Harrah Opens New Orleans Hotel

. October 14, 2008

NEW ORLEANS, LA, September 25, 2006. Harrah's New Orleans Hotel made its official debut September 21, hosting a rollicking New Orleans-style party that attracted more than 1,000 invited guests who gathered to celebrate the first completely new hotel to open in the city since Hurricane Katrina.

The 26-story, 450-room luxury hotel is a milestone in the continued recovery of the city's tourism industry. "Visitors are coming back to New Orleans, and Harrah's is committed to welcoming them," said Anthony Sanfilippo, president of Harrah's Entertainment, Inc.'s Central Division.

"Our new hotel is designed to meet Harrah's high standard for guest accommodations, and we're very proud to bring this brand of luxury to a world-class destination like New Orleans. With this new hotel, we will be able to bring even more loyal Harrah's customers to New Orleans than ever before."

Harrah's new hotel is designed to blend gracefully into the surrounding architecture of New Orleans' historic warehouse district. Guests are just paces away from Harrah's casino, the French Quarter and attractions along the Mississippi River.

The hotel has many reflections of the New Orleans culture, including the works of notable local artists and a new jazz club in a historic building which was incorporated into the project.

Bordering one side of the hotel tower, and steps from the casino, Harrah's new Fulton Street promenade offers great entertainment and wonderful restaurants in the heart of downtown.

Celebrity chef Todd English chose Fulton Street as the site for Riche, his newest restaurant that reflects French cooking traditions in an updated Parisian brasserie atmosphere.

Next door to Riche, the 528 by Todd English jazz club was created from the historic restoration of a building constructed in 1852 and protected by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The exterior of the hotel's lower floors emulates the late 1800's architecture characteristic of the neighborhood and serves as a platform for the modern guest tower.

Guest rooms average a spacious 450 square feet to accommodate oversized baths, closets and sitting areas. High-definition televisions with on-command interactive systems are among the ample amenities. Crowning the guest tower is the all-suite 26th floor featuring butler service.

Harrah's New Orleans is operated by a subsidiary of Harrah's Entertainment, Inc., the world's largest provider of branded casino entertainment. Since its beginning in Reno, Nevada 68 years ago, Harrah's has grown through development of new properties, expansions and acquisitions.

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Revenue Management: Focus On Profit

Revenue Management is still a relatively new profession within hotel operations and as such, it continues to evolve. One significant trend in this area is a shift away from using revenue as the foundation to generate key performance indicators (KPIs) and to instead place the emphasis on profit. Traditionally, revenue managers have relied on total revenue per available room (TrevPAR) and revenue per available room (RevPAR) as the basis of their KPIs. Now, some revenue managers are using gross operating profit per available room (GOPPAR) as their primary KPI. This puts profit at the center of revenue management strategy, and managers are increasingly searching for new ways to increase the profitability of their hotels. Return on Investment is the objective of any hotel investment, so it is only logical that profitability and ROI will be emphasized going forward. Another trend is an expanded focus on direct hotel bookings. Revenue managers know that one way to increase profitability is to steer guests away from online travel agencies (OTAs) and book directly with the hotel. This tactic also reinforces brand identity and loyalty, and encourages repeat business. In addition, it provides a valuable platform to market the hotel directly to the customer, and to upsell room upgrades or other services to them. Another trend for revenue managers involves automation in their software programs. Revenue management systems with automation are far more desirable than those without it. Automating data entry and logistics increases efficiency, allowing managers to spend more time on formulating strategy. As a bonus, an automated system helps with aggregating and interpreting data. The October issue of the Hotel Business Review will address these developments and document how some leading hotels are executing their revenue management strategies.