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Time was, when a hotel in Las Vegas fell into disuse, disrepair and a lack of capital reinvestment, the choice was simple. Knock it down and start over. But those days are gone, if you can trust the recent trends of renovate, repurpose and restore for older buildings along the Las Vegas Strip, often bringing new brands to the city. Caesars Entertainment reached a partnership agreement with Nobu Hotels, an offshoot of Nobu Hospitality, a company headed by famous Japanese chef Nobu Matsuhisa.

The introduction of new brands to Las Vegas is good for the town, says Gigi Vega, general manager of the room Nobu Hotel and a Caesars luxury hotel operations executive. However, there is a market out there who Rave Casino Uniforms Designs be interested in gaming or non-gaming niche and boutique Rave Casino Uniforms Designs. They should be promoted, listed, and made available in multiple online and offline distribution channels, which could further diversify the tourism product Las Vegas offers.

After considering several plans for the property, the company decided to renovate and rebrand. The original idea of rebranding the hotel as the well-known boutique Gansevoort brand went by the wayside when one of the Gansevoort investors was alleged to have ties to organized crime. Thus the name Cromwell was born, and Caesars is building the brand from the ground up. Eileen Moore, who oversees operations at the Linq, Flamingo and Cromwell hotels, says the idea was to provide a higher-level customer with more personal service.

So literally, customers will pull off of Flamingo Boulevard, drive a very short distance into our porte cochere, walk 10 to 15 feet to their front desk, walk in, again, another 10 to 15 to the elevator, straight to their room. All the details were thought about in those rooms. And we want it to be an experience where guests always find something new going on in the hotel and the property. Victor Drai pioneered the nightclub scene in Las Vegas with a club of the same name, in the same hotel, except when it was the Barbary Coast.

Moore says it is the best nightclub in the city. And he challenges us, in our space, to do that as well. But Nazarian wanted to take it further and expand his burgeoning hotel empire to Las Vegas. InNazarian and his partners purchased the venerable Sahara, with the plan to implode most of it and build from scratch. With the arrival of the Great Recession, however, plans changed.

And in sbe closed down the Sahara, which it had been operating during the planning stages but had learned what worked on the Las Vegas Strip. But at the same time, we were being educated, because there were so many projects that opened between and —Cosmopolitan being the last.

This is how the lifestyle hotel has taken over the Strip. Faust says there are pros and cons to each. Just the mere fact that you have to work with the box as it is can be very challenging. We did that a lot at SLS Vegas. He says the complexity of the transformation of the Sahara to SLS was a matter of what part of the hotel you were in. There are two towers that Mr. Other areas, like the old Tunis Tower, which is the Story Tower today, and Alexandria Uk Casino Robbed 2018 Military, which is the Lux Tower today, we went down to a complete gut renovation.

Everything—plumbing, electrical, rises—they were all taken out, and a brand new infrastructure was added.

And there was a wooden structure in the middle of the hotel that was the original bingo parlor, that had nine-foot ceilings, and it was really a bottleneck that we completely took out and replaced with a brand-new building. It had columns and load-bearing walls and all sorts of things coming down so you could never be able to adapt exactly what we wanted to do.

It had a low-rise that was not that terribly old, but you could gut it back to structure and reuse it. And we did a lot of that; we used a lot of the existing MEP systems that were already in place that were in decent shape. It gives us a good box to work within.

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Some of the images that we have in the carpet, we wanted to call back to the original Sahara. The new owner retained Congo as the name of the ballroom. Towering Success The three towers of SLS allow the hotel to offer a different room experience in each, says Azarbarzin. Out of the rooms in that tower, of the rooms are suites, and they all have all the amenities and bells and whistles that you can ask for in any luxurious hotel.

And then our more standard rooms are in the World Towers that we created really for the conventioneers, and people who are a little bit more price-conscious.

And then there is the Story Tower. It was originally going to be the lounge off the casino, and then we decided we would close it off and embrace the pool, similar to what Wynn did for Rave Casino Uniforms Designs Encore Beach Club. We wanted to open up to the pool, embrace the pool, and make it be a little bit of our version of Hyde Bellagio, our nightclub there. But instead of having the fountains as our focus, our swimming pool becomes the focus.

Just a separate all-suite hotel tower when it first opened, it was branded THEhotel in The partnership with Morgans Hotel Group just made sense. More modern, luxury, driven by a boutique style experience. The public spaces are all changed.

We wanted to make sure all surfaces were touched. It was a total transformation of the entire property. The lobby has a new flow, bringing in designs from the desert. Taking the edge off and warming it up. The lounges are getting more visitation, and people are just hanging out in this space to take in the great vibes. We told them what we needed to keep operating. There were lots of temporary walls that were up that simply shifted from side to side as the renovations were completed.

But the big changes will come next year when a new restaurant is introduced into the space now occupied by the iconic Mixx restaurant and nightclub at the top of Delano, with its breathtaking views of the Strip.

Mixx will disappear but the partnership with Alain Ducasse will continue with the introduction of Rivea, a French restaurant with a Riviera theme, only the third of its kind other locations are in St. The lounge area of Mixx will also be renovated with a name and theme to be announced. Chilton will try to recapture the magic of what was once one of the hottest nightclubs in Vegas.

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The piece de resistance for Delano will be the beach club, which will occupy part of the acre Mandalay Bay complex, and only available to Delano guests. Hotel Impossible So where do we go from here?

Wherever there are older buildings, a hotel conversion is possible. In Atlantic City, the closure of four and maybe five casinos has opened up the possibilities of re-use of the former casinos. So whatever becomes of this latest trend in casino design, it will only accent the services and amenities offered to gaming customers, combined with the superior customer service that characterizes top casino resorts.

Art for its own sake is the least of their reasons. They have done the same thing in art. They are the first casino to have an artist in residence. The best time to visit the P3 Studio is evenings from Wednesdays through Sundays. It pioneered fine art on the Strip. The Venetian conducted a noble experiment when, for seven years, it partnered with the Guggenheim to present the Guggenheim Hermitage Museum.

This included 10 major exhibitions. At Guggenheim, it was more like showcasing great paintings. But the purists might be wrong. The same Italian artisans who interpreted the 15th century dialect translated from the mirror writing Da Vinci used in his famous notebooks helped create, often for the first time, 60 life-size machine inventions, artwork and anatomical studies.

Guests learn how the models work by pulling and cranking them. This is art education, especially if you are aiming at young minds. For the most part, that seems to be what the masses are willing to pay for, as opposed to fine arts galleries. With some notable exceptions. The Wynn gallery closed in and was replaced by a Rolex retail store.

They come to be entertained. But a small segment, such as those who go to the Borgata, is looking for more than just entertainment. They are not just looking for entertainment, but enrichment. Wynn is known for attracting well-heeled casino visitors. His on-property artworks feed that strategy. Guests at valet entrances are greeted by bronze horse and shoe sculptures by Stephan Weiss. Some casinos, rather than relying on dry artworks, aim toward museum-like exhibits, where vendors or operators rent space and present provocative or high-interest exhibits such as the Titanic artifacts.

He was vice president Rave Casino Uniforms Designs communications and community relations for the Las Vegas Hilton for five years Sternberg was director of public relations at the Tropicana from to He notes that in the last decade, as a piece of the Rave Casino Uniforms Designs resort pie, gaming revenue is not as large as it once was, having been replaced in part by entertainment, fine dining and other attractions.

Space is often a factor in choosing an attraction. These things tend to be investments. It will also include enameled picture frames, gold cigarette cases, decorative boxes and jewel-encrusted brooches. Displayed in his namesake restaurant, Picasso, are original paintings and ceramics by the Spanish artist himself.

With that comes great opportunity to expose both tourists and Las Vegas residents to incredible artworks and artists. Works are typically on display at BGFA for from six to eight months.

Beyond just providing a service beyond a meal or a place to game in. Millennials expect these companies to do more—not just responsible practices but things like art that enriches and educates. Providing art goes above and beyond Dr Casino Naperville Illinois Basketball Nit appeals to a younger generation who look not just at what they do but what they stand for.

Olympia or any Floyd Mayweather boxing match.

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The Moral Origins of the Great Recession , his sweeping history of the forces driving ethical, political, and economic change over the last sixty years. Here, Bosworth traces how the commercialization of public spaces and electronic information has created a new and enclosed American place.

Chapter by chapter, he then shows how the materialist values of this Virtual America have suffused our everyday lives, co-opting the themes of our narratives, the planks of our parties, the practices of our professions, and the most intimate aspects of our personal lives, including our beliefs about God, marriage, and childcare.

From Ronald Reagan and Disneyland to modern pharmacology and "prosperity theology," from the phony conservatism of Wall Street to the faux rebellion of "transgressive" art, Bosworth's alternative story of American life since relentlessly challenges today's dominant narratives--narratives that, as he reveals, made both the calamitous invasion of Iraq and the economic collapse of all too likely.

The Aging of Aquarius. In the Mall of Virtual Americas Mind. Coercive versus Seductive Forms of Social Control. In the Shrine of Virtual Americas Soul. The Pharmacy of Pain Dissuasion. The Politics of Pain Dissuasion. Boyd, based in Tulsa, has observed and participated in numerous realms of tribal gaming. He is pleasantly surprised that the saturation point projected for gambling in casino-stuffed Oklahoma has not occurred.

The great thing for Oklahoma is not having competition from Texas, Arkansas and Missouri. Most Oklahoma tribes, however, thrive via the neighborhood philosophy. So even if some funds are distributed to members, etc.

Their budgets are more constrained than in past years. A design project may entail meeting one current need and anticipating another in the near future, but not rebuilding an entire property. Much of what we look at concerns the amenities a property does not have.

And what is the best fit? They just love it. But the return on that investment would be substantially smaller than other amenities they could put together to generate income for their bottom line. Parking garages are excellent additions, as are hotel rooms. We walk our clients through what levels of returns they could expect with the different approaches they would use with their amenities.

And he offers some non-design-related advice. The company has extensive contracts throughout Indian Country and in non-native establishments. It has seen that one plan size never fits all. Other markets can be fairly robust with just a few tribal facilities that may or may not even compete for the same customer.

More than a dozen new or expanded facilities opened in , and has shaped up to be another banner year for expansion and revenue growth. Hnedak Bobo works closely with this property. WinStar evaluated its gaming position from two perspectives, Bacon indicates.

One was how it stacked up against other casinos. Two was how the casino industry itself matches up against other forms of entertainment. It lies just five miles from the Texas border. This will drive new, more affluent traffic, and create marketing and promotion opportunities in the DFW metro area. A strong industry trend the last few years is the addition of true multi-use or flex space.

During the day it can be set up for business meetings and banquets and then at night it transforms into an atmospheric nightclub. Cherokee Expansion Cuningham Group, based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, has ascended along with tribal gaming since the s. One of its premier partners has been the Cherokee Nation, for which it has worked major areas of expansion in recent years.

Smaller projects also are viable. They need more amenities to recapture the customers they have been losing. They are willing to tug, push and pull in the effort to get people back.

Not all tribes will have a conference center, and a rural tribal casino may not have the amenities of a Las Vegas casino. But all of them have something unique to build upon. This presents a built-in advantage for any property expanding in these areas. Mid-range projects are also popular. It is expected to add jobs. You will have a great hall and a casino attached to a hotel. The hotel is 30 feet above the casino, so you will have this great visual experience of descending down from the hotel 30 feet into the game floor.

In the big picture, it does not cost much to see the financial light—by projecting the real one. One wall may reflect sunrise, the others will show sunset, the upper areas and the ceiling may have the colors of dusk. Cherokee Nation Businesses is the tribally owned holding company of Cherokee Nation, the largest Indian nation in the U. CNB owns companies in a variety of industries including gaming hospitality, personnel services, distribution, manufacturing, telecommunications, IT and environmental services.

