Interview with Jason Smith, Manager of Odawa Casino Resort

The value of customer service and personal touch goes a long way in increasing local casino business and traffic on the floor. Odawa Casino Resort in Macanaw, Michigan has truly succeeded at doing this by creating new processes, incentives, and a welcoming atmosphere. URComped CEO, Craig Shacklett, interviews the Manager of Odawa Casino Resort, Jason Smith to get insight on Odawa’s player development strategies, the evolution of reinvestment processes and incentives, as well as the impact of personal touch and quality customer service. Listen to podcast version.

Topics discussed include:

  • Odawa Casino property, atmosphere, peak seasons, and growth
  • The value of personal touch
  • Telemarketing Strategy
  • Jason Smith’s history in the casino industry
  • Player Development Reinvestment Transitions
  • RFM system
  • Best way to incentivize
  • How to determine the offers for different markets
  • Quality over Quantity impact
  • Entertainment vs. Gaming
  • Importance of customer service
URComped CEO, Craig Shacklett, interviews the Manager of Odawa Casino Resort, Jason Smith to get insight on Odawa’s player development strategies, the evolution of reinvestment processes and incentives, as well as the impact of personal touch and quality customer service.

Full Transcript Below

(0:00-0:20) Craig Shacklett: Hi everybody, Craig Shacklett here with URComped. I’ve got a special guest today. It’s Jason Smith. He’s a casino manager of Odawa Casino Resort in Mackinaw, Michigan. Jason, did I say it right?

(0:20-1:05) Jason Smith: You got it right. It’s for tough. Mackinaw is a hard word. The way that they spelled Mackinaw City, It was pretty phonetically sound, but Mackinac is spelled M-A-C-K-N-A-C. And everybody calls it Mackinac. So that’s Mackinac Island. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of Mackinac Island or not. It’s one of the largest tourist destinations in the midwest. So we are in a town little city about 600 people live in Mackinaw City. So in the winter it is pretty desolate up here. Within a summer it gets pretty hoppin.

(1:05-1:09) CS: Wow, so your properties actually on this island?

(1:09-3:30) JS: No our properties on the mainland, but you have to catch a ferry to Mackinac Island. And the cool part about Mackinac Island is there’s no cars on it. There’s no motor vehicles at all. So it’s all horse-driven carriages and bicycles. So it’s a pretty awesome place. They have the Grand Hotel over there, which is world-famous. They filmed Christopher Reeves film the movie over there. Somewhere in time, it was called, but Mackinac Island from Memorial Day through Labor Day gets about 25,000 visitors per day go over there. So, I think throughout the year to over a million people visit the island. So we have a nice little spot where we’re at that we get some of that overflows. Wonderful. Yeah. Yeah. It sounds amazing. Tell us about your property. Yeah. We do have two properties here on Odawa Casino. The main property. The resort-style casino is in Petoskey MI, which is about 35 miles South and West of me. So they have a thousand machines on the floor, 150 room Hotel, fine dining restaurant. Panda, sports book, and real resort-style Casino. So it’s a very pretty property. Well I am at right now is we open this property in 2017, and we were 6,000 square feet and we had about a hundred and ten machines at that time. So like I was telling you earlier, we’re on our third rebuilding phase this last one is going to add about 8,000 square feet of gaming. We’re going to now have about 15,000 square feet of gaming with a great restaurant and we’re going to end up with about 280 machines. I think when it’s all said and done. No table games. We were hoping to get some sort of a… There’s a great little live poker game out there. That’s a live dealer version, but it’s on a on a screen now, what’s it called?

(3:30-3:36) CS: It say, like there be multiple stations that people played at that electronic but it’s a live.

(3:36-3:38) JS: It wll be alive dealer. Yeah.

(0:38-3:56) CS: So you talked about Mackinaw Mackinac. Being very seasonal. Summer. Peak season. Does the casino business reflect that or are you pretty steady year-round?

