There’s one thing that I love, and it’s Las Vegas. And puppies. OK, two things.
The reason for my love of Vegas isn’t what you might think. Sure, I am fascinated by the over-the-top nature of Sin City's offerings and its freewheeling visitors. But what I really love about the destination is its continuous ability to be at the forefront of seemingly every trend relevant to the hotel industry.
The city’s casino resorts were leaders in chef-driven restaurants, reinventing nightlife, seeing opportunity for making money poolside and pushed design to new heights. It’s no surprise, I think, that to understand what will be most relevant to your hotel in the next few years we should take a cue from the resorts on the Strip and beyond. Here is a look at some of those trends
1. Bye Bye Burgers!
And not a moment too soon. Insanely overplayed, the burger trend has got to go, and it seems to be abating in Las Vegas. Several burger-focused eateries have already closed and new restaurants that are opening seem to be shying away from the burger theme. What’s next? Chicken! That’s right, chicken, Also, Asian street food and ramen are top choices for the next wave of palate-pleasing places about to take over. Someone get me some chicken and waffles, stat!
2. Just Lounging Around
Electronic dance music has hit its peak on the Vegas club scene, something which I am thankful for. It turns out that spending $100,000 or more per night for a DJ is no longer the best way to generate big profits. The next trend is a reactionary move that’s more my style, and it matches the average hotel customer’s vibe, too: Upscale lounges with an emphasis on great handcrafted cocktails. While mixologists may be becoming overplayed, the result of their hard work is front and center. And it should be in your hotel, too.
3. Partying at the Pool
Las Vegas hotels have also become masters at extracting cash out of the daytime crowd hanging by the pool. For hotels with pools, it’s a great lesson regarding how to boost profits from an amenity that’s already in place. Think about adding some drink specials, special food items and, of course, some sort of entertainment that entices people to come and enjoy. While the Vegas pool scene has focused mostly on DJs, there’s no need to stick to that formula. How about a BBQ and a local band that has a following? They will drive people to the hotel and help you create some profits.
4. Personalized Promotions
The casino business has been a consistent leader in understanding what motivates its guests. Not every guest lumped together, but smaller subsets of guests with likes and dislikes. The hotel industry needs to figure this out. While I receive myriad advertisements every single day from hotel companies, I rarely get any promotions that have any indication the hotel company understands what motivates me as an individual to make a hotel purchase. And while we’re at it, the casinos also realize you are not there specifically for the hotel itself, but for what being at the hotel allows you to do. Hotel marketers should understand this more clearly as well, and adjust campaigns to reflect the hotel is only a home base that sets the stage for experiences.
What do you think? Email me at [email protected] or on Twitter and Instagram @TravelingGlenn and share your stories.
Glenn Haussman is editor-at-large for HOTEL MANAGEMENT. His views expressed are not necessarily those of HOTEL MANAGEMENT, its parent company Questex Media Group, and/or its subsidiaries.