Two significant announcements occurred in early September. The outlets are projected to offer more than , square feet of leasable space, and will focus on premium and upscale shops for about retailers. The development is projected to create 1, permanent jobs and hundreds of jobs during construction. The project will be completed in Mohegan recently tried unsuccessfully to win a gaming license in Everett, losing out to Wynn Resorts.

Penn National will open its slots parlor in Plainridge next year. MGM has won a license to open a resort casino in Springfield. For Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun, doing nothing may be the largest gamble. Slot machine revenue has declined by one third since Each property is adding whatever possible to its lineup. Because of construction delays, it will not open for the holiday season as hoped, but is expected to open in May , just in time for the summer campaign.

It will encompass , square feet and feature more than 80 leading brand-name upscale fashion outlet discount stores. The project is expected to create an estimated jobs during construction and approximately full- and part-time retail jobs upon completion. Mohegan Sun already features abundant shopping and a major sports arena that hosts everything from professional basketball to major championship fights. Add indoor lacrosse, now that the Mohegans have acquired the Philadelphia Wings.

Lacrosse games are expected to attract 9, fans. The combination looks formidable: How do you spell Score? The Mohegans, who operate three resort casinos out of their gaming division, made two previous announcements to invest in business outside their known realm.

Mohegan has acquired a wood pellet production plant in Ohio, with an agreement to buy a second plant in Indiana. The venture into the wood pellet production industry, called Northeast Wood Products, expects to sell more than , tons of wood-fiber pellets annually under the brand name ThermaGlow.

Diversification adds one more strength to the fiber of tribal gaming, which—with the help of key design and architectural firms—is settling in for a long stay. It has become commonly recognized by developers and restaurateurs that customers are seeking more than just great food when they sit down for a meal in a nice restaurant. They want an experience. What this exactly means is a question that has only recently become the subject of study by thought leaders within the hospitality industry.

As we examine the key components of a dining experience, design emerges again and again as a critically important piece of the puzzle. Executives refer to the importance of design within the context of congruency, the bridge between the story they want to tell and the brand identity they want to reinforce.

Customers, particularly within an integrated resort, will often shop the look of a restaurant before thinking about viewing a menu. Increasingly, design is becoming credited as one of the most important, and least studied, attributes in why consumers choose one restaurant over another.

Academic researchers are recognizing the importance of design, particularly in creating desired ambiances within fine dining restaurants. More and more, it is becoming accepted that physical environments create emotional responses in individuals, which in turn elicit a desire to further explore or completely avoid.

Consumers feel more empowered than ever to evaluate what in the past may have been viewed as the unsung ingredients of a dining experience. Emboldened by a sense of expertise that popular television shows such as Chopped, Beat Bobby Flay and Restaurant Startup have given them, the general public has a raised antenna to every aspect of the restaurant experience today.

Their expectations are high. Because of this, we must study consumers like never before and put our learnings to work at the onset of our development process. Why Study Guest Psyche? In the hospitality industry, deep thought about the psychological and emotional drivers of choice on consumer decision-making is quite rare. Hoteliers and restaurateurs have historically developed properties as much for their own egos as they have for a perceived, or hoped-for, demand.

With consumer spending in restaurants up dramatically and consistently over the past four decades, competition has also greatly increased. That reality has placed incredible pressure on developers to conceive new concepts, quickly, which will both differentiate and resonate with a fickle public. From the heights of economic prosperity to the depths of financial depression, the hospitality industry—as a whole—has been slow to embrace a researched approach to development. Rather, both highlight the misperception many have as to what consumer research is—namely, asking people directly what they want.

This approach, done correctly, yields valuable insights that misguided methodologies would have missed or, at best, misconstrued. These insights, in turn, spark actionable ideas—in the minds of artists and executives—that are rooted in something viable. In this context, his brilliance was that he understood, before the opportunity developed, that everyday people wanted to use computers, yet the frustration in their complexity was an overwhelming barrier for the non-technically inclined.

The link is not only ironic, it is also perceptible. Court records from a recent lawsuit between Apple and Samsung have resulted in much previously confidential information becoming public record.

Embracing Consumer Insights For the restaurant industry, there has never been greater potential. Economic prosperity and discretionary spending have largely recovered from recession levels. According to the National Restaurant Association, Americans today make nearly half of their food purchases away from home. In it was 25 percent. As such, understanding the psyche of a hospitality patron has never been more critically important for a business owner.

Ambiance has become an indispensable part of dining out. Design plays a critical role in each of the three pillars of the customer experience—food, service and atmosphere. Done right, design complements other key elements, such as great cuisine, and helps establish the immersion that customers crave in a dining experience. At Todd English P. Whereas the reputation of a four-time James Beard Award-winning celebrity chef undoubtedly is a driver of traffic to the restaurant, the design in many cases pulls customers in and brings them back.

Their perception is that it is not as expensive as other dining options in the area. The design of Todd English P. The kitchen is open, which brings staff into the lively environment and further opens an already open space. The bar and dining areas feel like separated spaces, as they perhaps should, yet the sought-after experience is diluted in neither.

The proximity of the kitchen to the dining area also speeds up food service, which results in the restaurant being able to turn more tables each night. Patrons asked to describe Todd English P. It is also at their consciousness. When Todd English P. Though not enough to draw a quantifiable conclusion, it is a fascinating insight.

White marble and dark oak adorn a central dining area, which masterfully creates spaces that are simultaneously private and open. The kitchen, run by Michelin-starred Chef Ho Chee Boon and his team of dim sum chefs, extends the Chinoisere-chic to the back of house in a way that is different from the dining room but still consistent with the broader space. Positioning of the kitchen, the main dining area and the private VIP dining room on the second floor represents design choices driven equally by form and function.

The subtle design details within Hakkasan reward those who pay close attention. The dark wood and white, cloudy marble used throughout the restaurant are very similar to that used in traditional Chinese-style furniture for centuries.

In China, it would be common to see these materials in traditional homes throughout the country. Hakkasan is able to apply these old-fashioned elements and transform them into something elegant, modern and chic. With a fresher design, the dark wood and cloudy marble transform into a distinctly modern Chinese composition. Understanding the hospitality side of the restaurant equation, Hakkasan follows up its impressive design with impeccable service.

With more than 20 comments per night from guests, Hakkasan knows that its design is a central element to the story it wants to tell its customers.

These separate-yet-integrated elements are as much a testament to their function as they are their form. Their segregation also drives key operational efficiencies, as staff can streamline service toward individual spaces and guest satisfaction. Tables at Olives are square, not round, adding to the focus on a comfortable experience.

Also, guests are seated in rather close proximity, which encourages a social element that resonates throughout the restaurant. As was the case with Todd English P.

When asked to rank the importance of architecture and design in choosing a restaurant on scale of 1 not important to 10 very important , these patrons ranked it very high, at a 9. This correlation between consumer spend and the importance of design as a key influencer in choosing one venue over another was consistently greater, the more a consumer anticipated spending. We started with this premise: How do you keep your offerings fresh and your property intriguing to customers?

Short of tearing the casino down and starting from scratch, how can you redesign and repurpose an existing casino? What are the appropriate steps to take? Defining long-sterm vision is critical to establishing any kind of project clarity. We recommend starting outside in. This process starts by asking the hard questions in order to inform the dialogue.

As an example, if the facility is not delivering consistent entertainment value across all offerings that is sustainable from a competitive advantage standpoint, what has to dramatically change, or maybe even completely go away, in order to achieve the desired business result? Every aspect of the operation, including the sacred cows, has to be on the table. All of a sudden the place becomes a mish-mash of completely unrelated design aesthetics or levels of quality, and everything has to be ripped out or renovated in order to create a cohesive whole.

With a defined vision and the right implementation plan, a facility can incrementally build into an informed and competitive end result. The most important early step is to work with the owner to evaluate the current earnings of each area of the property.

Then we identify which spaces will offer the maximum return on investment based upon the renovation budget. The initial concept of the revitalized area is continuously updated throughout the design phases with consistent reviews and approvals by the owner. The best first step is an analysis of your existing patrons coupled with a look at your potential customers. Are you looking to market to a younger generation? Are you hoping to extend the geographic reach of your current operation?

Are you wanting to increase weekday traffic with more business travelers? These are the kinds of questions to ask up front to help create a vision for how you see your property redesign evolving.

Next, check out your competition. What are they doing—or not doing—that can help you determine a clear understanding of what will differentiate you from other offerings? This may vary widely from less impactful the addition of a fine-dining restaurant to more impactful adding a hotel and convention space. If the property was initially developed based upon a well-thought-out master plan, the roadmap is largely in place. The first step in redesigning a casino is to understand who your client base is, and whether you want to keep them and maintain or increase participation or go after another segment of the market.

From there, you must understand your financial assets and goals. How much will it cost versus a good, better, best scenario as to ROI on those dollars? Have a clear vision of the desired goals and needs of the renovated space. Pick an experienced complete team early based on their qualifications and align their success with the success of the project.

Have a dedicated, decisive and empowered leader to focus on the project. Set realistic budget and schedule expectations for the entire project, not just construction. Hold all team members equally accountable for their deliverables—internal and external. Maintain positive and regular communication at all times. Technology has dramatically altered the gaming floor and the support thereof. In an existing facility, this equates to making more floor space available for additional gaming or amenity support.

In a recent renovation, our design team redesigned the carpeting, wall finishes, column enclosures, decorative lighting and some simple ceiling details. This resulted in an entirely new, fresh and clean design style. The revenues on the property increased by 10 percent. Keeping the goals of the renovation in proper perspective is paramount to a successful project.

If a survey was done of all existing casino facilities, and budget was not an immediate factor, much of our current product would be under redesign and market refocus. One of the key design parameters appears to be responsible and brand-reflective design of a relatively stable casino environment, allowing easy game and product replacement and relocation, with a perimeter of interactive retail, dining and entertainment features which can and will be changed out at predictable costs with active and fresh facades, engaging interiors and quality offerings within—good casino design within brand-reflective and market-focused amenities.

Ownership should have a program. What is the goal to be achieved? The first step is research. Employees are also an important group to consult.

Their firsthand experience as to the functionality of a space is a significant asset, and worth taking the time to harvest. Key stakeholders will offer insights pertaining to their vision, and architects and designers experienced in casino design can help shape the vision and eventually translate it to the built environment.

Which areas of an existing casino, in your experience, often or infrequently require redesigning? Anything that the customer readily sees and interacts with should be subject to improvement and overhaul. The internet has certainly changed how a critique is communicated to the public.

An amenity mix of exclusive offerings that appeals to multi-generational customer profiles generates buzz and increased visitation.

Whether this is accomplished by refreshing interior design elements or by completely replacing one venue with another, this must be done regularly. The casino floor must also be kept fresh, but requires less frequent and less dramatic revisions. Back-of-house areas require little in the way of renovation with the exception of technology updates and standard maintenance of the spaces and finishes.

Restaurants are the most frequently redesigned parts of a casino resort. The scale of most restaurants makes changing them a more bottom-line-friendly approach to reviving what a property can offer guests. Similarly, refreshing hotel rooms is also a high priority for owners who want to remain relevant in the face of their competition. Changing furnishings and fixtures can instantly transform the overall feel of a hotel without significant and more expensive structural modifications.

Typical areas for redesign include various portions of the casino itself, hotel guest rooms, restaurants, bars and lounges. Less frequent areas may include the conference and meeting facilities, pool areas and property exteriors, and parking options. New gaming equipment is strategically relocated frequently to attract and retain customers. Large, intrusive construction renovations of main gaming venues are less common—usually incremental changes are adapted to minimize large-scale revenue stream disruptions.