(3:56-5:20) JS: During the summer months, we average 1,200 people in the door every day. And right now, we’re averaging a little less than 350. Well, I guess we’re going to the interview, I mean, end up answering those questions a little bit later. What we’re doing here is we’re actually targeting the players that we want on the floor. So as Casino General Managers and staff, they love to see this wide open. Everybody’s on a machine. Hundred percent occupancy. Jamming floor. Well, I came to the conclusion a long time ago that I would rather have a hundred qualified customers on the gaming floor as opposed to 250 that I have no idea what their gaming habits are. So we started to do that a little bit here. And really have turned a corner in a year where the industry is not doing awful. I looked at the numbers for Indian Gaming for the year is up about 2.2 percent. So it hasn’t been an awful year but we’re kicking in pretty well here. We’re up right now on the top line about ten percent.

(5:20-5:55) CS: That is impressive and I’m glad you brought that up. Because the reason how we got connected was, because on LinkedIn I saw you made a post. I love Casino Marketing. That’s what we do all day every day. And I thought you had a very insightful post about how COVID… A lot of casinos are fighting over a smaller pool of people. Some people just don’t want to go outside. And you guys have managed to… Inspite of the reality of less people coming in the door you’re making more money. Tell us about that. What have you done? What are the strategies you’ve done to make that happen?

(5:55-7:09) JS: Well Craig, it’s an extensive strategy. It’s pretty in-depth. What we did was we got a list of our top players and we started making phone calls. That’s about it. I know it sounds like I’m a marketing genius, right? But no. It literally was what can we do to drive business? Who’s our top 100 players? Whose our top 250 players? Who’s our top players of the day. So we get these lists. I generate these lists. And we have a great team here. And we sit down and we start making phone calls inviting people back. And we don’t have to offer them the world to come back, We’re giving them a $10 free play offer, a $20 free play offer. We have an amazing Saturday Night Prime Rib Dinner for $16, So we’ll give them $32 food comped so they can have a nice dinner on Saturday night. So that is the strategy and it’s working quite well right now.

(7:09-7:24) CS: I love hearing that. And a lot of casino properties will love hearing that as well. Because a lot of people think there’s some perfect formula to this thread this needle at this right reinvestment rate.

(7:24-9:07) JS: They want to complicate things. It really boils down to customer service at its smallest point. That point of contact between you and the customer. It’s a touch point that you all hear about when you’re in marketing. You hear about the customer touch points that you’re supposed to make. 7 to 12 touch points a year. And that really is true. It works because that’s what we do. We make it feel special. We’re a small property. We only have 200 machines on the floor right now. Because we’re rearranging. COVID’s out there. People don’t want to leave the house. And rightly so, it’s pretty scary time we’re in right now. What we’re doing is we’re just reaching out letting them know that we’re keeping the casino safe. We have not had an outbreak here. Like I was telling you, there’s not been an outbreak a staff. We did have our first staff member test positive last week. And we tested everybody. The whole staff got tested yesterday. We’re cleaning machines. If you got free time on your hands. Everybody’s walking around. We got security cleaning machines. We got slot attendents cleaning machines. We got servers in a bar cleaning machine. I’m cleaning machines. Guest services cleaning machines. We just want to make sure people are safe when they come in. And that’s what we let them know. And like I said, we don’t have a packed floor. But what we do is we have the right of mixture of people on the floor.

(9:07-9:16) CS: So you back to the basics. You understand you got to talk to the customers. And the big concern right now is cleanliness, keeping people safe. And you guys are all over that.

(9:16-9:27) JS: I wish I could like outline a formula for you on a whiteboard or something. How they came up with this strategy.

(9:27-9:44) CS: So did you adjust… Because it sounds he took a very smart approach to… In a time when people don’t want to be in a packed casino, you said, “Great. Let’s focus on the top.” Did you adjust the investment rate at all on the lower end or the higher end? Or was it really just a telemarketing strategy?

