What Happens in Vegas… is a Laboratory for Global Hospitality Design

By Scott Acton CEO & Founder, Forte Specialty Contractors | February 17, 2019

Dog years. That is a relatively fitting metaphor for describing the life expectancy of most hospitality spaces in Las Vegas – guest rooms, entertainment venues, restaurants – compared to the same types of spaces located on hospitality properties elsewhere.

The catalysts for this accelerated aging process, not surprisingly, are the wear and tear inflicted by millions of monthly visitors – 3.7 million, roughly the population of Los Angeles, visited in October alone – and the hyper-competitive marketplace that produced nearly $1 billion in revenues for the gaming industry that same month.

That's about 24 visitors for every one of Las Vegas's 148,000 hotel rooms. The extreme occupancy rates -- 91 percent, which is about average, in October – punishes guest rooms and forces owners to engage in a perpetual effort to redesign and renovate their properties to out-dazzle each other, and gain a slightly bigger share of that $1 billion jackpot.

What was fresh and energized only a few years ago shows its age very quickly. Now older and tired, the puppy that once stopped passersby in their tracks only attracts fleeting glances from across The Strip.

For those of us who live, design and build in Las Vegas, the short lifespan creates a perfect laboratory to test successes, failures, and solutions for their long-term durability. We are able to constantly refine best practices that reduce construction costs, increase longevity and boost profits.

My company, Forte Specialty Contractors works with clients around the world to ensure their properties are memorable and difficult to leave. Though our work is international, our headquarters and a significant portion of our portfolio is in Las Vegas, where the accelerated timelines provide a perpetual, real-time snapshot of how design impacts customer decision-making and how well it supports profits.

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Coming up in June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.