As certain gaming trends change, however, some specialized venues are repurposed. A recent example has been the declining trend of large poker rooms and the repurposing of these spaces for other gaming or entertainment venues. Guest rooms are typically refreshed on a cycle of every five to seven years. On a longer cycle, room renovations that involve bathroom upgrades, electrical modifications and layout configurations are more intrusive but are required to make large leaps in a dated design.

Nightclubs especially go through dramatic changes in structure, equipment and acoustics. Being unique and current is the lifeblood of a successful club.

High-limit gaming areas and attractions often need to be updated. In the future, the casino floor will be revised significantly to include new forms of unique gambling devices. The casino floor, ironically, is rarely in need of a full redesign. Changing out games to current product, refreshing signage, slot and table relocations and featuring new interactive amenities on the gaming floor account for most of the refreshing in the actual gaming area.

In the case of the hotel product servicing a casino, the majority of the room, hallway and public areas servicing the patrons are often left too long without renovation and refreshing finishes. Entertainment venues, nightclubs, day clubs, pool areas and food venues are constantly changing.

These areas of the casino have become as important, and in some cases an even more important revenue generator than the gaming floor. The goal is to attract the customer and then keep them there for as long as possible.

In order to do that you need to keep the amenities fresh and exciting. Employee spaces should equally be addressed. Offering a well-kept and upgraded retreat for your employees is a subtle way of showing them that you care—happy employees are often contagious. The construction and procurement teams can start laying out schedules and budgets to assist design.

All of these players are important at different times, but they all should be included in the beginning of the process. With a strong architectural design team made of architects and interior designers, the other design consultants should follow their lead. The main vision for the space is provided by the need and goals that the owner or client sets.

Only management can make the final decisions, but if the staff has input then the solution is better. The design team needs to realize that no decision is valid without the client. The most important aspect of any successful property improvement is research. In addition to this, for any food and beverage space you should consult the chef, interior designer, lighting designer, graphic designer, food designer and architect.

For any entertainment facility you should understand the anticipated entertainment and the level of customer involvement. It truly depends on the function of the space and what your customer is looking for, which ties this all back around to the importance of research in designing a space. Depending on the extent of the renovation, there is often no way of getting around significant impact to the customer experience. Beyond the proper phasing of the work and safety, the best thing to do is just make the customer a part of the construction process and build expectation for the new and enhanced facility.

Phasing plans which are carefully worked out with the owner and the contractor will minimize cost and construction time and result in reduced inconvenience to guests. Well-planned phasing has led to increased visitation on many of our projects in anticipation of new venues opening. Proper phasing is the open-heart surgery of design. Interestingly enough, construction need not be a negative if you market it correctly—people get curious and excited when they see construction and hoarding walls or sneak peeks into construction areas.

Promotions during construction can help divert dollars and attention to other parts of a casino that may need an extra traffic boost from a reminder that things are still up and running. Temporary locations are another possibility.

While the buffet shuts down for its major redesign, the property is temporarily setting the buffet up in the convention center. The key to minimizing revenue loss is: Renovations and repurposing of all sizes and scales demand an intimate relationship, a pas de deux of operator and designer. Each must understand and respect the demands, responsibilities and aspirations of the other, and each must keep in step with the other.

Common vision, early planning, phased approach, tried and trusted consultants, respect for budget and schedule and daily updates are but a few of the steps to keep all in stride.

What are the elements of a successful redesign? A redesign is successful when you have created a memorable experience that people tell their friends about. We also go back to the importance of operational function. Make sure operators love the redesign as well. Take care of the employees during the process—they use the space the most. A successful redesign has many important elements. A few include realistic budgets and schedules, practical owner expectations and knowledgeable consultants.

Practical issues such as known current conditions, property restraints, and utility, traffic and site considerations are critical, as well. In a redesign the most important thing is to make an impact. Any redesign should bring a fresh, new look to the facility.

Even simple replacements should consider how to capitalize on newer design trends and statements. The use of color, texture and light can build upon parts of the existing while breathing in new life. Does budget strongly dictate what can be successfully achieved with repurposing a casino? Budget will always govern what can be achieved in any given project, but the successful allocation of that budget is where our professional expertise is tested.

An experienced design team can work miracles for an owner with even a modest budget. It just takes creativity and vision. The capital budget is one important element in the repurposing process, but staying on budget is more important, as the allocation of capital is tied to a return on investment.

If the budget is overspent, then you have negated the rationale for the redesign in the first place. Having a realistic expectation on what the renovation scope will cost in the target space is vital. In renovation work, the existing infrastructure of the venue is costly to modify and usually does not contribute to the return on investment directly. Discovering these issues during construction can be devastating to a tight budget and schedule.

Budget is always important and best faced early in the process. We provide an opinion of probable cost as soon as there is an approved conceptual idea. This way there is a clear understanding by all parties of what level of the vision can be achieved.

Casinos should have yearly budgets for maintenance and major changes. By allocating the budgets correctly, the facility can spread out the cost and budget impact on the casino over time. We are currently undergoing a leadership and ownership transition. Change is always a great opportunity to think differently and act differently. A number of years ago, we proactively established a sense of urgency and started planning for this event. Following the fundamental approach we use with our clients, we first defined a vision necessary to inform our decision-making.

We then established a guiding coalition of senior leaders to articulate the vision to the firm at large and then lead the implementation. One of the most compelling aspects of this evolution of our company is a renewed and strengthened effort to empower many others in the organization to act on the vision in ways that are unique to them individually and professionally.

To that end, BWA has implemented key initiatives to support our core competencies. Specifically, we have invested heavily to reposition the firm, enhancing and expanding our architecture and interior design staffs.

In , we made the strategic decision to expand our footprint to Southeast Asia with the opening of an office in Vietnam, and within the past year we have initiated operations in Macau to serve clients in the region. Nimble response to the ever-changing design trends and consumer demands is the key to success in our business.

We have created design-build partnerships to successfully renovate, remodel and repurpose casinos so that when we design we are able to keep it within the budget parameters the clients need. Clients appreciate the combination of great design and budget consciousness that a design-build situation can provide.

Getting a contractor on board right away is always our recommendation. Our philosophy remains the same—committed to the success of our clients. We understand the ebb and flow of the casino business and respect the changing market conditions and needs of our clients.

PMI has repurposed several areas of our company since the economic downturn. We looked at areas that would increase our efficiencies in reporting to our clients, obtaining bids, tracking shipments and streamlining our computer system. We looked at our staffing and concluded that we have it right and did not change our system of separate teams of project management, expediting, and job cost personnel overseen by an executive team.

It costs us more money to operate this way, but we cannot do the large gaming projects we do without these teams separately focused on their missions. With up-front collaboration and forensic research being so critical in renovation work, we have invested heavily in technology to aid site investigative services. Laser scanning and 3D modeling capabilities shorten our evaluation time and increase accuracy in verifying as-built conditions.

Similarly, we have modified our preconstruction services to dedicate field personnel early to ensure a cohesive, vested team for the complete life of a renovation. Early in the preconstruction process, the key members of the construction project staff are incorporated. This practice has shown marked improvements in consistency in communication with clients and designers, and instills a higher level of confidence with owners as a project matures.

We have retooled our workflow process at TBE Architects to respond to the changing environment in hospitality design today. In the past, most every design decision was reviewed by the entire staff. We were very consensus-based in our approach. Now the team reviews the design, just as a client will—in a presentation format.

This has resulted in much faster turnaround for the owners and greater job satisfaction for our staff. We do it every day. At SOSH, we are recreating our future by reinvesting and celebrating in our core and senior staff.

Roles in leadership, design, production, quality control, project administration and marketing are shared and new opportunities in ownership and firm direction are all in process. Our SOSH team is at our creative best, and we work smarter and in sync with one another within these challenging times.

YWS has responded to the changing market in a variety of ways. We understand that leisure and entertainment seekers are looking for world-class experiences, so we added a market and consumer research division to better understand hospitality, gaming, retail, dining and entertainment consumers.

Our research division conducts ongoing qualitative and quantitative research to identify market trends and consumer preferences, which are then applied to our designs. The Forest County Potawatomi have an existing casino and events center downtown. The 3,square-foot presidential suite gives a tremendous view of downtown Milwaukee and Lake Michigan.

We tried to create a building that would tell the story. We created a transparent glass tower whose skin reflects the excitement of the city.

At the top, large letters spell Potawatomi. Rising from the Menomonee Valley, an old industrial part of Milwaukee with few multi-story buildings, the tower is designed in a three-story podium.

The off-white distinguishes it from the gray industrial valley. You enter a whimsical porte cochere, which is an abstract form of an eagle about to take off. The two-story lobby delivers on that promise. A lot of inspiration came from their existing casino. We took that as a starting point and wanted to reference nature but in a modern and abstract way.

The walls have a modern interpretation in veneered woods. Compared to other hotel suites, this one has full floor-to-ceiling windows with great views. While not the lap of luxury of the Presidential Suite they will, at very least, make you feel like royalty.

Forest County Potawatomi Tribe Architect: Cuningham Group Architecture, Inc. Start with a century-old Iowa warehouse known for its weathered brick walls, commanding six-story clock tower complete with roof battlements! Add an iconic entertainment brand and a foot electric guitar. What have you got? The Lobby Bar is a statement unto itself: The 50,square-foot gaming floor, with more than slot machines and several dozen table games, sports a purple leopard-patterned carpet, decorative light fixtures bearing purple drumsticks, and the trademark oversized Hard Rock guitar.

From every direction, guests can see iconic black-and-white images of their favorite rockers, including Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Billy Idol and Peter Frampton, and concert posters from bands like the Ramones, the Stones, Devo and the Cure.

The ,square-foot structure at Third and Water streets—a sterling example of Romanesque revival architecture—dates back to It opened in as a manufacturing plant for scissors and cutlery, and in the s became a battery factory. Massive archways, where cargo trains once pulled into the warehouse, have been preserved.

Vintage brick has been retained even in the guest rooms, all of which have views of downtown Sioux City or the Missouri River. Not surprisingly, the resort was an immediate hit with the public, artistically and economically. The Philippine gaming market has been attracting much attention over the past year. At the end of , City of Dreams Manila is slated to open, operated by Melco Crown, which also owns the Macau casino resort of the same name.

Like its Macau cousin, CoD Manila will host multiple hotels and other non-gaming amenities. The hotel will include a Nobu restaurant and offer a fusion of laid-back luxury, high-energy nightlife and exclusive guest room retreats and spa services. An integrated space of live and digital play spaces, the center will stress learning through play.

Each experience is designed exclusively for City of Dreams Manila by the artistic and creative forces of DreamWorks Animation and iP2 Entertainment to combine the best elements of the DreamWorks library with the hands-on activities of an education-inspired play center to create a truly one-of-a-kind family adventure.

The debut of City of Dreams Manila demonstrates how the Philippine market is growing. Leisure and Resorts World Corp. Leighton Contractors Philippines Inc.. The resort started with a good problem: But the only land available for expansion was a narrow tract hugging the waterfront adjacent to the original Royal Hotel. The sleek design continues inside. The curvilinear guest rooms are contemporary but uber-comfy, with lighted zebra-wood wardrobes, built-in seating, plush wall-to-wall headboards, double vanities, custom furnishings and art, and contemporary accent lighting.

Suites are outfitted with personal wet bars, and make abundant use of millwork on the walls and ceilings. The room layouts turn tradition on its ear. Dispensing with the box-within-a-box design that is typical of most hotel bathrooms, Bergman Walls pushed the baths to the outside walls.