(9:44-11:23) JS: It was totally telemarketing strategy. Right now we’re running a very low reinvestment level on our top-end players When I first got here, I started… I got this opportunity in October of 2019. The CEO of Odawa came over from my old Property. And he said, “Hey Jason, I want you to come and look at this property. It’s pretty much running organically right now. There’s no leadership, but it’s doing well. So maybe if there’s somebody that can come in and guide them a little bit. Maybe this place can do awesome.” So I came in on board in October of 2019. And I have a marketing background. So I like looking at figures and data. But when I got here we were upside down on the reinvestment level at both properties. We were top-heavy. We were investing a lot in that lower tiers and not so much of the upper tiers. Really antiquated Direct Mail Program that we wanted to tweak a little bit. And they were in the process of tweaking before I got here. And I like the way they were going with it. I think there’s some more things that we can do with it. But as of right now, we got our reinvestments in line and we’re doing all right. It’s been a hell of a year but we’re doing okay.

(11:23-11:49) CS: Now you came in you and saw the reinvestment rates were off… I think a lot of Casino Executives come in, they see that, but they are reticent or they’re hesitant to make a change because oh man, we’re going to hear about it from the lower end. So what was that like when you were getting the reinvestment right? Were you dealing with a lot of flak or how was that transition?

(11:49-12:59) JS: Oh, Yeah, I mean it’s always going to be the flak and it’s always going to be why is my direct mail… The biggest investment we have is our direct mail piece. So we’re mailing out 60,000 mailers a month with offers in them. So that’s our biggest expense. So how do we utilize that as a strength instead of a weakness right now? Communication with the staff, communication with the customer is always very important, so it’s hard to have that conversation with somebody that was getting $20 in free play or $50 in free play and it’s now getting $20 in free play or $10 dollars in free play. But the conversation has to be had so you just sit down and you have a script and that’s a very important thing- developing your script for your Frontline team members to go by. And if they stick to that script… We didn’t have very much pushback at all really.

(12:59-13:14) CS: So you got an all slot floor, no table games at the moment, nice restaurant. The telemarketing piece- Was that completed by.. Do you have a host team or was this like a player’s card department? What’s your outreach? Yeah.

(13:14-14:19) JS: We have Player Development here, but it consists of, right the moment, me and another host. That’s our Player Development team right now Team Mackinac. There’s a bunch of people that are helping. Honestly, I have a great staff here. Little small staff- we have about 35 team members. So we are busting it and everybody’s willing to pitch in and help. I don’t want everybody on the phone because there’s certain way that we handle business on the phone. You have to have that phone etiquette. The other host that we hired, that we brought in is amazing on the phone. We handle the phone, we get people, we generate our list every week, and we just call them. Say, “If there’s something that we can do for you. If you can bring in…we miss you. Come on back. See ya. We’ve got a machine ready for you.”

(14:19-14:24) CS: Now In your Market, Is it a competitive market?

(14:24-16:44) JS: Yeah, my biggest competitors about six and a half miles away. It was my former company that I used to work for. So when I got into casino business back in 2012, I haven’t been in the business very long at all. So I came from a financial background where I was basically in the financial world selling. I started off selling Financial products and then worked my way up the corporate ladder and was at mid-management level but I was gone 30 weeks a year and I had two kids at home at night. There came a time where I have to… I love the job, but I wanted a home life. I decided to apply to a casino in Saint Marie Michigan, which is about 50 miles north of where I’m at right now. In the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I got hired as an Executive Host and I came on board right when we were having a CEO change and me and the new CEO got along great. I went from Executive Host to Player Development Manager in about three months so it was kind of a crazy ride. And that was the very first project I worked on. His name was Fred Burrow. I could still call him. He was a mentor to me. He taught me so much about this industry. I didn’t know ADT from Apple. You know what I mean? I didn’t know the lingo. I didn’t know any of that stuff. So I dove right in and our very first project I worked on was turning an old antiquated Direct Mail program into a sleek modern program that did have to adjust the reinvestment levels. That’s where I learned about RFM modeling. I didn’t know what it meant at first, and then we dove into it and I had a great team of marketing geniuses at Kewadin Casino. They’re great. We sat down and we developed this product.

