I have had some readers over the years compliment me on a number of different columns (oh, and they’ve also told me when they think I am “full of it”). I admit such praise feels good.

Only once, however, has a reader ever shared with me that one of my columns has changed his life and had a dramatic impact on his casino property.

Say hello to Randy Takemoto, the general manager of Cache Creek Casino Resort, a very successful tribal casino in Brooks, Calif.

Randy read my Casino Journal column entitled “Working Weekends As A Marketing Tool,” about three and a half years ago. He tells me it fundamentally changed his life as a gaming executive.


“Working Weekends As A Marketing Tool” discussed how few senior casino executives typically work on weekends, when all casinos typically do the vast majority of their business.

I’ve always thought that was pretty crazy, and at the risk of upsetting thousands of my friends and associates, I said so in that column, in no uncertain terms.

And now, more than three years later, with little fanfare and no desire to brag about it, Randy and his wife, Dina (who is not even a Cache Creek employee), have worked almost every weekend at Cache Creek Casino Resort.

Every weekend.

They have dined with over 300 of their best VIP players and friends. They have shown up countless times on the graveyard shift in the employee dining room to say hello to Cache Creek team members and thank them for their efforts. Dina personally enjoys thanking all of the typically unnoticed and unthanked team members—kitchen stewards, restroom attendants, EVS specialists, you know, the team members whose contribution is so important, but who we so often take for granted.

Every weekend. For three and a half years.

While it makes me feel really good to report this to you and to feel like I had even a small hand in Randy’s giant customer and employee-focused commitment at Cache Creek, actually it makes me feel a little sad since it is so rare; the unique exception instead of the marvelous rule.

Of course, I just had to chat with Randy about this whole “working weekends” thing, and what the results have been and what he has learned. He says it is the best thing (with the highest impact) he has ever done in his executive career.

He has gotten to know 300 of his best, most loyal VIP customers, as well as their family and friends. Many are recent immigrants to the U.S. He has learned to respect the success they have in this new land and what they had to overcome to achieve it.

He has learned that on the very rare occasion where business demands or personal vacation cause him to miss a weekend day, he will be asked numerous times, especially by his VIP players, “Where ya been?”

He has found that his very best players are very comfortable telling Dina when the lobsters were a little puny, or there were no paper towels in the ladies’ restroom.

He has noticed the VIPs he touches tend to play more at Cache Creek and say things like, “We never get treated like this anywhere else,” or “We come here because of you and Dina,” or “Of all the casinos we’ve ever been to, this is the first time that the general manager has ever asked to spend time with us.”

He has noticed that the Cache Creek culture (called R.I.C.H.) is enhanced and enriched by “walking the walk.” And without any prodding or mandating, he has noticed more and more Cache Creek senior executives there on weekends. Funny how that works.

Randy and Dina Takemoto, thank you for sharing this marvelous story of something so simple, but yet so powerful.

It is all about building relationships. And when Dina texts the 10-year-old granddaughter of one of Cache Creek’s best players to ask her how her soccer game went, that is a special relationship and something no competitor can ever match.

A PDF reprint of the column “Working Weekends As A Marketing Tool”can be secured from Casino Journal by contacting Paul Doocey at dooceyp@bnpmedia.com. The article is also part of the book, Conrad on Casino Marketing, which can be purchased from Casino Journal for $49. Please visit http://store.bnpmedia. com/store/gaming-10110/index.html to place your order.