As a result, natural light floods in through banks of windows. Thanks to floor-to-ceiling windows, the guest rooms, first-floor Cabana Suites and penthouse-level Sky Suites are akin to glass houses, with panoramic views of the city, the Gulf, and that iconic, neon-lit Hard Rock guitar. The style, like the brand, is playful, irreverent and hip. And of course, the resort is packed to the rafters with music memorabilia from superstar rockers: Tandem Interior Design Studio Contractor: Many contemporary office buildings look like monuments to conformity.

Built in , it has all the hallmarks of the neoclassical style: The resort is operated by the Comar Group, which owns 36 casinos and gaming halls around the world, including 10 in Spain. It took a lot of work. The skylight solved a problem for the architects, says Belinskiy: Because of all the systems that go inside the ceiling cavities, it was pretty challenging to keep the ceilings high and also maintain some of the design elements we wanted.

Much of the decorative trim and molding had to be replaced. It was really hands-on site administration. On the third floor is the opulent ballroom, now a gaming floor lit by eight-foot chandeliers. We were excited to see it restored, not just for business reasons but from an architectural point of view. It felt right that we had a chance to give this building a new, re-energized look. The iconic building, the team of excellent professionals, the facilities and the exclusive design make the Casino Gran Via a leisure experience of reference in Europe.

Comar Group Project Design: Steelman Partners Europe Area: Reviving this underused industrial property was a special interest for the Seneca Nation, which has historical ties to this land. Plugging into what was already there and what was already happening was pretty exciting. But that was only part of it. We wanted to make the core large enough to accommodate art festivals and other multi-faceted events.

There was a lot of commitment from the Seneca Nation to invest in a public-space area. We balanced that with the open space. It added a lot of breadth and decompression. A hockey theme dominates with a degree sculpture of Baltic Birch plywood sticks representing abstract hockey sticks. Mirrors behind the bar are backlit to suggest ice. A lacrosse netting pattern is woven into the carpeting.

The project originated in on a much larger scale with an existing steel frame. That should be of interest to anyone who has a similar situation. That was a very important design element. The pylon is illuminated 70 feet tall from the base. The Seneca Nation Architect: Hnedak Bobo Group Contractor: Seneca Construction Management Corporation Investment: Celebrity Chef Rick Moonen made a huge splash in Las Vegas when he opened rm seafood in , the rare seafood restaurant in Las Vegas that actually delivered fresh and sustainable fish and crustaceans.

The interior celebrates the sub-genre associated with science fiction and inspired by industrialized Western civilization of the 19th century affectionately known as steampunk. The bar dazzles with its high energy amid a haphazard collection of tools and artifacts.

The innovative operations take surgical skills to produce libations like none other. Perfect for sharing, some of the menu items include brioche toast with tomato jam with bacon wrapped around a sunny-side-up quail egg, braised oxtail croquettes with a lemon aioli, a Greek-style lamb osso bucco, and a very playful calamari and meatballs in squid ink tomato sauce, all served in both the playfully lush dining rooms and at the interactively intimate bar.

Moser Architecture Studio Design Director: Roni Fields Design Contractor: It is one of seven racinos in Ohio. Guests arrive in a grand lobby with split-face marble on the walls. Cars can be brought directly into the lobby for giveaways or display. Patrons are immediately immersed in an environment of richness. It has the right mix of pattern and color and it feels cohesive.

This provides a lot of variation in the lighting and a lot of touch points. It brings the building to life at night. Video boards along walkways leading to the entrance inform guests what is going on inside.

The floor layout is very simple, creating a restaurant-row effect for the fine dining area, buffet area, sports bar, casual dining area and coffee bar. The gaming floor in the shape of an L allows for expansion. Although many casinos are trending away from catering to smokers, the Miami was designed with an outdoor smoking area served by lottery terminals. It came in under budget and way ahead of schedule because everybody worked from the same page.

It was integrated project delivery without the contractual operations. We were all on the same page from the first moment. The quest for non-gaming attractions in Las Vegas took a dramatic turn earlier this year with the opening of the Linq, a shopping and dining district nestled among several Caesars Entertainment hotels on the east side of the Strip capped off by the High Roller, the largest observation wheel in the world.

But when the recession hit Las Vegas hard, Caesars went back to the drawing board. The company wanted to attract more visitors to that side of the Strip, where 11 million pass by on an annual basis. Meanwhile, the Imperial Palace was renovated and renamed the Quad, which was again changed to the Linq in October.

The Flamingo was updated and renovated so that today, the shops and restaurants of the Linq serve the hotels on that side of the street.

Jon Gray, the original general manager of the Linq, explains how this works: We were a great exporter to non-Caesars restaurants. But now with the Linq, it will satisfy that desire for more dining options. Our out-of-market properties are also fully invested in this effort. David Schwarz, David M.

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Here, Bosworth traces how the commercialization of public spaces and electronic information has created a new and enclosed American place. Chapter by chapter, he then shows how the materialist values of this Virtual America have suffused our everyday lives, co-opting the themes of our narratives, the planks of our parties, the practices of our professions, and the most intimate aspects of our personal lives, including our beliefs about God, marriage, and childcare.

From Ronald Reagan and Disneyland to modern pharmacology and "prosperity theology," from the phony conservatism of Wall Street to the faux rebellion of "transgressive" art, Bosworth's alternative story of American life since relentlessly challenges today's dominant narratives--narratives that, as he reveals, made both the calamitous invasion of Iraq and the economic collapse of all too likely.

The Aging of Aquarius. In the Mall of Virtual Americas Mind. Coercive versus Seductive Forms of Social Control. In the Shrine of Virtual Americas Soul. The Pharmacy of Pain Dissuasion. The Politics of Pain Dissuasion. The Masquerade of Faux Rebellion. In the big picture, it does not cost much to see the financial light—by projecting the real one. One wall may reflect sunrise, the others will show sunset, the upper areas and the ceiling may have the colors of dusk. Cherokee Nation Businesses is the tribally owned holding company of Cherokee Nation, the largest Indian nation in the U.

CNB owns companies in a variety of industries including gaming hospitality, personnel services, distribution, manufacturing, telecommunications, IT and environmental services. Two significant announcements occurred in early September. The outlets are projected to offer more than , square feet of leasable space, and will focus on premium and upscale shops for about retailers. The development is projected to create 1, permanent jobs and hundreds of jobs during construction.

The project will be completed in Mohegan recently tried unsuccessfully to win a gaming license in Everett, losing out to Wynn Resorts. Penn National will open its slots parlor in Plainridge next year. MGM has won a license to open a resort casino in Springfield.

For Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun, doing nothing may be the largest gamble. Slot machine revenue has declined by one third since Each property is adding whatever possible to its lineup.

Because of construction delays, it will not open for the holiday season as hoped, but is expected to open in May , just in time for the summer campaign. It will encompass , square feet and feature more than 80 leading brand-name upscale fashion outlet discount stores.

The project is expected to create an estimated jobs during construction and approximately full- and part-time retail jobs upon completion.

Mohegan Sun already features abundant shopping and a major sports arena that hosts everything from professional basketball to major championship fights. Add indoor lacrosse, now that the Mohegans have acquired the Philadelphia Wings. Lacrosse games are expected to attract 9, fans. The combination looks formidable: How do you spell Score? The Mohegans, who operate three resort casinos out of their gaming division, made two previous announcements to invest in business outside their known realm.

Mohegan has acquired a wood pellet production plant in Ohio, with an agreement to buy a second plant in Indiana. The venture into the wood pellet production industry, called Northeast Wood Products, expects to sell more than , tons of wood-fiber pellets annually under the brand name ThermaGlow. Diversification adds one more strength to the fiber of tribal gaming, which—with the help of key design and architectural firms—is settling in for a long stay.

It has become commonly recognized by developers and restaurateurs that customers are seeking more than just great food when they sit down for a meal in a nice restaurant. They want an experience. What this exactly means is a question that has only recently become the subject of study by thought leaders within the hospitality industry.

As we examine the key components of a dining experience, design emerges again and again as a critically important piece of the puzzle. Executives refer to the importance of design within the context of congruency, the bridge between the story they want to tell and the brand identity they want to reinforce. Customers, particularly within an integrated resort, will often shop the look of a restaurant before thinking about viewing a menu.

Increasingly, design is becoming credited as one of the most important, and least studied, attributes in why consumers choose one restaurant over another. Academic researchers are recognizing the importance of design, particularly in creating desired ambiances within fine dining restaurants.

More and more, it is becoming accepted that physical environments create emotional responses in individuals, which in turn elicit a desire to further explore or completely avoid. Consumers feel more empowered than ever to evaluate what in the past may have been viewed as the unsung ingredients of a dining experience. Emboldened by a sense of expertise that popular television shows such as Chopped, Beat Bobby Flay and Restaurant Startup have given them, the general public has a raised antenna to every aspect of the restaurant experience today.

Their expectations are high. Because of this, we must study consumers like never before and put our learnings to work at the onset of our development process. Why Study Guest Psyche? In the hospitality industry, deep thought about the psychological and emotional drivers of choice on consumer decision-making is quite rare.

Hoteliers and restaurateurs have historically developed properties as much for their own egos as they have for a perceived, or hoped-for, demand.

With consumer spending in restaurants up dramatically and consistently over the past four decades, competition has also greatly increased.

That reality has placed incredible pressure on developers to conceive new concepts, quickly, which will both differentiate and resonate with a fickle public. From the heights of economic prosperity to the depths of financial depression, the hospitality industry—as a whole—has been slow to embrace a researched approach to development.

Rather, both highlight the misperception many have as to what consumer research is—namely, asking people directly what they want. This approach, done correctly, yields valuable insights that misguided methodologies would have missed or, at best, misconstrued. These insights, in turn, spark actionable ideas—in the minds of artists and executives—that are rooted in something viable. In this context, his brilliance was that he understood, before the opportunity developed, that everyday people wanted to use computers, yet the frustration in their complexity was an overwhelming barrier for the non-technically inclined.

The link is not only ironic, it is also perceptible. Court records from a recent lawsuit between Apple and Samsung have resulted in much previously confidential information becoming public record.

Embracing Consumer Insights For the restaurant industry, there has never been greater potential. Economic prosperity and discretionary spending have largely recovered from recession levels. According to the National Restaurant Association, Americans today make nearly half of their food purchases away from home. In it was 25 percent. As such, understanding the psyche of a hospitality patron has never been more critically important for a business owner.

Ambiance has become an indispensable part of dining out. Design plays a critical role in each of the three pillars of the customer experience—food, service and atmosphere. Done right, design complements other key elements, such as great cuisine, and helps establish the immersion that customers crave in a dining experience. At Todd English P. Whereas the reputation of a four-time James Beard Award-winning celebrity chef undoubtedly is a driver of traffic to the restaurant, the design in many cases pulls customers in and brings them back.

Their perception is that it is not as expensive as other dining options in the area. The design of Todd English P. The kitchen is open, which brings staff into the lively environment and further opens an already open space.

The bar and dining areas feel like separated spaces, as they perhaps should, yet the sought-after experience is diluted in neither. The proximity of the kitchen to the dining area also speeds up food service, which results in the restaurant being able to turn more tables each night. Patrons asked to describe Todd English P. It is also at their consciousness. When Todd English P. Though not enough to draw a quantifiable conclusion, it is a fascinating insight.

White marble and dark oak adorn a central dining area, which masterfully creates spaces that are simultaneously private and open. The kitchen, run by Michelin-starred Chef Ho Chee Boon and his team of dim sum chefs, extends the Chinoisere-chic to the back of house in a way that is different from the dining room but still consistent with the broader space.

Positioning of the kitchen, the main dining area and the private VIP dining room on the second floor represents design choices driven equally by form and function.

