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THE BIG INTERVIEW


highs and there is a lot of demand for that mid-market product. We like to say we offer a five-star experience at a three-star price tag. We don’t charge for parking, for example, while most of the other Strip properties do. We have economical options from food and beverage to our room product. For us, we are looking for occupancy, volume, visitation – we’re not in the world to compete with the Wynns and Bellagios of Las Vegas Boulevard, those are amazing experiences. In our world we are not going to sell $500 bottles of vodka or rent expensive cabanas out, that’s not who we are. Our interpretation is to embrace the value play and that market, and to make it the best experience it can be. And I think we are doing a pretty good job of that. Frankly, with Genting’s property opening late 2020 or


2021 that’s great for us and just brings more visitation. Along those same lines we are working with the city and Mayor Goodman to improve the North Strip experience, from Fremont Street to the south and Sahara to the north, that’s the gateway to the city of Las Vegas and we think it’s the hottest place in town. Resorts World is coming and visitation is likely to keep growing to the north in our opinion. We’re just going to keep doing what we have to do to be


building by modernising the exterior of the property and giving it a more modern look. It had palm trees out the front, you couldn’t see the front, we have done some amazing things with the entrance. People visiting Las Vegas and walking The Strip either from the south or the north, from Downtown Las Vegas, now have this really cool property, a rebranded Strat that’s appealing and so, from that perspective, we are looking to market the new brand. By updating the interiors, adding different components and amenities to help people decide to stay a bit longer, we have added a brewpub, a new sportsbook, a lounge, we updated the Top of the World restaurant, one of the busiest restaurants in the United States, 106th floor with amazing views; we built a new Starbucks, and we are now renovating the casino floor. We are taking out the old ceiling and making it a whole new experience on the casino floor. We believe the process essentially reminds people of how the property is more relevant today than it was in 1995. We are making the changes necessary to make the property more relevant.


CI: Over the last ten years or so it’s become a property for the budget-conscious customer and The Strip absolutely needs those players and customers – but the problem for the property has surely been that there is simply nothing around it, aside from the world’s largest gift shop right nextdoor. SA: I think you’re right on target there; the property definitely attracts a more value-oriented experience and we embrace that. Visitation to Vegas continues to reach all-time


JANUARY 2020 41


ready for increasing guest counts to our area; we’re working with the city and county on building a crossover bridge from us to Sahara in the next couple of years, and we are working to beautify Las Vegas Boulevard in front of The Strat all the way to the Arts District. We feel like we are nicely connected to Fremont Street and the Arts District to the north, and Sahara and the main Strip to the south.


CI: The property has become isolated so much because of demolitions and the like in recent years, and development. Is part of the problem getting people to stay in the resort? Have the changes you have made to your F&B offering and the like countered that?


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