Quick trip to Florida sparks memories

Published: Wednesday, November 13, 2013 at 04:35 PM.

I enjoyed watching Bart direct his cast of characters. His logo is a bee but his clients never get stung so he’s built a good business. Additionally his shop reflects our Gardner comfort and simplicity genes.

I’m always happy see the boys but the catalyst for this visit was a poker tournament at the Hard Rock Casino. Saturday morning we headed over the Skyway Bridge into Tampa.

On the way, Bret mentioned that I might find this casino a bit lacking in the customer service and attitude departments. He claimed since the Hard Rock has a tribal monopoly on casino gaming in the area, they didn’t need to compete and it reflected in their operating vibes.

I figured the place was probably like all other Harrah’s properties. I was wrong. When I approached the counter to register for the tournament I felt like I did trying to get license plates decades ago. Back then I almost self-combusted under the weight of clerical disinterest. Flashback!

Finally, by waving a hand and making a couple of weird sounds I got noticed by a clerk who almost spoke English. All in all, it took me about 15 minutes to register for the tournament plus time waiting to get my drivers’ license back from the lady who’d forgotten she had it.

I wasn’t very impressed with the Hard Rock, but being the only casino allowed in Tampa, it’s clearly their way or the highway. That’s surely no new concept this year.

After the tournament, we headed to Derby Lane in St. Petersburg. It’s a dog track and poker room.

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