Even the most successful casino enterprises are always on the lookout for an extra buck or two.
One way to gain these much needed extra dollars is through improved marketing efforts—bringing more people through the doors with the hope they will devote more of their wallet and pocketbook contents to wagering and entertainment.
The other way to boost the bottom line is through more efficient operation. Sure, it is not as sexy as a marketing campaign or attendance-driving special event, but for many properties, improved products and operational procedures has made the difference between a black or red yearly accounting. What follows are some case studies and product profiles of items that helped a casino department operate in a more streamlined, and profitable, fashion.
EFFICIENCY CASE STUDY 1
Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa adopts a system that turns food waste into water, keeping tons of garbage from landfills each year, lowering hauling and disposal costs
BY AGUA CALIENTE CASINO RESORT SPA
Rancho Mirage, Calif.-based Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa has added another green initiative to its efforts to further reduce its impact on the environment in Southern California by becoming the first hotel property in the Coachella Valley to implement the ORCA Technology, an innovative technology developed by ORCA Digesters that turns food waste into water.
The application of this system could divert approximately 624 tons of food waste from local landfills per year, thereby reducing the amount of methane gases produced at landfill sites, lowering garbage truck diesel fuel usage and resulting CO2 emissions. Additionally, the digested food waste can then be used to create renewable energy resources at the local wastewater treatment facilities.
“This innovative technology in food waste processing will allow us to become a leader in the Coachella Valley for recycling our food waste,” said James Stone, facilities director for Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa. “The ORCA is an outstanding addition to our already successful recycling efforts currently underway.”
“At Agua Caliente we are committed to protecting the environment for our guests, our employees, the Greater Coachella Valley community and the world,” added Saverio “Sal” Scheri III, COO for Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa. “The changes that Jim Stone and his team have implemented have significantly reduced our environmental impact thus far, and we look forward to continuing to take the necessary measures to maintain one of the most environmentally friendly resorts in our region.”
The ORCA is an environmentally friendly alternative solution to the issue of food-waste disposal. The technology can digest up to 2,400 pounds (more than 1 ton) of food waste per day, and within 24 hours can convert food waste into environmentally safe water that flows straight into the public sewage system. Within the stainless steel container, the ORCA’s proprietary, natural microorganism solution works with water and recycled biochips to quickly break down the waste. Through a process called “aerobic digestion,” the ORCA technology constantly churns all this material, adding oxygen that accelerates the time it takes to transform the food waste disposal into earth-friendly water.
ORCA Digesters is a pioneer in onsite food waste processing systems. The Toronto-based company develops, manufactures and markets the innovative ORCA aerobic digestion system that allows for rapid composting of most organic material in institutional and commercial end-user applications, after which the liquid effluent is safely discharged into the ordinary sewer system. The machine creates meaningful cost savings for customers while diverting food waste from landfills and reducing emissions related to the transportation of waste. The ORCA Technology offers businesses an innovative and affordable solution for food and beverage by-product disposal.
Agua Caliente’s adoption of the ORCA technology is the resort’s latest major effort in reducing the property’s environmental impact overall. Existing green initiatives include significant upgrades to the resort’s lighting. Agua Caliente has completed energy efficiency lighting conversion projects in its parking areas that included the replacement of more than 700 lightbulbs with LED bulbs. In addition, 90 percent of the interior spaces have been converted to LED lighting, including all 340 guest rooms, and 75 percent of all landscape lighting has been converted. These and other cumulative efforts have resulted in a savings of nearly 1.3 million kilowatt-hours back to the local power grid. Adding to the lighting conversion projects, the resort is also a participant in Southern California Edison’s Demand Savings Program, pledging to reduce its energy consumption during hours of peak demand. Further, since March 2017, a recycling program has reprocessed 478,000 pounds of cardboard, aluminum and number one plastics.
Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa— An AAA Four Diamond and Forbesrecommended property in Rancho Mirage and Spa Resort Casino in downtown Palm Springs—offer the slots, a variety of table games and high-limit gaming, plusfine dining and shopping, all in a gorgeous resort setting. Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa and Spa Resort Casino are owned and operated by the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians.