The subtle design details within Hakkasan reward those who pay close attention. The dark wood and white, cloudy marble used throughout the restaurant are very similar to that used in traditional Chinese-style furniture for centuries. In China, it would be common to see these materials in traditional homes throughout the country. Hakkasan is able to apply these old-fashioned elements and transform them into something elegant, modern and chic.

With a fresher design, the dark wood and cloudy marble transform into a distinctly modern Chinese composition. Understanding the hospitality side of the restaurant equation, Hakkasan follows up its impressive design with impeccable service. With more than 20 comments per night from guests, Hakkasan knows that its design is a central element to the story it wants to tell its customers. These separate-yet-integrated elements are as much a testament to their function as they are their form.

Their segregation also drives key operational efficiencies, as staff can streamline service toward individual spaces and guest satisfaction. Tables at Olives are square, not round, adding to the focus on a comfortable experience. Also, guests are seated in rather close proximity, which encourages a social element that resonates throughout the restaurant. As was the case with Todd English P. When asked to rank the importance of architecture and design in choosing a restaurant on scale of 1 not important to 10 very important , these patrons ranked it very high, at a 9.

This correlation between consumer spend and the importance of design as a key influencer in choosing one venue over another was consistently greater, the more a consumer anticipated spending. We started with this premise: How do you keep your offerings fresh and your property intriguing to customers?

Short of tearing the casino down and starting from scratch, how can you redesign and repurpose an existing casino? What are the appropriate steps to take? Defining long-sterm vision is critical to establishing any kind of project clarity. We recommend starting outside in. This process starts by asking the hard questions in order to inform the dialogue. As an example, if the facility is not delivering consistent entertainment value across all offerings that is sustainable from a competitive advantage standpoint, what has to dramatically change, or maybe even completely go away, in order to achieve the desired business result?

Every aspect of the operation, including the sacred cows, has to be on the table. All of a sudden the place becomes a mish-mash of completely unrelated design aesthetics or levels of quality, and everything has to be ripped out or renovated in order to create a cohesive whole. With a defined vision and the right implementation plan, a facility can incrementally build into an informed and competitive end result. The most important early step is to work with the owner to evaluate the current earnings of each area of the property.

Then we identify which spaces will offer the maximum return on investment based upon the renovation budget. The initial concept of the revitalized area is continuously updated throughout the design phases with consistent reviews and approvals by the owner. The best first step is an analysis of your existing patrons coupled with a look at your potential customers.

Are you looking to market to a younger generation? Are you hoping to extend the geographic reach of your current operation? Are you wanting to increase weekday traffic with more business travelers? These are the kinds of questions to ask up front to help create a vision for how you see your property redesign evolving.

Next, check out your competition. What are they doing—or not doing—that can help you determine a clear understanding of what will differentiate you from other offerings? This may vary widely from less impactful the addition of a fine-dining restaurant to more impactful adding a hotel and convention space. If the property was initially developed based upon a well-thought-out master plan, the roadmap is largely in place.

The first step in redesigning a casino is to understand who your client base is, and whether you want to keep them and maintain or increase participation or go after another segment of the market.

From there, you must understand your financial assets and goals. How much will it cost versus a good, better, best scenario as to ROI on those dollars? Have a clear vision of the desired goals and needs of the renovated space. Pick an experienced complete team early based on their qualifications and align their success with the success of the project.

Have a dedicated, decisive and empowered leader to focus on the project. Set realistic budget and schedule expectations for the entire project, not just construction. Hold all team members equally accountable for their deliverables—internal and external. Maintain positive and regular communication at all times.

Technology has dramatically altered the gaming floor and the support thereof. In an existing facility, this equates to making more floor space available for additional gaming or amenity support. In a recent renovation, our design team redesigned the carpeting, wall finishes, column enclosures, decorative lighting and some simple ceiling details.

This resulted in an entirely new, fresh and clean design style. The revenues on the property increased by 10 percent. Keeping the goals of the renovation in proper perspective is paramount to a successful project. If a survey was done of all existing casino facilities, and budget was not an immediate factor, much of our current product would be under redesign and market refocus.

One of the key design parameters appears to be responsible and brand-reflective design of a relatively stable casino environment, allowing easy game and product replacement and relocation, with a perimeter of interactive retail, dining and entertainment features which can and will be changed out at predictable costs with active and fresh facades, engaging interiors and quality offerings within—good casino design within brand-reflective and market-focused amenities.

Ownership should have a program. What is the goal to be achieved? The first step is research. Employees are also an important group to consult. Their firsthand experience as to the functionality of a space is a significant asset, and worth taking the time to harvest. Key stakeholders will offer insights pertaining to their vision, and architects and designers experienced in casino design can help shape the vision and eventually translate it to the built environment.

Which areas of an existing casino, in your experience, often or infrequently require redesigning? Anything that the customer readily sees and interacts with should be subject to improvement and overhaul.

The internet has certainly changed how a critique is communicated to the public. An amenity mix of exclusive offerings that appeals to multi-generational customer profiles generates buzz and increased visitation. Whether this is accomplished by refreshing interior design elements or by completely replacing one venue with another, this must be done regularly. The casino floor must also be kept fresh, but requires less frequent and less dramatic revisions.

Back-of-house areas require little in the way of renovation with the exception of technology updates and standard maintenance of the spaces and finishes. Restaurants are the most frequently redesigned parts of a casino resort. The scale of most restaurants makes changing them a more bottom-line-friendly approach to reviving what a property can offer guests.

Similarly, refreshing hotel rooms is also a high priority for owners who want to remain relevant in the face of their competition. Changing furnishings and fixtures can instantly transform the overall feel of a hotel without significant and more expensive structural modifications.

Typical areas for redesign include various portions of the casino itself, hotel guest rooms, restaurants, bars and lounges. Less frequent areas may include the conference and meeting facilities, pool areas and property exteriors, and parking options. New gaming equipment is strategically relocated frequently to attract and retain customers. Large, intrusive construction renovations of main gaming venues are less common—usually incremental changes are adapted to minimize large-scale revenue stream disruptions.

As certain gaming trends change, however, some specialized venues are repurposed. A recent example has been the declining trend of large poker rooms and the repurposing of these spaces for other gaming or entertainment venues. Guest rooms are typically refreshed on a cycle of every five to seven years. On a longer cycle, room renovations that involve bathroom upgrades, electrical modifications and layout configurations are more intrusive but are required to make large leaps in a dated design.

Nightclubs especially go through dramatic changes in structure, equipment and acoustics. Being unique and current is the lifeblood of a successful club. High-limit gaming areas and attractions often need to be updated. In the future, the casino floor will be revised significantly to include new forms of unique gambling devices.

The casino floor, ironically, is rarely in need of a full redesign. Changing out games to current product, refreshing signage, slot and table relocations and featuring new interactive amenities on the gaming floor account for most of the refreshing in the actual gaming area.

In the case of the hotel product servicing a casino, the majority of the room, hallway and public areas servicing the patrons are often left too long without renovation and refreshing finishes. Entertainment venues, nightclubs, day clubs, pool areas and food venues are constantly changing. These areas of the casino have become as important, and in some cases an even more important revenue generator than the gaming floor.

The goal is to attract the customer and then keep them there for as long as possible. In order to do that you need to keep the amenities fresh and exciting.

Employee spaces should equally be addressed. Offering a well-kept and upgraded retreat for your employees is a subtle way of showing them that you care—happy employees are often contagious. The construction and procurement teams can start laying out schedules and budgets to assist design. All of these players are important at different times, but they all should be included in the beginning of the process.

With a strong architectural design team made of architects and interior designers, the other design consultants should follow their lead. The main vision for the space is provided by the need and goals that the owner or client sets. Only management can make the final decisions, but if the staff has input then the solution is better. The design team needs to realize that no decision is valid without the client. The most important aspect of any successful property improvement is research.

In addition to this, for any food and beverage space you should consult the chef, interior designer, lighting designer, graphic designer, food designer and architect.

For any entertainment facility you should understand the anticipated entertainment and the level of customer involvement.

It truly depends on the function of the space and what your customer is looking for, which ties this all back around to the importance of research in designing a space. Depending on the extent of the renovation, there is often no way of getting around significant impact to the customer experience. Beyond the proper phasing of the work and safety, the best thing to do is just make the customer a part of the construction process and build expectation for the new and enhanced facility.

Phasing plans which are carefully worked out with the owner and the contractor will minimize cost and construction time and result in reduced inconvenience to guests. Well-planned phasing has led to increased visitation on many of our projects in anticipation of new venues opening.

Proper phasing is the open-heart surgery of design. Interestingly enough, construction need not be a negative if you market it correctly—people get curious and excited when they see construction and hoarding walls or sneak peeks into construction areas. Promotions during construction can help divert dollars and attention to other parts of a casino that may need an extra traffic boost from a reminder that things are still up and running.

Temporary locations are another possibility. While the buffet shuts down for its major redesign, the property is temporarily setting the buffet up in the convention center. The key to minimizing revenue loss is: Renovations and repurposing of all sizes and scales demand an intimate relationship, a pas de deux of operator and designer.

Each must understand and respect the demands, responsibilities and aspirations of the other, and each must keep in step with the other. Common vision, early planning, phased approach, tried and trusted consultants, respect for budget and schedule and daily updates are but a few of the steps to keep all in stride.

What are the elements of a successful redesign? A redesign is successful when you have created a memorable experience that people tell their friends about. We also go back to the importance of operational function. Make sure operators love the redesign as well. Take care of the employees during the process—they use the space the most.

A successful redesign has many important elements. A few include realistic budgets and schedules, practical owner expectations and knowledgeable consultants. Practical issues such as known current conditions, property restraints, and utility, traffic and site considerations are critical, as well.

In a redesign the most important thing is to make an impact. Any redesign should bring a fresh, new look to the facility. Even simple replacements should consider how to capitalize on newer design trends and statements.

The use of color, texture and light can build upon parts of the existing while breathing in new life. Does budget strongly dictate what can be successfully achieved with repurposing a casino? Budget will always govern what can be achieved in any given project, but the successful allocation of that budget is where our professional expertise is tested. An experienced design team can work miracles for an owner with even a modest budget. It just takes creativity and vision. The capital budget is one important element in the repurposing process, but staying on budget is more important, as the allocation of capital is tied to a return on investment.

If the budget is overspent, then you have negated the rationale for the redesign in the first place. Having a realistic expectation on what the renovation scope will cost in the target space is vital. In renovation work, the existing infrastructure of the venue is costly to modify and usually does not contribute to the return on investment directly.

Discovering these issues during construction can be devastating to a tight budget and schedule. Budget is always important and best faced early in the process. We provide an opinion of probable cost as soon as there is an approved conceptual idea.

This way there is a clear understanding by all parties of what level of the vision can be achieved. Casinos should have yearly budgets for maintenance and major changes.

By allocating the budgets correctly, the facility can spread out the cost and budget impact on the casino over time. We are currently undergoing a leadership and ownership transition. Change is always a great opportunity to think differently and act differently.

A number of years ago, we proactively established a sense of urgency and started planning for this event. Following the fundamental approach we use with our clients, we first defined a vision necessary to inform our decision-making.

We then established a guiding coalition of senior leaders to articulate the vision to the firm at large and then lead the implementation. One of the most compelling aspects of this evolution of our company is a renewed and strengthened effort to empower many others in the organization to act on the vision in ways that are unique to them individually and professionally.

To that end, BWA has implemented key initiatives to support our core competencies. Specifically, we have invested heavily to reposition the firm, enhancing and expanding our architecture and interior design staffs. In , we made the strategic decision to expand our footprint to Southeast Asia with the opening of an office in Vietnam, and within the past year we have initiated operations in Macau to serve clients in the region.

