Thinking Outside the Box in Casino Resorts
Wednesday 11th March 2020
Eileen Moore-Johnson works at Caesar Entertainment and in this article, she will explain how to cater to a different, evolving audience on the Las Vegas Strip, or in other words, thinking outside the box. However, some casino executives are sprinters, going from one property to another and from one company to the next. But Eileen, Vice President at Caesar Entertainment Regional is considered a marathon runner because she has been in this casino giant since 1999.
In present, her portfolio contains resorts like Flamingo Las Vegas, The Cromwell, and The Linq. She got her start in the hospitality industry at the age of 15 at Hotel Thayer in upstate New York. After she graduated from Cornell University, Eileen marched towards the hotel industry. Two decades ago she arrived at Caesars when it was still Harrah's Entertainment in order to help toll out a new management system.
Back in the present days, Eileen Moore-Johnson has many challenges to face, whatever they may be, retails mix on the Linq Promenade or the rollout of new guest-service technology. Moore-Johnson is also a founding member of Global Gaming Women where she personifies its goals.
Twenty years is a long time to be an executive in one company, especially in the gaming business, but the number one reason Eileen was kept at Caesars was that the company always ran as a meritocracy. What does meritocracy mean? It means that great opportunities are given to people who bring results and are not based on politics, who do you know or what you look like. Eileen had the ability to change roles, jobs, and departments every three to four years which kept her.
She added that in any career if there is an opportunity to change things up and learn some new skills, it means that you can grow and get experience where you don't really get in a lot of other places. For example, she moved within the company four times to different regions.
Over the years Eileen Moore-Johnson has learned the importance of a brand and creating an experience that visitors are dreaming about. For example, at The Flamingo they have in their imaginations how a trip's going to go, like the first-date trip, the anniversary trip, the bachelor party trip and so on. It is their job to make the visitor's journey like a live up ultimate dream.
We are seeing everywhere that casino-hotels are becoming more of a luxury destination, however, The Cromwell is a boutique-brand, because it has only 188 rooms. The guest experience is more curated because guests who come here will see the same employees. For example, they don't wear their name tags, because the place being small, guests will run into the stuff and they are trained to introduce themselves and let their personality shine through.
Travelers are expecting to have a unique experience and the employees are not put to follow a scripted line. In Las Vegas, there are many casino properties that are in that upper echelon, but there are casino resorts like Harrah's, The Linq and Flamingo that grow because they are addressing that type of clients that want good value and have a fantastic vacation.
Each small property has respective niches. For example, The Linq is geared towards Millennials. They even have the tagline "We're a Millennial playground". Here, they can find excitement, entertainment, or the experience they are looking for. Because The Linq has a riding zip line that goes across the Promenade or take a ride on the High Roller, which is the world's largest observation wheel or play some futuristic casino games. In addition, Millennials can also enjoy eSports games where they can play them through XBOX consoles.
When it comes to The Flamingo, the property is much more all-encompassing. First, they are the 15th largest hotel in the world with over 3400 rooms. The hotel has to service a lot of different demographics so when it comes to The Flamingo, it requires having something for everyone to have fun.
Meanwhile, at The Cromwell, the property is more into the travel experience. The hotel offers that boutique, lifestyle experience for its clients. However, in general, Eileen Moore-Johnson is very excited about the importance of technological advances in gaming and she is also excited about their use of AI across the property, through both the casino as well as the hotel. They have a virtual "assistant" who texts guests after they checked in. Her name is Ivy and everyone believes that she is a human being sitting at the end of the phone, but actually it's an AI developed by IBM's Watson technology. She answers somewhere between 70% - 80% of guests' requests. Of course, there is also a more fine-tuned staff that will answer the complicated questions. However, it is nice to see how quickly people use their smartphones.