(16:44-16:53) CS: Before we get into the product because I’m dying to hear about it, for people that don’t know, explain when RFM is and what it stands for?

(16:53-19:22) JS: Recency Frequency and Monetary. So it’s a modeling system that I truly believe, if you’re not using it in the casino industry for your direct mail program, I questioned your effectiveness of that Direct Mail program. Not that there’s other programs that don’t work. I just know that this is something that has worked and will continue to work. There might be some tweaking of it. Recency. Frequency and Monetary. Each little segment is weighted. So you give a number, like a 1 to 10 weight on it. So let’s say Recency. You have a $50 a day player that’s comes in three days a week and their most recent trip was yesterday. Each one of the recency frequency and monetary values you put a number to that customer. Then at the end of the day, you’re going to have an aggregate number of where do you want to put this customer and the location that worries at comes into play and the frequency of his trips. They’re all weighted equally, so that’s where you get a reinvestment and a proper reinvestment of a customer is by not over incentivizing the $50 a day player because he’s a 200 trip guy a year, but he still has a value to the casino on the annual side of things. He’s still a ten thousand dollar annual player. So you want to keep that guy happy. Well, you just don’t want to give the farm away. So that’s the hardest thing in Casino Direct Mail programs out there is how do you incentivize a customer that is probably a top-tier player, because he’s here everyday? His ADT looks awful. His ADT is $50 a day. How do you incentivize him, even though it’s a $50 a day player, to come in and properly incentivize him? He’s there 200 days a year, so you don’t really have to spend a lot of money marketing to him because he’s gonna be there. He’s going to be on property. So you also don’t want to lose that customer to a casino 10 miles down the road.

(19:22-19:48) CS: Without giving away all your secrets, How how did incorporating RFM change how you did business? You’re right. Most of the casinos we talk to, it’s really just ADT and every offer they give is based on ADT. How does RFM factor in to change, just the ADT mindset? How does RFM modify that?

(19:48– 24:19) JS: It takes a system where you’re looking at one solitary number and every Customer that walks through the door as an ADT. There’s a sign over their head that they come in and they spend x amount of dollars per day, but that doesn’t give you the whole picture. Where does that customer live? How close is he? The frequency of the visits? If you have a guy that’s 20 miles away and he visits your Casino 200 times a year, that is a valued customer. You look at the small ADT, and then all of a sudden on the direct mail side of things, he’s feeling slighted because “I spend $10,000 a year at casino X and they only value me at $10 a week and free play and $5 Dollar Food value.” So RFM takes everything into consideration. The monetary of the amount that you spend on a yearly basis and ADT factor. The frequency and .the recency You have to break down direct mail into more than just an inner and outer market. Most casinos I check on their direct mail. They have an inner Market at like 0 to 25 miles from the casino. Outer Market is 26 miles and past. You can’t adequately gauge a customer with just having two different markets. So RFM broke our Matrix down. We had a 4-tier matrix. We went to 8-tier Matrix with RFM. We broke a local market down from 0 to 24 miles. That was L market then are A market was 25 to 49 miles and then our B Market was 50 miles to 99 miles. Then our T Market, which stood for Tourists, was a hundred miles plus. So you take into consideration the amount of times that that hundred-mile guy comes. It’s probably four to five times is a year if you’re lucky. So why are we sending him four offers a month? Well what you could do is you can juice those offers and get them maybe twice a month to come in with a juiced offer and have a nice hotel room for them, nice food comps. Juice the offers and get that guy that’s coming four- five times a year to come eight times a year, 10 times a year. That’s going to actually improve your bottom line and you’re not sending them 4 offers a month at that point in time. You’re sending them 2 offers and their juiced up a little bit. Then you have the the guy that’s just down the road. I had a guy, he weighted.. he was there 365 days a year. He didn’t miss a day. He was the nicest guy in the world and he was a $50 a day player. At the end of the year though, He’s $15,000 net player! That’s huge in my market. I am not gonna disgrace that guy by sending him lowball offers either, like a $10 direct mail. If you look at his ADT, he’s going to get $10 in free play a week. This guy’s been a $15,000 a year at my property and I have a 3% reinvestment level. Come on that’s ridiculous. So that’s where your look at that model when you just look at the single solitary ADT and you flip it into the RFM. Takes a whole picture into play and that’s why that one post I posted… If you don’t have that frequency model in your RFM, and you’re not building that frequency trunk. There’s problem with your direct mail. There really is and it’s simple to do.