Nimble response to the ever-changing design trends and consumer demands is the key to success in our business. We have created design-build partnerships to successfully renovate, remodel and repurpose casinos so that when we design we are able to keep it within the budget parameters the clients need. Clients appreciate the combination of great design and budget consciousness that a design-build situation can provide. Getting a contractor on board right away is always our recommendation.

Our philosophy remains the same—committed to the success of our clients. We understand the ebb and flow of the casino business and respect the changing market conditions and needs of our clients. PMI has repurposed several areas of our company since the economic downturn. We looked at areas that would increase our efficiencies in reporting to our clients, obtaining bids, tracking shipments and streamlining our computer system.

We looked at our staffing and concluded that we have it right and did not change our system of separate teams of project management, expediting, and job cost personnel overseen by an executive team. It costs us more money to operate this way, but we cannot do the large gaming projects we do without these teams separately focused on their missions.

With up-front collaboration and forensic research being so critical in renovation work, we have invested heavily in technology to aid site investigative services. Laser scanning and 3D modeling capabilities shorten our evaluation time and increase accuracy in verifying as-built conditions.

Similarly, we have modified our preconstruction services to dedicate field personnel early to ensure a cohesive, vested team for the complete life of a renovation. Early in the preconstruction process, the key members of the construction project staff are incorporated. This practice has shown marked improvements in consistency in communication with clients and designers, and instills a higher level of confidence with owners as a project matures.

We have retooled our workflow process at TBE Architects to respond to the changing environment in hospitality design today. In the past, most every design decision was reviewed by the entire staff. We were very consensus-based in our approach.

Now the team reviews the design, just as a client will—in a presentation format. This has resulted in much faster turnaround for the owners and greater job satisfaction for our staff. We do it every day. At SOSH, we are recreating our future by reinvesting and celebrating in our core and senior staff.

Roles in leadership, design, production, quality control, project administration and marketing are shared and new opportunities in ownership and firm direction are all in process.

Our SOSH team is at our creative best, and we work smarter and in sync with one another within these challenging times. YWS has responded to the changing market in a variety of ways.

We understand that leisure and entertainment seekers are looking for world-class experiences, so we added a market and consumer research division to better understand hospitality, gaming, retail, dining and entertainment consumers.

Our research division conducts ongoing qualitative and quantitative research to identify market trends and consumer preferences, which are then applied to our designs. The Forest County Potawatomi have an existing casino and events center downtown. The 3,square-foot presidential suite gives a tremendous view of downtown Milwaukee and Lake Michigan.

We tried to create a building that would tell the story. We created a transparent glass tower whose skin reflects the excitement of the city. At the top, large letters spell Potawatomi. Rising from the Menomonee Valley, an old industrial part of Milwaukee with few multi-story buildings, the tower is designed in a three-story podium. The off-white distinguishes it from the gray industrial valley.

You enter a whimsical porte cochere, which is an abstract form of an eagle about to take off. The two-story lobby delivers on that promise. A lot of inspiration came from their existing casino. We took that as a starting point and wanted to reference nature but in a modern and abstract way. The walls have a modern interpretation in veneered woods. Compared to other hotel suites, this one has full floor-to-ceiling windows with great views.

While not the lap of luxury of the Presidential Suite they will, at very least, make you feel like royalty. Forest County Potawatomi Tribe Architect: Cuningham Group Architecture, Inc. Start with a century-old Iowa warehouse known for its weathered brick walls, commanding six-story clock tower complete with roof battlements! Add an iconic entertainment brand and a foot electric guitar. What have you got?

The Lobby Bar is a statement unto itself: The 50,square-foot gaming floor, with more than slot machines and several dozen table games, sports a purple leopard-patterned carpet, decorative light fixtures bearing purple drumsticks, and the trademark oversized Hard Rock guitar.

From every direction, guests can see iconic black-and-white images of their favorite rockers, including Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Billy Idol and Peter Frampton, and concert posters from bands like the Ramones, the Stones, Devo and the Cure. The ,square-foot structure at Third and Water streets—a sterling example of Romanesque revival architecture—dates back to It opened in as a manufacturing plant for scissors and cutlery, and in the s became a battery factory.

Massive archways, where cargo trains once pulled into the warehouse, have been preserved. Vintage brick has been retained even in the guest rooms, all of which have views of downtown Sioux City or the Missouri River. Not surprisingly, the resort was an immediate hit with the public, artistically and economically.

The Philippine gaming market has been attracting much attention over the past year. At the end of , City of Dreams Manila is slated to open, operated by Melco Crown, which also owns the Macau casino resort of the same name. Like its Macau cousin, CoD Manila will host multiple hotels and other non-gaming amenities.

The hotel will include a Nobu restaurant and offer a fusion of laid-back luxury, high-energy nightlife and exclusive guest room retreats and spa services. An integrated space of live and digital play spaces, the center will stress learning through play. Each experience is designed exclusively for City of Dreams Manila by the artistic and creative forces of DreamWorks Animation and iP2 Entertainment to combine the best elements of the DreamWorks library with the hands-on activities of an education-inspired play center to create a truly one-of-a-kind family adventure.

The debut of City of Dreams Manila demonstrates how the Philippine market is growing. Leisure and Resorts World Corp. Leighton Contractors Philippines Inc.. The resort started with a good problem: But the only land available for expansion was a narrow tract hugging the waterfront adjacent to the original Royal Hotel.

The sleek design continues inside. The curvilinear guest rooms are contemporary but uber-comfy, with lighted zebra-wood wardrobes, built-in seating, plush wall-to-wall headboards, double vanities, custom furnishings and art, and contemporary accent lighting.

Suites are outfitted with personal wet bars, and make abundant use of millwork on the walls and ceilings. The room layouts turn tradition on its ear. Dispensing with the box-within-a-box design that is typical of most hotel bathrooms, Bergman Walls pushed the baths to the outside walls.

As a result, natural light floods in through banks of windows. Thanks to floor-to-ceiling windows, the guest rooms, first-floor Cabana Suites and penthouse-level Sky Suites are akin to glass houses, with panoramic views of the city, the Gulf, and that iconic, neon-lit Hard Rock guitar.

The style, like the brand, is playful, irreverent and hip. And of course, the resort is packed to the rafters with music memorabilia from superstar rockers: Tandem Interior Design Studio Contractor: Many contemporary office buildings look like monuments to conformity.

Built in , it has all the hallmarks of the neoclassical style: The resort is operated by the Comar Group, which owns 36 casinos and gaming halls around the world, including 10 in Spain. It took a lot of work.

The skylight solved a problem for the architects, says Belinskiy: Because of all the systems that go inside the ceiling cavities, it was pretty challenging to keep the ceilings high and also maintain some of the design elements we wanted. Much of the decorative trim and molding had to be replaced. It was really hands-on site administration. On the third floor is the opulent ballroom, now a gaming floor lit by eight-foot chandeliers. We were excited to see it restored, not just for business reasons but from an architectural point of view.

It felt right that we had a chance to give this building a new, re-energized look. The iconic building, the team of excellent professionals, the facilities and the exclusive design make the Casino Gran Via a leisure experience of reference in Europe. Comar Group Project Design: Steelman Partners Europe Area: Reviving this underused industrial property was a special interest for the Seneca Nation, which has historical ties to this land. Plugging into what was already there and what was already happening was pretty exciting.

But that was only part of it. We wanted to make the core large enough to accommodate art festivals and other multi-faceted events.

There was a lot of commitment from the Seneca Nation to invest in a public-space area. We balanced that with the open space. It added a lot of breadth and decompression. A hockey theme dominates with a degree sculpture of Baltic Birch plywood sticks representing abstract hockey sticks. Mirrors behind the bar are backlit to suggest ice. A lacrosse netting pattern is woven into the carpeting. The project originated in on a much larger scale with an existing steel frame.

That should be of interest to anyone who has a similar situation. That was a very important design element. The pylon is illuminated 70 feet tall from the base. The Seneca Nation Architect: Hnedak Bobo Group Contractor: Seneca Construction Management Corporation Investment: Celebrity Chef Rick Moonen made a huge splash in Las Vegas when he opened rm seafood in , the rare seafood restaurant in Las Vegas that actually delivered fresh and sustainable fish and crustaceans.

The interior celebrates the sub-genre associated with science fiction and inspired by industrialized Western civilization of the 19th century affectionately known as steampunk. The bar dazzles with its high energy amid a haphazard collection of tools and artifacts.

The innovative operations take surgical skills to produce libations like none other. Perfect for sharing, some of the menu items include brioche toast with tomato jam with bacon wrapped around a sunny-side-up quail egg, braised oxtail croquettes with a lemon aioli, a Greek-style lamb osso bucco, and a very playful calamari and meatballs in squid ink tomato sauce, all served in both the playfully lush dining rooms and at the interactively intimate bar.

Moser Architecture Studio Design Director: Roni Fields Design Contractor: It is one of seven racinos in Ohio. Guests arrive in a grand lobby with split-face marble on the walls. Cars can be brought directly into the lobby for giveaways or display. Patrons are immediately immersed in an environment of richness.

It has the right mix of pattern and color and it feels cohesive. This provides a lot of variation in the lighting and a lot of touch points.

It brings the building to life at night. Video boards along walkways leading to the entrance inform guests what is going on inside. The floor layout is very simple, creating a restaurant-row effect for the fine dining area, buffet area, sports bar, casual dining area and coffee bar.

The gaming floor in the shape of an L allows for expansion. Although many casinos are trending away from catering to smokers, the Miami was designed with an outdoor smoking area served by lottery terminals.

It came in under budget and way ahead of schedule because everybody worked from the same page. It was integrated project delivery without the contractual operations. We were all on the same page from the first moment. The quest for non-gaming attractions in Las Vegas took a dramatic turn earlier this year with the opening of the Linq, a shopping and dining district nestled among several Caesars Entertainment hotels on the east side of the Strip capped off by the High Roller, the largest observation wheel in the world.

But when the recession hit Las Vegas hard, Caesars went back to the drawing board. The company wanted to attract more visitors to that side of the Strip, where 11 million pass by on an annual basis. Meanwhile, the Imperial Palace was renovated and renamed the Quad, which was again changed to the Linq in October. The Flamingo was updated and renovated so that today, the shops and restaurants of the Linq serve the hotels on that side of the street.

Jon Gray, the original general manager of the Linq, explains how this works: We were a great exporter to non-Caesars restaurants. But now with the Linq, it will satisfy that desire for more dining options. Our out-of-market properties are also fully invested in this effort.

David Schwarz, David M. Schwarz Architects Vortex Design Architect: Branislav Hetzel, Hetzel Design Designer: The Hettema Group General Contractor: Richardson Builders Retail Advisor: Northfield Park offers more than live harness racing dates every year.

Unique features of the property include articulating TVs and memorabilia cases that raise out of sight to provide a direct view of the Hard Rock stage during a band performance. Seven color-changing LED light fixtures created from millions of hand-applied crystal elements are programmed to lead the visitor from the entry to the Hard Rock Cafe. The Hard Rock Live music venue, the fifth of its kind, hosts sell-out crowds of more than 2, guests for live entertainment by renowned musicians, in addition to hosting guests for a variety of functions and banquets.

In addition, the Rocksino has a seat live venue, The Club, featuring comedians and illusion acts that are also readily available for private parties and events. The supporting areas use a color palette of rich neutral tones with accents of reds, ambers and merlots.

Principal materials used include masonry, glass and metal panels on the exterior, and stacked reclaimed wood paneling, Nathan Allen art glass, Shimmer Screen metal beaded curtains, natural stone flooring and countertops, and custom-design wall covering in the interiors.