EFFICIENCY CASE STUDY 2
California casino wins big with switch to digital signage
Pechanga Resort Casino boosts guest satisfaction, and cost savings, with digital signage solution from NEC Display Solutions
BY NEC DISPLAY SOLUTIONS
Every casino visitor hopes to come home a winner—whether by collecting some extra spending money from the slots or cards, by experiencing a high-quality meal, exhilarating entertainment, relaxing spa treatment or just an escape from the real world.
When guests are happy, the casino wins too, and that means keeping up with new technologies that can boost guest satisfaction, increase convenience and create a bright, stimulating ambience that complements the gaming floors and entertainment options.
When the largest casino in California realized it needed a more effective alternative to static signs, it saw an opportunity to enhance its guest experience with high-tech digital signage, and needed the righttechnology partner to help it meet its goals.
UPGRADING TO NEW TECHNOLOGY
Pechanga Resort Casino, located in Temecula, Calif., has the largest casino floor in the entire state, clocking in at a whopping 200,000 square feet—in fact, it’s even bigger than the largest casino floor in Las Vegas. The casino features more than 4,000 slot machines, 154 table games, a non-smoking poker room and an ultra-modern, 700-seat bingo facility.
The casino has been wowing guests since 2002 with the latest in entertainment and gaming offerings, but not long after its grand opening that year, staff realized that the signage around the property was not meeting Pechanga’s high standards.
“When we first opened, and for a long time after that, we were using backlit fluorescent Mylar printed displays, and those were becoming archaic,” said Rick Gonzales, technical services manager for Pechanga. “Plus, it was a time-consuming, labor-intensive chore to change them out after every event, so we decided to go after digital signage.”
The casino’s initial digital signage experiences were not very positive.
“[The vendor we were using] had a manufacturing issue with the color engine in all of their panels, and we had panel failures at an alarming rate, to the point where it was causing a customer issue,” Gonzales said. “There were dead screens out on the floor, and we couldn’t have that.”
The casino didn’t give up, however, and began looking for another option. Gonzales looked into “every major player on the market” and ultimately selected NEC Display Solutions as Pechanga’s new digital signage provider.
“We were pleased with the sales team and customer service, and we got the quickest response rate with NEC,” he said. “They also offered a wider product range at the time, and continue to do so. We’ve been consistently using NEC since 2003.”
According to Gonzales, the early deployments were “very small,” consisting mainly of digital displays showing content above static backlit maps and a handful of other displays peppered throughout the property, but as the casino expanded, it incorporated more digital signage elements. In 2004, Pechanga added an additional 80,000 square feet of gaming space and built new entertainment options, both of which prominently feature NEC displays and projectors.
“The No. 1 thing is the quality of the product and the quality of the customer service—they go hand-in-hand for us,” Gonzales said. “We’re here 24/7, 365 days a year, and we push the products to their limits, and their longevity is a testament to their quality.”
PECHANGA’S DIGITAL SIGNAGE SPREAD
Pechanga now has 155 P-series flat-panel displays throughout the entire casino and resort, including in Kelsey’s Restaurant, the Round Bar, Pechanga Bingo, at the ends of slot machine banks as end caps, in elevators and more. The displays show house-created content as well as promotions, upcoming events and information about Pechanga, and broadcast television and sports games in the bars.
“The NEC displays’ durability is what made us buy those to show a sports game in our bars instead of a consumer-grade television off the shelf,” Gonzales said.
The Bingo Hall features NEC displays that stream the bingo feed around the circular hall, as well as a large screen at the front of the hall onto which the feed is projected with an NEC PA653UL laser projector and NEC PX700W projector. The Round Bar uses an NEC PX700W projector to project television programs and sports games onto a 16x9 drop-down screen.
The Round Bar was designed with a focal point called “The Beacon” in the middle—an approximately 60-foot-tall stained glass structure encircled by eight NEC P463 46-inch flat-panel displays. During showings of major events like pay-per-view fights or major sports games, the bar has a motorized drop-down screen onto which it can project content.
Gonzales said the digital signage has helped the casino better serve its guests.