(24:19-24:24) CS: A lot of things that seem simple…What was it? Common sense isn’t that common.

(24:24-25:03) JS: But it doesn’t take a lot to do it and we turned a reinvestment that was close to 40% at the very first property I was at down to 22% direct-mail reinvestment and that gave Player Development more wiggle room to work with that higher-end player, the thousand dollar a day player. You got a 22% reinvestment, now all of a sudden your host have some ammo in their pocket to get these guys in. You got to get some ammo.

(25:03-25:41) CS: So, it sounds like… On the one hand with people on that T Market (the tourist Market- further away), but maybe a higher ADT player, you were able to find cost savings by sending out fewer Direct Mail pieces because they’re not going to come in that frequently anyway, but you juice the offer up a little bit. Yeah. On the other hand the folks that are coming in over a hundred- two hundred times per year.. Maybe you juice up the offer a little bit, just as a way of showing appreciation, because you don’t want to insult the,. because those 200 trips could easily go to a neighbor.

(25:41-27:13) JS: Also on some of those players, Craig you do. You juice it up. On that one guy that I talk to you about… everyday guy, 365 day a year. You don’t juice the offers on all of them because that locals Market… What do the locals do? They’re there every day. So their Redemption rate is crazy high, right? So everything we send them is getting redeemed. So you have to take that into consideration too. There are some local market guys that you don’t bump their offers. You take their offers down drastically. And those are the people that you have to have that conversation with, and it’s hard to have that conversation, but there are people that you need to show appreciation for that maybe not look sexy on a data spreadsheet, with their ADTs but with the amount of time that they’re at your property you need t, show some appreciation and you have to spend very little to market to these guys. It costs a lot less money to keep a customer than to earn a customer. So building that customer base, as long as we do our job, it’s a lot cheaper keeping them than going fishing for the whales and stuff like that.

(27:13-27:27) CS: -So it sounds like maybe with those high-frequency customers, it is a little bit of that touch, like maybe picking up a vibe on a customer and how you treat them. That’s why smart management, smart Player development. people are so important.

(27:27-28:29) JS: Absolutely. Yeah, cause you honestly create monsters, if you just looked at the frequency aspect of the modeling. You could create monsters that you don’t want. That’s the trick of RFM. Everything has to be weighted properly. So even if the guy’s a two hundred trip player, but he spends, $10 a day and he’s at your property drinking their coffee or free coffee or free soda, redeeming every offer you give him, you could honestly go the opposite way with reinvestment. So with RFM modeling, it’s all weighted and it’s weighted equally, so that’s a fair way to look at direct mail instead of just popping an ADT on a spreadsheet, running it through your database, putting it in a tier, sending out that offer.

(28:29-28:46) CS: We almost need to add an extra one like vibe for RFM, because there’s some people that are and I think this goes back to you talking about you’d rather have a hundred great qualified players on your floor, then 500 low end.

(28:46-30:37) JS: Nine out of ten times if I have a hundred qualified players and you have 500 players that you have no data on and you don’t know their gambling habits. I’m gonna beat you nine out of ten times and that one time that I don’t beat you is there’s going to be somebody in that 500 that’s going to be that guy that just goes off but I’ll beat you with a hundred qualified players to your 500 that I know everything I possibly can about those players. From their favorite drink to their favorite machine to what they want to eat at lunch. We delve into Casino data mining more so now than ever before. The company that has the most data and the most knowledge is going to win. So I want to know everything about my customers when they come in the door. I want my waitress to have a Bud Light ready for them, because I know they’re going to go to the bar and get a Bud Light and then they’re going to go sit down at their machine. I want to have, on their way to our restaurant, I want the waitress to have their table ready. I want the guess service rep to call them by their first name when they come through the door and it’s hard to do with everybody, but if you build that base and you build that relationship… That makes all the difference and we get more data and more information than any… I came from a financial background and the casino industry and the amount of data mining that we do is mountains higher than what I did working for BlackRock or Zurich Financial.

