Integrated Resort

What Makes a Casino Comfortable?

What makes a casino comfortable? While this may sound like a simple question and whose answer may seem obvious, it is rarely asked during the design process of a new casino or the renovation of an existing one. Nor is it a particularly easy question to answer. To some, a comfortable casino is one that has a down-home feel. To others it may be a casino that provides an environment that is exciting and energetic. Still to others, it may be nothing more than a place where customers are greeted by friendly and happy employees. In reality, a comfortable casino is comprised of a variety of elements including sound casino design, quality engineering, employee training in customer service skills and a healthy dose of common sense.

In the early days of Indian gaming, comfort was often overlooked in the rush to build and open properties as quickly as possible. As casinos became more popular, operators added more machines to existing space or expanded their properties in order to accommodate as many customers as possible. The notion of customer comfort played a secondary or even a tertiary role in the operation of the business. What has evolved for many casino operators are properties that are decidedly uncomfortable to be in.

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Be The Best Locals Casino You Can Be

As casino markets mature, there is a propensity among gaming operators and, in particular, Indian tribes, to diversify their businesses away from simple casinos. For some, the logical next step in the development process is to build full scale resorts, complete with golf courses, spas, elegant hotel rooms, ultra lounges and other amenities that appeal to new and different
customer segments. The basic assumption is that the local gaming markets are reasonably served and, in order for revenue to grow, a tribe must bring in new, different and far wealthier tourist segments.

The fundamental problem is that resort hotels are expensive to build and difficult to operate. They require a highly trained staff and an experienced sales team. A resort hotel stands a better chance of being successful if it is located within a resort community but that often means they must compete with branded hotel chains with international reservation centers. In addition, a resort hotel may alienate the very customers that made the casino successful as it often holds little appeal to local gamers.

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The Casino Marketing Plan: Objectives, Strategies and Action Plans

Last month this column focused on the first part of the casino marketing plan: conducting a thorough situation analysis in order to understand current and anticipated market conditions, the competition and the customer. Having performed this analysis, a casino marketing team can now focus on the development of realistic goals and objectives, a strategy that will achieve them and the specific action plans that become the marketing department’s “to do” list.

Too often the marketing team loses sight of the property’s mission. Operating a tribal gaming enterprise is more than about making money. It is about improving the quality of life for tribal members, providing security for future generations, offering employees opportunities for growth, and being a responsible member of the community. The marketing mission statement flows from the tribal mission but is also based on current market conditions. Once the team has prepared its situation analysis it is ready to develop the marketing mission d1at will guide the department’s efforts through the next year.

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