Meeting News - October 19, 2009 - (Page 26)

Gaming Destinations Gaming Hoteliers See Glimmer Of Light We are doing a lot more meetings and a lot more associations. We are finding the healthcare industry still is spending money and franNon-Vegas casino properties push meetings-negotiating flexibility chisors are spending money—we have a large No hotel or resort that relies on meetings, and Harveys in Lake Tahoe have been considJack in the Box program coming in now. With incentives, conferences and events has had a ered strong incentive destinations. Certainly, the economy slowing down, a lot of fast-food good year, but some non-Vegas gaming propwe do regional meetings and a lot of corporate businesses are doing quite well. erties found that with a little creativity and a stuff. The economic slowdown and, more We’ve had a pretty strong first quarter. willingness to search out different groups than importantly, the actions of the administration Group-wise, we actually were flat to ’08. We in the past, 2009 has not been a disaster. in Washington and the AIG scandal that made had a few softer months, but by shifting our Joining in a recent discussion about keeping emphasis, we’ve actually meetings business on the books in tough ecobeen doing quite well. nomic times hosted by Successful Meetings senMark Tascione, Semiior editor Leo Jakobson were St. Louis-based nole Hard Rock: We have Lumiere Place Casino & Hotels vice president been quite fortunate. and general manager Todd George; HollySince we opened the wood, Fla.-based Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & hotel in 2004, our group Casino director of sales and catering Mark Tasbusiness has been repeat cione; Uncasville, Conn.-based Mohegan Sun customers, and they convice president of hotel sales and marketing tinue to rebook. They are Chris Perry; and Steve Lowe, regional director not spending as much on of sales of Harrah’s for Northern Nevada, covdécor. They are making ering Harrah’s Lake Tahoe and Harveys Lake do with the bare miniTahoe. An edited transcript follows. mum, but we are pretty well booked through Successful Meetings: How has 2009 meet2010. We had a financial ing and incentive business been, and what is company in June that the outlook for 2010? booked a 500-person Chris Perry, Mohegan Sun: The thing about event with 300 rooms per our property is that we are very regional. We night for three nights, draw mainly from Massachusetts, Connecticut, and they booked it two New Jersey and New York. A lot of our business months out. That was a The 1,200-room Mohegan Sun, where perception concerns is financial, insurance and banking, which are surprise. We had a Eurowere secondary to lower demand by financial clients. the hardest-hit industries. pean automaker’s finanThis year, we witnessed—as many properties cial arm, small union did—a number of cancellations and groups business groups think of “resort,”“spa” and groups, corporations. There are fewer attenthat didn’t rebook, as well as attrition situa“golf” as dirty words have certainly impacted dees—they tend to be executive-level when in tions. Convention planners are struggling to us from a meetings standpoint. Lots of compa- the past these same companies brought lower keep their attendees. nies are freezing travel or are not coming to management—ut it’s promising; business We were able to offset the occupancy by resorts or to golf and ski destinations. bookings have picked up in the last four being aggressive and a little ahead of the game We have changed our strategy a little bit, months. in other segments, particularly gaming, which which has paid off. We are now looking at busiTodd George, Lumiere Place: For us, and all ate up the losses that we had in both group and nesses that we deem economically solvent and of St. Louis, we go with the national economy. the non-gaming or transient segments. Our that are traveling, and we are staying away Still, the convention and visitors bureau has occupancy from that point remained strong, from traditional companies, such as automodone a phenomenal job. With our property but our revenue for the hotel is down. tive, builders and finance, which we had being relatively new—the casino opened in Steve Lowe, Harrah’s: Historically, Harrah’s worked with a lot on incentives. December 2007 and the hotel in February 26 MeetingNews October 19, 2009

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Meeting News - October 19, 2009

Meeting News - October 19, 2009
Meeting Post
Meetings Spotlight
Event Profile
Construction Cites
Meeting People
Association Watch
Gaming Destinations
Dateline: Florida
South Regional
Dateline: Guadalajara
Travel Dashboard

Meeting News - October 19, 2009