watching him drive a scooter all over the casino afterwards), bowling during the 2012 Super Bowl and watching A Brulé Christmas last year.

Several little birdies have told me the casino has had quite a bit of staffing and revenue drama the past year, but major decisions are still being made: the new Tado Steakhouse opened in March, the Tradewinds Buffet just reopened after a major remodel and they broke ground in May on a $19 million pool expansion that will include a fitness center, spa/salon, lazy river, zero depth pool and a swim-up bar. Colleen and I liked Tado – it’s a beautiful room with good food. Service wasn’t the best, but we did visit right after they opened. Brad and I tried to stop for lunch at the new buffet after golfing at The Jewel, but they refused to seat us at 2:01. Ugh.

We had another recent negative experience with a security guard, but the service recovery was laudable. Colleen and I stopped at their convenience store outside the casino before heading in to play. She bought a soft drink there, but a casino guard wouldn’t let her bring it in the building. Their marketing department sent me an email after our visit and I let them know about her experience. Within a day, I had a personal reply from Security Manager Leslie Keplin apologizing and explaining their policy. Very nice.

Treasure Island competes aggressively with Mystic Lake and Grand Casino Hinckley for the bulk of the Twin Cities market and must spend a ton of money on advertising and promotion. They sponsor just about every major sports team in Minnesota and my dad and uncle love spinning the wheel at Wild and Twins games. They have both redeemed multiple hotel stays and various amounts of free play. I even won $100 in free play during a Twins game and used it by visiting my old friend Kenny in the tiny, non-smoking area way back by the poker room (they also have a larger non-smoking area near bingo).

Overall, I like what they are doing for their community (and for southeastern Minnesota). I always thought they were close to our house, but it’s more than twice as far as Mystic Lake (which is still my favorite). On my last visit, I noticed that they seem to get a lot of traffic from Rochester, which I imagine is the closest gaming option for those guests (along with Diamond Jo in Iowa). I’ve never been a fan of their outside visuals, but the tropical theme inside is well executed, as is their social media. They have expanded in a patchwork fashion over the years, but it’s now coming together nicely…

Ready for Halloween

Posted Monday, September 7th, 2015 11:00 pm GMT -5 in Business,Holidays at 11:00 PM

Target has already switched

Anne Weisberg

Posted Thursday, September 3rd, 2015 10:42 am GMT -5 in Business,Quotes at 10:42 AM

The mark of a great leader is that they have a strong team and don’t need to be there all the time themselves…

The new lab

Posted Friday, August 28th, 2015 09:28 pm GMT -5 in Business,Personal at 9:28 PM

It’s 4:20 somewhere

They are coming along

Posted Thursday, August 27th, 2015 04:51 pm GMT -5 in Business,Casinos at 4:51 PM

A new look for Fond-du-Luth Casino in Duluth

Looks like trouble to me

Posted Thursday, August 27th, 2015 04:49 pm GMT -5 in Business,Casinos at 4:49 PM

IGT service van outside Fond-du-Luth

Hinckley winning the mailbox

Posted Friday, August 21st, 2015 01:52 pm GMT -5 in Business,Casinos at 1:52 PM

One week of mailers from Grand Casino Hinckley 

406% Growth at RCA

Posted Thursday, August 13th, 2015 08:23 am GMT -5 in Business,Links at 8:23 AM

http://www.inc.com/profile/red-circle-agency

Looking good KJ

Posted Tuesday, July 28th, 2015 06:13 pm GMT -5 in Business,Friends at 6:13 PM

Talented lawyers. Superior employers.

RIP Seven Corners

Posted Saturday, July 18th, 2015 05:54 pm GMT -5 in Business,History at 5:54 PM

This is shockingly different for St. Paul

Bob Lefsetz

Posted Monday, June 1st, 2015 01:38 pm GMT -5 in Business,Music,Quotes at 1:38 PM

AAA got a good chance in major markets, but ratings were bad and the stations flipped format…

New approach to 14

Posted Tuesday, May 26th, 2015 10:46 pm GMT -5 in Business,Friends,Golf at 10:46 PM

TPH attacking the 14th green from a “unique” spot

Express Lube No More

Posted Thursday, May 21st, 2015 06:46 pm GMT -5 in Business at 6:46 PM

Demo has begun…

First lunch

Posted Monday, May 18th, 2015 12:15 pm GMT -5 in Business,Food at 12:15 PM

Soft opening of the new Tim Hortons at the Y Store

Be Kind

Posted Wednesday, May 13th, 2015 09:53 am GMT -5 in Business,Links,Personal at 9:53 AM

http://boz.com/articles/be-kind.html

So many issues

Posted Saturday, March 28th, 2015 01:25 pm GMT -5 in Business,Casinos at 1:25 PM

Treasure Island in turmoil?

PW at the VC

Posted Thursday, March 12th, 2015 06:32 pm GMT -5 in Business,Food,Friends at 6:32 PM

I just love taking people there

Farewell And So Long

Posted Thursday, February 26th, 2015 09:39 am GMT -5 in Business at 9:39 AM

Lube Express closing in March

Florida Chamber of Commerce

Posted Wednesday, February 25th, 2015 03:16 pm GMT -5 in Business,Casinos,Politics,Quotes at 3:16 PM

Florida doesn’t need the casino industry. The casino industry…needs Florida.

How great are those letters?

Posted Sunday, February 15th, 2015 12:29 pm GMT -5 in Art,Business,Design,History at 12:29 PM

Northern States Power plant, Granite Falls, Minnesota

Her last day at Panera

Posted Tuesday, February 10th, 2015 07:00 pm GMT -5 in Business,Family,Food at 7:00 PM

People don’t quit the company, they quit their bosses

2013 was a good year

Posted Tuesday, February 10th, 2015 01:50 pm GMT -5 in Business,Sports at 1:50 PM

WELY Twins affiliate of the year

The 3M Suite

Posted Tuesday, February 10th, 2015 01:48 pm GMT -5 in Business,Sports at 1:48 PM

Nicely decorated too

Credit Union looks very nice

Posted Monday, February 9th, 2015 12:19 pm GMT -5 in Business at 12:19 PM

Nett Lake main office

Five Pound Salted Nut Roll

Posted Wednesday, February 4th, 2015 11:46 am GMT -5 in Business,Food,Links at 11:46 AM

https://pearson.pmcprograms.com/

Making Progress

Posted Wednesday, January 21st, 2015 01:05 pm GMT -5 in Business,Food at 1:05 PM

Construction proceeds on the new Tim Hortons at the Y Store

Nice view

Posted Friday, January 9th, 2015 12:13 pm GMT -5 in Business at 12:13 PM

The new Red Circle offices @ Ford Center

 

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  • 10K - 44:40
  • Half - 1:38:40
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  • 2017 Mileage: 199.2

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