Station Casinos Turn to Loyal Customers to Boost Image

Station Casinos do not want to lose their image when it comes to being around for a very long time. Maybe the newer crowd are not going to be as impressed as the older. As the older move on and perhaps do less gambling, what is that going to leave for the casino? They are hoping that a lot of the younger crowd remember the casino from when they were younger and hope to help keep it around for some time to come.

Jannalyn Schilke started going to the Station casinos when she was just 7 years old, romping around the Kids Quest child centers while her parents were able to go to the casino floors to play. Now that she is 23, she is still a regular at the Station. She likes to play the slots at Station’s Fiesta Henderson. "I've just always been around Station Casinos," she said. "It's always just been about having a lot of fun." This type of loyalty has helped the Station Casinos remain one of the long lasting casinos in the locals market for many years. Presently, Station wants to feature the long time customers such as Schilke in their television ads that are aimed at portraying their company as part of the community in Las Vegas.

 

She became part of their new promotions in the same way that she became a Station customer – by tagging along behind her mother. She was able to be featured in the commercials where customers talk about how they are able to spend their loyalty points in the casino, after accompanying her mother to one of the auditions for the campaign. "I didn't know I'd get picked," she said. "My mom was the one who actually got the invitation (to audition). She asked me if I wanted to go along, and I said, 'Sure.'" The Station casinos were built around the simple idea that not everyone throughout Las Vegas in a tourist to the area and a lot of the people in the city might prefer a casino closer to their home rather than downtown or on the Strip. Station expanded their casino to add a bingo parlor on West Sahara Avenue in the Bingo Station in 1976. This area eventually became known as the Palace Station. The Frank Fertitta family then added another few Station casinos throughout the 1990’s and finished up on the Red Rock in 2006 as the first $1 billion casino was aimed towards the local market.

 

The director of UNLV’s Center for Gaming Research, David Schwartz said that they were not likely getting lifelong customers and that it was a long term goal when Fertitta started the Station. "Frank Fertitta saw a market that wasn't being served at the time, and he served it. Then, as Las Vegas grew, the company grew with it," Schwartz said. "Casino executives are more likely to market for this quarter than for the long term. If you walked into a boardroom and said you had a marketing plan for the next 60 years, you'd probably be laughed out. But when their customers say they want something, like a bowling alley or a movie theater, these casinos have provided that." The Station has survived through a bankruptcy battle that ended up with the Fertittas surrendering their minority interest to their lenders. The company has also had an ongoing battle with the Culinary Union over the union’s efforts to unionize the entire Station workers units.

 

Their new ads are featuring loyal and local customers like Schilke to come on the heels of a campaign that is going to characterize the Culinary Union’s actions as being bad for both the parties involved and the whole Las Vegas economy as well. The company officials however, state that their new promotions were unrelated to the Culinary campaign.  “Our ‘We Love Locals’ advertising campaign is all about what the title suggests, which is a celebration of the affection and appreciation we have for our loyal guests and that our guests have for our team members," said Lori Nelson, vice president of corporate communications for Station.

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