Bowen and Associates Investment: Red Rock Casino Resort reflects the rich earth tones and beauty of the nearby Red Rock State Park, and Green Valley Ranch on the east side of town has the suburban serenity and neighborhood welcoming atmosphere.

While there are many tribal casinos in California, there are none closer to the Bay Area, just 50 miles from the Golden Gate Bridge.

With this location and easy access off the freeway, Graton has been successful since the start. The design was a result of a unique collaboration among Station Casinos, the Friedmutter Group and the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, particularly its visionary chairman Greg Sarris. The exterior lines of Graton Casino Resort emulate the famous landscape and give the impression of the gentle foothills in the distance.

Waterfalls that may appear through the hills are imagined in the water features framing the porte cochere, adding further depth and integration of nature. Hill formations frame the entries, creating a natural pathway into the property. The surrounding environment is well-represented with generous use of indigenous color and materials.

The design includes warm modern lines, and vivid striking colors throughout the welcoming space, setting the tone and atmosphere of sophistication found throughout the Northern California region. The natural elements of the surrounding Sonoma County were the inspiration for the flowing ceiling elements reminiscent of the rolling hills of wine country , and flowers in the carpet and terrazzo flooring were inspired by the many colorful floral varietals and botanicals found in the area.

The Marketplace includes eight eclectic choices from burgers to barbecue to pizza and ice cream. Three bars and lounges and an event center round out the offerings.

The gaming is, of course, the centerpiece of the property, with table games and more than 3, slot machines scattered over more than , square feet. The Friedmutter Group Investment: It opened in November. The team created a traditional space with library-like detailing, while incorporating a modern twist in lighting and artwork. The overall space creates a relaxing, comfortable environment, while incorporating impact pieces designed to spark conversation between patrons.

Some of the highlights? This juxtaposition is again interpreted using traditional furnishing but upholstered in an unconventional way. It is seeing something common, but in a new light to spark conversation and dialogue. Some of the more contemporary detailing was used, such as a modern approach to display the amber alcohol of the bottles. There are three custom-designed glass display boxes suspended overhead at the entrance into the bar.

Because in the gaming industry, saturation is when the product supply of gaming is exceeding the demand. The poster child right now for saturation is Atlantic City. Since the beginning of —as of this writing late in the year, anyway—five casinos have closed, with a loss of more than 10, jobs, millions in tax revenue for the state, and a reduction in choices for visitors. Competition, for the most part.

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The Pharmacy of Pain Dissuasion. The Politics of Pain Dissuasion. The introduction of new brands to Las Vegas is good for the town, says Gigi Vega, general manager of the room Nobu Hotel and a Caesars luxury hotel operations executive. However, there is a market out there who would be interested in gaming or non-gaming niche and boutique concepts. They should be promoted, listed, and made available in multiple online and offline distribution channels, which could further diversify the tourism product Las Vegas offers.

After considering several plans for the property, the company decided to renovate and rebrand. The original idea of rebranding the hotel as the well-known boutique Gansevoort brand went by the wayside when one of the Gansevoort investors was alleged to have ties to organized crime. Thus the name Cromwell was born, and Caesars is building the brand from the ground up.

Eileen Moore, who oversees operations at the Linq, Flamingo and Cromwell hotels, says the idea was to provide a higher-level customer with more personal service. So literally, customers will pull off of Flamingo Boulevard, drive a very short distance into our porte cochere, walk 10 to 15 feet to their front desk, walk in, again, another 10 to 15 to the elevator, straight to their room.

All the details were thought about in those rooms. And we want it to be an experience where guests always find something new going on in the hotel and the property. Victor Drai pioneered the nightclub scene in Las Vegas with a club of the same name, in the same hotel, except when it was the Barbary Coast.

Moore says it is the best nightclub in the city. And he challenges us, in our space, to do that as well. But Nazarian wanted to take it further and expand his burgeoning hotel empire to Las Vegas. In , Nazarian and his partners purchased the venerable Sahara, with the plan to implode most of it and build from scratch. With the arrival of the Great Recession, however, plans changed.

And in sbe closed down the Sahara, which it had been operating during the planning stages but had learned what worked on the Las Vegas Strip. But at the same time, we were being educated, because there were so many projects that opened between and —Cosmopolitan being the last.

This is how the lifestyle hotel has taken over the Strip. Faust says there are pros and cons to each. Just the mere fact that you have to work with the box as it is can be very challenging. We did that a lot at SLS Vegas.

He says the complexity of the transformation of the Sahara to SLS was a matter of what part of the hotel you were in. There are two towers that Mr. Other areas, like the old Tunis Tower, which is the Story Tower today, and Alexandria Tower, which is the Lux Tower today, we went down to a complete gut renovation.

Everything—plumbing, electrical, rises—they were all taken out, and a brand new infrastructure was added. And there was a wooden structure in the middle of the hotel that was the original bingo parlor, that had nine-foot ceilings, and it was really a bottleneck that we completely took out and replaced with a brand-new building.

It had columns and load-bearing walls and all sorts of things coming down so you could never be able to adapt exactly what we wanted to do. It had a low-rise that was not that terribly old, but you could gut it back to structure and reuse it. And we did a lot of that; we used a lot of the existing MEP systems that were already in place that were in decent shape. It gives us a good box to work within.

Some of the images that we have in the carpet, we wanted to call back to the original Sahara. The new owner retained Congo as the name of the ballroom. Towering Success The three towers of SLS allow the hotel to offer a different room experience in each, says Azarbarzin.

Out of the rooms in that tower, of the rooms are suites, and they all have all the amenities and bells and whistles that you can ask for in any luxurious hotel. And then our more standard rooms are in the World Towers that we created really for the conventioneers, and people who are a little bit more price-conscious.

And then there is the Story Tower. It was originally going to be the lounge off the casino, and then we decided we would close it off and embrace the pool, similar to what Wynn did for the Encore Beach Club. We wanted to open up to the pool, embrace the pool, and make it be a little bit of our version of Hyde Bellagio, our nightclub there. But instead of having the fountains as our focus, our swimming pool becomes the focus.

Just a separate all-suite hotel tower when it first opened, it was branded THEhotel in The partnership with Morgans Hotel Group just made sense. More modern, luxury, driven by a boutique style experience. The public spaces are all changed. We wanted to make sure all surfaces were touched. It was a total transformation of the entire property.

The lobby has a new flow, bringing in designs from the desert. Taking the edge off and warming it up. The lounges are getting more visitation, and people are just hanging out in this space to take in the great vibes.

We told them what we needed to keep operating. There were lots of temporary walls that were up that simply shifted from side to side as the renovations were completed.

But the big changes will come next year when a new restaurant is introduced into the space now occupied by the iconic Mixx restaurant and nightclub at the top of Delano, with its breathtaking views of the Strip. Mixx will disappear but the partnership with Alain Ducasse will continue with the introduction of Rivea, a French restaurant with a Riviera theme, only the third of its kind other locations are in St.

The lounge area of Mixx will also be renovated with a name and theme to be announced. Chilton will try to recapture the magic of what was once one of the hottest nightclubs in Vegas.

The piece de resistance for Delano will be the beach club, which will occupy part of the acre Mandalay Bay complex, and only available to Delano guests. Hotel Impossible So where do we go from here? Wherever there are older buildings, a hotel conversion is possible.

In Atlantic City, the closure of four and maybe five casinos has opened up the possibilities of re-use of the former casinos. So whatever becomes of this latest trend in casino design, it will only accent the services and amenities offered to gaming customers, combined with the superior customer service that characterizes top casino resorts.

Art for its own sake is the least of their reasons. They have done the same thing in art. They are the first casino to have an artist in residence. The best time to visit the P3 Studio is evenings from Wednesdays through Sundays. It pioneered fine art on the Strip. The Venetian conducted a noble experiment when, for seven years, it partnered with the Guggenheim to present the Guggenheim Hermitage Museum.

This included 10 major exhibitions. At Guggenheim, it was more like showcasing great paintings. But the purists might be wrong. The same Italian artisans who interpreted the 15th century dialect translated from the mirror writing Da Vinci used in his famous notebooks helped create, often for the first time, 60 life-size machine inventions, artwork and anatomical studies.

Guests learn how the models work by pulling and cranking them. This is art education, especially if you are aiming at young minds. For the most part, that seems to be what the masses are willing to pay for, as opposed to fine arts galleries. With some notable exceptions. The Wynn gallery closed in and was replaced by a Rolex retail store. They come to be entertained. But a small segment, such as those who go to the Borgata, is looking for more than just entertainment.

They are not just looking for entertainment, but enrichment. Wynn is known for attracting well-heeled casino visitors. His on-property artworks feed that strategy. Guests at valet entrances are greeted by bronze horse and shoe sculptures by Stephan Weiss.

Some casinos, rather than relying on dry artworks, aim toward museum-like exhibits, where vendors or operators rent space and present provocative or high-interest exhibits such as the Titanic artifacts. He was vice president of communications and community relations for the Las Vegas Hilton for five years Sternberg was director of public relations at the Tropicana from to He notes that in the last decade, as a piece of the casino resort pie, gaming revenue is not as large as it once was, having been replaced in part by entertainment, fine dining and other attractions.

Space is often a factor in choosing an attraction. These things tend to be investments. It will also include enameled picture frames, gold cigarette cases, decorative boxes and jewel-encrusted brooches. Displayed in his namesake restaurant, Picasso, are original paintings and ceramics by the Spanish artist himself. With that comes great opportunity to expose both tourists and Las Vegas residents to incredible artworks and artists.

Works are typically on display at BGFA for from six to eight months. Beyond just providing a service beyond a meal or a place to game in. Millennials expect these companies to do more—not just responsible practices but things like art that enriches and educates. Providing art goes above and beyond and appeals to a younger generation who look not just at what they do but what they stand for.

Olympia or any Floyd Mayweather boxing match. It is a battle that includes world-famous DJs, packed dance floors, beautiful employees and A-list celebrities. Despite all of the VIP passes, pretty people and bottle-popping associated with the Las Vegas nightclub industry, the foundation of the entire experience continues to be the particularly unique design of each venue. That novelty factor is important because it leads to a more energized and excited customer, who then in turn is more apt to spend more money while visiting the venue.

It is getting rave reviews for its design, which features wider walkways, a spacious dance floor and extended bar counter areas, which helps bartenders serve patrons faster, generating more revenue for the club. We looked at our favorite features of the top six or seven clubs from around the world and adapted them to Vegas and our venue. The indoor area fits the needs of dance enthusiasts and people who want to hold down the fort at the bar, while the outdoor area is often preferred by larger groups and smokers.

When the crowd is happier the DJ gains confidence and will probably have a better performance that night. The rooftop level is under the Eiffel Tower that protrudes through the hotel and overlooks Las Vegas Boulevard and the Bellagio water show.

That is always a good thing. A good example of this is the drawbridge LED wall we put into Marquee when we opened four years ago. This also means more revenue for the venues, especially during traditional slow times during the week and during daytime. EDM has its roots in techno dance and house music made popular in Europe during the late s, and domestically in the Chicago and New York City nightclub scenes in the late s and early s.

However, this latest chapter of EDM in the United States took a stronghold about a decade ago with rave parties that catered to a younger demographic, usually from 16 to 20 years old. Now that this generation of partygoers has gotten older, the transition from top 40 and hip-hop music to EDM at the Las Vegas nightclubs was inevitable.

Whereas many popular top dance and hip-hop songs are broken down into multiple beat patterns, EDM often builds up into a chorus of one solid beat pattern, which is easier to follow and has made the dance floor a much more inclusive area for all to enjoy.

This explains the nightclub admission lines in Las Vegas that can be as long as a quarter mile. This too, obviously, means more revenue for the clubs. Rather than take already-established talent, our goal is to take new and up-and-coming talent and grow them into superstars. Whether I am looking at other casinos, other buildings or just simply the skyline, it gives me a natural high to perform even better.