(30:37-30:43) CS: Do you have a system where you save all that personal information about favorite drinks and all that?

(30:43-32:31) JS: Most Casino Player portals have places that you can put that stuff in. So honestly, I run Konami right now, which is a fine product. I ran Bally’s, a scientific game product, at my other property- which I loved. It actually was more user-friendly but no, you could put that information right on the player portal. So when they come and they swipe, that’s where the communication with the staff comes in to play. I need the bartender to know who’s coming in, who’s on the floor, and what they like to drink. We have to have that conversation. And do your players text you or the host when they’re on their way in so you guys are ready for them? No. No, not a lot. I’ll see them pull in the driveway. I’ll see them pull in the parking lot and I’ll know who’s on the way and I’m trying to train everybody to get that way and it’s hard. We have a locals market right now. It’s pretty easy. I can walk out on my gaming floor right now. There’s probably between 80 and 90 people on the floor only right now and I’ll know 75 of them. That’s awesome. So we’ll go out there. We will have some conversations. I don’t shake hands anymore or give hugs but we’ll get back to that one day I guess. I’m picturing cheers. You walk in, “Hey Norm!,” that’s so awesome, because our marketing director wants that Vibe for this place like a everybody knows your name type of place like a cheers, We’re kind of going with that vibe and kind of going down that way about branding ourselves. So it’s awesome that you said that because that’s what we’re doing.

(32:31-33:09) CS: I brought up a second ago about you talking about RFM and I said it’d be funny to have like a Vibe thing. Some players add to the vibe. Some takeaway from the vibe and before the our interview, I sent you a little note about… I want to get your opinion on how do you thread that needle where you want to focus on the high end, but you don’t want it to be so high end, that the floor feels kind of dead and you don’t want it to be too low end where it’s just packed and It’s almost too much of a vibe. How much do you think about that? Like what that sweet spot is with how full the floor is.