“When we used static signage, we had instances where the Mylar backlit signs were still showing events that had been over for a week,” he said. “With digital signage the minute an event is over the display updates to new content, so it helps with guest satisfaction because it keeps everything up to date in real time.”
In addition to complimenting the consistently fresh content, casino guests also have lauded the quality of the content and location of the displays, Gonzales said. To maintain and build on this goodwill, the casino is looking to expand its digital signage initiatives. “Wayfinding digital signage is one of our target future objectives, and we want to provide touch overlays, with maps and slot [machine] finders, for true wayfinding capabilities,” he said.
Pechanga hosted the grand opening of its $300 million resort expansion on March 3. The project adds an additional 568 hotel rooms and suites, a 25,000-square-foot luxury spa, a 4.5-acre pool complex, 68,000 square feet of added event space (inside which is the Pechanga Summit, a new event center and ballroom), two new restaurants and a fourth-floor roof garden. All meeting rooms and breakout rooms will feature 15 NEC NP-PA803U projectors to amplify engagement during events. At the vast pool complex, cabanas offer guests 40 NEC P404 displays in weatherproof encloses. The P Series was chosen for the pool cabanas for its high brightness, which will allow visibility even in sunny weather, Gonzales said.
“Something we always tout here at Pechanga is uptime and customer service, and I can’t say enough that NEC has exemplified both of those,” Gonzales added. “That’s why we’re still with them.”
NEC Display Solutions of America, a leading designer and provider of innovative displays, offers the widest range of products on the market, such as commercial- and professional-grade large-screen LCD displays, desktop LCD monitors, direct view LED displays, a diverse line of multimedia and digital cinema projectors, and integrated display solutions.
Visit www.necdisplay.com for more information.
EFFICIENCY CASE STUDY 3
Inn of the Mountain Gods adopts Duetto’s cloud-based casino technology to increase efficiency and profitability
Duetto, supplier of a revenue strategy platform for the hospitality industry, has partnered with Mescalero, N.M.-based Inn of the Mountain Gods, an enterprise of the Mescalero Apache Tribe, to implement three of its cloud-based revenue strategy solutions at the integrated resort.
The mountain resort on the banks of Mescalero Lake will roll out Duetto’s flagship Open Pricing application, GameChanger, to refine the pricing and distribution strategies for its 273-room hotel. Inn of the Mountain Gods will also adopt ScoreBoard, Duetto’s application for intelligent reporting, and BlockBuster, which Duetto’s customers use to optimize their group bookings and other contracted business.
“Duetto’s core philosophies of casino revenue strategy and open pricing were born in integrated resorts like Inn of the Mountain Gods,” said Marco Benvenuti, co-founder and chief marketing and strategy officer for Duetto. “Even more is possible in today’s gaming industry, in particular increasing total resort profitability with flexible reinvestment for players and non-gamers alike. We’re excited to work with Inn of the Mountain Gods to put the latest technologies and tactics into practice.”
Frizzell Frizzell Jr., COO for Inn of the Mountain Gods, said the resort was drawn to Duetto’s Customer Success model for implementing the three applications and ongoing guidance with a new strategy that involves the operations, marketing and revenue management teams.
“Software requires a great partnership to realize its full potential at the property level,” Frizzell said, “and we see Duetto as a true partner, with a support staff that recognizes our most important initiatives because most of them come from the gaming industry. The ability to make our pricing, group sales and reinvestment more dynamic will help our property generate even more profit from our gaming offerings, the stunning views of our hotel rooms and our world-class amenities.”
In addition to 273 luxury hotel rooms and suites and an 18-hole championship golf course, Inn of the Mountain Gods boasts approximately 40,000 square feet of both Las Vegas-style gaming and meeting and convention space. The resort is also known for its outdoor activities, including big-game hunting and fishing, horseback riding, zip-lining and skeet shooting.
Duetto’s powerful suite of cloud applications addresses the industry’s complexity in distribution and technology, providing solutions that increase booking conversion, guest loyalty and revenue. Duetto delivers software-as-a-service to hotels and casinos that leverage dynamic data sources and actionable insights into pricing and demand across the enterprise, enabling a holistic and more profitable revenue strategy. Visit www.duettocloud.com for more information.