It gives me the impression that all of my hard work has finally paid off and I need to give the crowd the best performance possible. One nightclub that stands out is Hakkasan, because its roots are as a popular restaurant in London, years before it became a popular Las Vegas attraction. Hakkasan features the use of real materials like glass, stone and wood, where many nightclubs use faux material and rely on dark paint because of the lack of light during operating hours.

You can see that with several small and midsize venues and one large venue. We worked closely with Angel Management Group to create multiple levels of VIP table experiences so that patrons can have different environments and strive for a bigger and better VIP experience each time they returned to Hakkasan.

It is well-documented that millennials have the shortest attention spans of any adult generation by far. This has not only made it popular for nightlife, but also for corporate events.

Aesthetics are our second priority. You can still have fun with it and make first-time guests feel like they are in an exploratory mode with creative design concepts and features. Welcome to the labyrinth. Tribal gaming presents numerous post-recession options, along roads that must be traveled carefully.

While some contain potholes, others offer paths to prosperity. Tribes are taking it all in. Many properties catch their breath and weigh, for the first time in several years, some interesting choices. One, should they realize modest profits in order to improve infrastructure and education facilities for members? Or two, is it better to risk those dollars via expansion to seek a larger profit in coming years?

Those who expand may do so modestly, rather than launch full-fledged projects. Most Oklahoma casinos enjoy this luxury, for instance, because they are small and relatively inexpensive to operate. Yet even in this locally dominated landscape lies one of the largest casinos in the world. Each property must carefully consider its options. Viewpoints vary by region and corporate strength. Larger tribes have expanded into the world of diversification, which brings money back to them via different businesses; some are connected to gaming, some are not.

The Cherokee Nation has charged into the forefront of the outlet shop era and the Chickasaw Nation, which flourishes with 18 casinos, also owns racetracks and a chocolate factory. Oklahoma, Texas and the surrounding area sport a healthy outlook. The East Coast does not. They must spend, even while debt hampers the amount they can leverage. The plight of these properties—which once combined to create the fourth largest gaming market in the world—shows how severely top companies can be damaged in a down climate.

Each property must know itself, and its competition, in order to thrive. Designers and architects know where the tribes are coming from, and have a large playbook to offer them. Oklahoma Enjoys Its Neighbors Thalden Boyd Emery principal Chief Boyd has more than 50 years experience in this realm, and has worked with more than tribal outfits. Boyd, based in Tulsa, has observed and participated in numerous realms of tribal gaming. He is pleasantly surprised that the saturation point projected for gambling in casino-stuffed Oklahoma has not occurred.

The great thing for Oklahoma is not having competition from Texas, Arkansas and Missouri. Most Oklahoma tribes, however, thrive via the neighborhood philosophy. So even if some funds are distributed to members, etc. Their budgets are more constrained than in past years. A design project may entail meeting one current need and anticipating another in the near future, but not rebuilding an entire property. Much of what we look at concerns the amenities a property does not have.

And what is the best fit? They just love it. But the return on that investment would be substantially smaller than other amenities they could put together to generate income for their bottom line. Parking garages are excellent additions, as are hotel rooms. We walk our clients through what levels of returns they could expect with the different approaches they would use with their amenities.

And he offers some non-design-related advice. The company has extensive contracts throughout Indian Country and in non-native establishments. It has seen that one plan size never fits all. Other markets can be fairly robust with just a few tribal facilities that may or may not even compete for the same customer. More than a dozen new or expanded facilities opened in , and has shaped up to be another banner year for expansion and revenue growth.

Hnedak Bobo works closely with this property. WinStar evaluated its gaming position from two perspectives, Bacon indicates. One was how it stacked up against other casinos. Two was how the casino industry itself matches up against other forms of entertainment.

It lies just five miles from the Texas border. This will drive new, more affluent traffic, and create marketing and promotion opportunities in the DFW metro area. A strong industry trend the last few years is the addition of true multi-use or flex space. During the day it can be set up for business meetings and banquets and then at night it transforms into an atmospheric nightclub.

Cherokee Expansion Cuningham Group, based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, has ascended along with tribal gaming since the s. One of its premier partners has been the Cherokee Nation, for which it has worked major areas of expansion in recent years. Smaller projects also are viable. They need more amenities to recapture the customers they have been losing. They are willing to tug, push and pull in the effort to get people back.

Not all tribes will have a conference center, and a rural tribal casino may not have the amenities of a Las Vegas casino. But all of them have something unique to build upon. This presents a built-in advantage for any property expanding in these areas. Mid-range projects are also popular. It is expected to add jobs. You will have a great hall and a casino attached to a hotel. The hotel is 30 feet above the casino, so you will have this great visual experience of descending down from the hotel 30 feet into the game floor.

In the big picture, it does not cost much to see the financial light—by projecting the real one. One wall may reflect sunrise, the others will show sunset, the upper areas and the ceiling may have the colors of dusk. Cherokee Nation Businesses is the tribally owned holding company of Cherokee Nation, the largest Indian nation in the U. CNB owns companies in a variety of industries including gaming hospitality, personnel services, distribution, manufacturing, telecommunications, IT and environmental services.

Two significant announcements occurred in early September. The outlets are projected to offer more than , square feet of leasable space, and will focus on premium and upscale shops for about retailers. The development is projected to create 1, permanent jobs and hundreds of jobs during construction. The project will be completed in Mohegan recently tried unsuccessfully to win a gaming license in Everett, losing out to Wynn Resorts. Penn National will open its slots parlor in Plainridge next year.

MGM has won a license to open a resort casino in Springfield. For Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun, doing nothing may be the largest gamble. Slot machine revenue has declined by one third since Each property is adding whatever possible to its lineup. Because of construction delays, it will not open for the holiday season as hoped, but is expected to open in May , just in time for the summer campaign.

It will encompass , square feet and feature more than 80 leading brand-name upscale fashion outlet discount stores. The project is expected to create an estimated jobs during construction and approximately full- and part-time retail jobs upon completion. Mohegan Sun already features abundant shopping and a major sports arena that hosts everything from professional basketball to major championship fights.

Add indoor lacrosse, now that the Mohegans have acquired the Philadelphia Wings. Lacrosse games are expected to attract 9, fans.

The combination looks formidable: How do you spell Score? The Mohegans, who operate three resort casinos out of their gaming division, made two previous announcements to invest in business outside their known realm. Mohegan has acquired a wood pellet production plant in Ohio, with an agreement to buy a second plant in Indiana. The venture into the wood pellet production industry, called Northeast Wood Products, expects to sell more than , tons of wood-fiber pellets annually under the brand name ThermaGlow.

Diversification adds one more strength to the fiber of tribal gaming, which—with the help of key design and architectural firms—is settling in for a long stay. It has become commonly recognized by developers and restaurateurs that customers are seeking more than just great food when they sit down for a meal in a nice restaurant.

They want an experience. What this exactly means is a question that has only recently become the subject of study by thought leaders within the hospitality industry. As we examine the key components of a dining experience, design emerges again and again as a critically important piece of the puzzle. Executives refer to the importance of design within the context of congruency, the bridge between the story they want to tell and the brand identity they want to reinforce.

Customers, particularly within an integrated resort, will often shop the look of a restaurant before thinking about viewing a menu.

Increasingly, design is becoming credited as one of the most important, and least studied, attributes in why consumers choose one restaurant over another. Academic researchers are recognizing the importance of design, particularly in creating desired ambiances within fine dining restaurants.

More and more, it is becoming accepted that physical environments create emotional responses in individuals, which in turn elicit a desire to further explore or completely avoid.

Consumers feel more empowered than ever to evaluate what in the past may have been viewed as the unsung ingredients of a dining experience. Emboldened by a sense of expertise that popular television shows such as Chopped, Beat Bobby Flay and Restaurant Startup have given them, the general public has a raised antenna to every aspect of the restaurant experience today. Their expectations are high. Because of this, we must study consumers like never before and put our learnings to work at the onset of our development process.

Why Study Guest Psyche? In the hospitality industry, deep thought about the psychological and emotional drivers of choice on consumer decision-making is quite rare. Hoteliers and restaurateurs have historically developed properties as much for their own egos as they have for a perceived, or hoped-for, demand.

With consumer spending in restaurants up dramatically and consistently over the past four decades, competition has also greatly increased. That reality has placed incredible pressure on developers to conceive new concepts, quickly, which will both differentiate and resonate with a fickle public.

From the heights of economic prosperity to the depths of financial depression, the hospitality industry—as a whole—has been slow to embrace a researched approach to development.

Rather, both highlight the misperception many have as to what consumer research is—namely, asking people directly what they want. This approach, done correctly, yields valuable insights that misguided methodologies would have missed or, at best, misconstrued.

These insights, in turn, spark actionable ideas—in the minds of artists and executives—that are rooted in something viable. In this context, his brilliance was that he understood, before the opportunity developed, that everyday people wanted to use computers, yet the frustration in their complexity was an overwhelming barrier for the non-technically inclined.

The link is not only ironic, it is also perceptible. Court records from a recent lawsuit between Apple and Samsung have resulted in much previously confidential information becoming public record.

Embracing Consumer Insights For the restaurant industry, there has never been greater potential. Economic prosperity and discretionary spending have largely recovered from recession levels.

According to the National Restaurant Association, Americans today make nearly half of their food purchases away from home.

In it was 25 percent. As such, understanding the psyche of a hospitality patron has never been more critically important for a business owner. Ambiance has become an indispensable part of dining out. Design plays a critical role in each of the three pillars of the customer experience—food, service and atmosphere. Done right, design complements other key elements, such as great cuisine, and helps establish the immersion that customers crave in a dining experience.

At Todd English P. Whereas the reputation of a four-time James Beard Award-winning celebrity chef undoubtedly is a driver of traffic to the restaurant, the design in many cases pulls customers in and brings them back. Their perception is that it is not as expensive as other dining options in the area. The design of Todd English P. The kitchen is open, which brings staff into the lively environment and further opens an already open space. The bar and dining areas feel like separated spaces, as they perhaps should, yet the sought-after experience is diluted in neither.

The proximity of the kitchen to the dining area also speeds up food service, which results in the restaurant being able to turn more tables each night. Patrons asked to describe Todd English P. It is also at their consciousness. When Todd English P. Though not enough to draw a quantifiable conclusion, it is a fascinating insight.

White marble and dark oak adorn a central dining area, which masterfully creates spaces that are simultaneously private and open. The kitchen, run by Michelin-starred Chef Ho Chee Boon and his team of dim sum chefs, extends the Chinoisere-chic to the back of house in a way that is different from the dining room but still consistent with the broader space.

Positioning of the kitchen, the main dining area and the private VIP dining room on the second floor represents design choices driven equally by form and function. The subtle design details within Hakkasan reward those who pay close attention. The dark wood and white, cloudy marble used throughout the restaurant are very similar to that used in traditional Chinese-style furniture for centuries.

In China, it would be common to see these materials in traditional homes throughout the country. Hakkasan is able to apply these old-fashioned elements and transform them into something elegant, modern and chic. With a fresher design, the dark wood and cloudy marble transform into a distinctly modern Chinese composition. Understanding the hospitality side of the restaurant equation, Hakkasan follows up its impressive design with impeccable service.

With more than 20 comments per night from guests, Hakkasan knows that its design is a central element to the story it wants to tell its customers. These separate-yet-integrated elements are as much a testament to their function as they are their form. Their segregation also drives key operational efficiencies, as staff can streamline service toward individual spaces and guest satisfaction. Tables at Olives are square, not round, adding to the focus on a comfortable experience.

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