(33:09-38:50) JS: I think about it a lot. Right now when the erra that we’re in with covid, especially I don’t need to see a jam-packed floor. I want to see a low number but when we get over this… First vaccine distributed in Europe today, I think we’re going to be you know, I think we can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. I would love to see a nice vibe on my Casino floor. I love to see, you know, some entertainment come back. Bring that kind of stuff back. Where I you know kind of draw the line is that we’re going to get those low end players. We’re an entertainment industry. We’re not a gaming industry. We’re like the movies are we’re like a nice dinner out with your wife, you know, that’s where we’re at right now in Casino marketing. We’re entertainers, you know, they want to come in. They want to sit down and have a nice meal with their wife. Well, there’s not a ton of IM restaurants where I’m at. So we have a small restaurant but we make great food. We have amazing chefs and it’s all homemade stuff. So when you come to our restaurant, you’re going to have an awesome meal at a very low respectable price I’m not going to say low price- $16 prime rib dinners pretty decent for our Market. And then they want to have the music playing. They want to hear the vibe. They want to have a couple drinks because you know, they got out of the house. They got a babysitter for the night. The kids are taken care of. Mom and Dad want to go out spend a couple hours, you know, and they’re going to spend $100.00 – $150.00 playing their favorite games and having dinner in my restaurant. So they’re going to spend the same amount and spend two hours in a dark movie theater, where they can’t talk to each other anyway, and watching a movie OR they come to us, have music playing… You know, we’re very good. We have that high energy. I turn on the 80’s pop music on Fridays and Saturday night, you know, so we got some 80’s going. We got a nice vibe on the floor. We have a great restaurant. So yeah. We’re entertainers now. We’re not in the gaming industry. We’re fighting for that dollar that the movie theaters and high-end restaurants are trying to get. So what I’m trying to do is have that plus I’m gonna have some atmosphere and I’m going to have some kickass games that you can come in and play and you’re gonna high-five me when you walk through the door and you’re just going to have fun because I’m going to make it fun. You can come in with a sour attitude But I’m going to turn that around and my staff is going to turn that around and we’re just going to have fun. So that’s where we’re at right now. Especially, you know after this covid thing goes that’s where we’re…. going towards. We’re going to be more in the entertainment business than we are in the gaming business. Our database is not getting any younger and if we don’t figure out how to market to the Gen Ys and the Millennial’s were going to be going down in flames. Brick and Mortar casinos could be a thing of the past. So we have to figure out how do we get to the Millennial’s and the Gen Ys because right now the Baby Boomers and the Gen X’ers…They’re our Market, which is horrible to say cuz I’m a Gen X’er and I understand though that The reason why we Market to them is they have the disposable income right now, but in 10-20-30 years the Millennial’s and the Gen Y guys are going to be in that age range where they don’t like to just sit and play a slot machine. You’re going to have to entertain them. Whether you want to or not, we got to figure it out man. It used to be casinos could be dark and dingy and you walk in there and it’s kind of like a kid walking in… like you’re 21 and you’re going into your first bar, You’re kind of creeping in because you don’t want the neighbors to see you. You know, what it used to be like right. Now, I want vibrant lights. I want music I want fun activities. I don’t want people to be ashamed of Casino gaming. It’s the same as going to spend $200 at the movie and get the… a large popcorn for 50 bucks. Come spend $50, you’ll get 2 prime rib dinners here, So we have to figure it out and we have to Market to that younger group and if we don’t start doing it now when they get to that retirement age or they get to the age where they’re at their peaks in their careers and the money is coming in. They’re not going to come to us, you know, they’re going to go somewhere else. So we have to figure it out. We have to start doing it. now. What do we want? I don’t want to dark, dingy Casino anymore. I want nice vibrant lights. I want music. I want high energy.

(38:50-39:10) CS: Well, it sounds like you’ve got the right foresight. You’re approaching the right way, and I think a lot of people under-estimate customer service. It doesn’t matter what age group somebody’s in they want to be treated well, and it sounds like you guys are doing a fantastic job at that and I think that’s going to carry you through to success no matter what generation is coming in the doors.

(39:10-39:55) JS: I hope so, you know, that’s the thing, you said it and I try to break customer service down. You can go to all the customer service trainings you want and I’ve been to them all, and at the end of the day I can break customer service down as treat people the way you want to be treated, when you go into an establishment. Customer service 101. There. I just saved you $1,500. You don’t have to go to that seminar now because honestly treating people the way that you feel like you should be treated when you walk into a property is how it is. Epitome of customer service.

(39:55-39:56) CS: It’s the Golden Rule, right?

(39:56-40:09) JS: Yeah, I think we lost track of that a little bit ago. So I’m trying to bring it back. So we’re doing all right here in Northern Michigan. We got about two inches of snow this morning. I don’t know where you’re at. Where you at?

(40:09-40:13) CS: I’m in Dallas, Texas and it’s about 60 degrees outside.

(40:13-40:22) JS: Whatever. It was about 22 this morning and we got some snow, so it was a little chilly this morning.

(40:22-40:26) CS: Well, I gotta come up there and visit sometime this Mackinac Island sounds amazing.

(40:26-40:34) JS: Yeah, come on up! Let me know when you want to come up. We’ll get you up here. We’ll get you a hotel room with… Are you married?

(40:34-40:36) CS: I’m married.

(40:36-40:38) JS: Come over to the Mackinac Island.

(40:38-40:42) CS: Alright. Well, you’re going to regret saying that because I’m going to be up there next summer.

(40:42-40:44) JS: Do it! Come on, man. Let’s go!

(40:44-40:52) CS: Well Jason, this was a total pleasure. I really enjoyed it. I thought it was all valuable and super interesting.

(40:52-40:54) JS: I did too. Thanks a lot Craig.

(40:54-40:59) CS: Thank you Jason.

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