Monday, April 17, 2006

Lessons from Las Vegas

If you haven’t been – you must go. Take notes.

Follow systems
The casinos win most of the time – because they have and follow good systems. Some players think they have systems because they occasionally win. But the casinos are consistently successful because of their systems.

Don’t be too greedy
The casinos do not win every game. But they consistently win most of the time and they are satisfied with that.

Promote your brand
Las Vegas is a unique city and the casinos are unique. The Luxor, named after the ancient Egyptian city, is built in the shape of a pyramid. Excalibur, named after the sword of King Arthur looks like the castle Camelot. New York New York places you in the big apple.

Offer value
Value is in the eye of the beholder. That’s why one could pay hundreds of dollars for a room or $80. That’s why you can gorge at the $5.99 all you can eat buffet – or dine on $50 steak. Free drinks while you play the machines or free accommodation while you gamble thousands.

'Free' fools everyone
You can find free show tickets and free helicopter rides in exchange for attending a high- pressure time-share pitch. You can drink for free while you are gambling. High stakes gamblers get free room and meals.

Encourage your customers to be emotional
The lights, sounds and design are created to drive the emotions of the customers. Emotional customers spend more and they infect other customers with their emotion. The casino staff masks their emotions behind their systematized tasks. Emotional people make mistakes, are more likely to say yes to another game,

People buy what they want not what they need
No one needs to gamble. No one needs to pay $100 for a show ticket. No one needs to ride in a Hummer. But when people want these things price becomes less important.

Create an experience
What do you want? That is the real calling card for Las Vegas. What do you want? You have choices in food, gambling, entertainment, transportation, and side trips. Remember no one needs what Vegas offers but people return for the experience and the memories.

Make people feel safe
The city of sin feels safe. People walked along the strip with drinks in their hand yet there was no sign of violence. And the police kept a very low profile. The street venders always respected our signals to back off

Keep it clean
The streets are clean. I went for an early morning run and noticed the street sweepers preparing for a new day. With an inordinate number of smokers I still did not notice butts on the sidewalk.

Offer choices
Pamper yourself at the Bellagio. Ride a gondola at the Venetian. View the city from the top of the Stratosphere. Entertain your family to Circus Circus. Rent a limousine. Attend the convention center. Marvel at a magic show. Ride the Sky Train. Walk the strip. Visit downtown.

Las Vegas is an experience. Las Vegas is a fabulous business model.

If you haven’t been – you must go. Take notes.

Read about Lessons from David Copperfield

Official City of Las Vegas site

Bellagio Hotel & Casino

George Torok

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