“Incorporation of a wide variety of non-gaming amenities will continue to be the best and most effective way to differentiate a property from competitors and also from other non-casino oriented entertainment choices.”
– Dike Bacon, HBG Design Principal
See what other insights Dike shares about Indian Gaming in 2017, in the December issue of Indian Gaming Magazine.
Dike Bacon, Principal/Partner HBG Design There has been remarkable and very encouraging levels of vibrancy across most segments of the Indian gaming industry. Barring cataclysmic fallout from the recent federal elections and any large scale domestic or international economic calamity, these conditions should continue well into 2017 and beyond. In virtually all markets large and small, customers are simply patronizing Indian facilities more, gambling more, and spending a lot more on non-gaming activities and amenities.
Incorporation of a wide variety of non-gaming amenities will continue to be the best and most effective way to differentiate a property from competitors and also from other non-casino oriented entertainment choices. The roadmaps are pretty loose. Every market is different and one size or program mix does not fit all. Capital allocations have to be right sized relative to seizing unmet business opportunity on one hand or addressing a saturated market on the other. In most markets, the percentage of non-gaming amenities to gaming has been increasing but it can vary widely. We’re seeing the percentages of non-gaming amenity seats to gaming positions ranging from 25% to well over 50% depending on total resort size or proximity to urban environments.
It’s all about being memorable. The really successful Indian casinos in most markets will continue to be widely known and favored for doing certain things exceptionally well. This can be as simple as locally and culturally connected food experiences or comfortably luxurious swank guestrooms and edgy bathrooms that nobody else provides. This is the exact opposite of the sameness of the big brand experience. An interesting emerging amenity is the new style mixed-use family entertainment center. These can be significant non-gaming revenue drivers and are often centered on modern bowling concepts or the new generation of entertainment oriented golf driving ranges. These amenities often attract a local community customer that for various reasons wouldn’t typically patronize the resort.
The Indian casino resort experience is often a lifestyle choice. For many guests, the resort is their country club and the most satisfying thing they leave with is an experience that was fun and that they can’t get anywhere else. For the industry to continue to remain relevant and able to sustain the inevitable demographic shifts of the future, the casino resort experience has to have multi-generational appeal. The challenge is not to define products that appeal to one audience (like Millennials) or the other, but rather, take cues from all generational perspectives and customer demands and incorporate them in new and exciting ways.