Nongaming Amenities Critical to Lure Millennials, Hard Rock Leads

Estimated read time 4 min read

Nongaming amenities, new research finds, are critical to attracting millennials and Gen Z resort guests.

The Guitar Hotel at Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood is a preferred destination among millennials and Gen Z. The Hard Rock brand, those generations say, offers an assortment of nongaming amenities. (Image: Orbitz)

LaneTerralever, a Phoenix-based marketing agency, surveyed more than 1,500 people in the U.S. age 21 to 75. The query was to gauge how they go about deciding which casino to patronize and which casino resort they’ll stay overnight at.

The survey found that nongaming amenities are crucial to younger people. Nearly 84% of millennials, defined as those currently aged 25 to 40, and 81% of the Gen Z segment, defined as those aged 21 to 24, place a considerable emphasis on things to do aside from gaming. Nongaming activities include an assortment of amenities, including pools, spas, fitness centers, restaurants and bars, live entertainment, shopping, and outdoor activities.

“As millennials and Gen Z become a larger part of our population, conventional land-based casinos have taken on a new role in experiences and social gatherings. Gaming is just one of many activities this generation seeks when they visit a local or destination casino,” the study reported.

The gaming industry is well aware that nongaming can drive casino revenues by luring new players to their slot machines, table games, and sportsbooks. Casinos are proficient in converting a business traveler or visitor in town for a sporting event to play a slot or place a wager.

The LaneTerralever study finds that further investments in nongaming draws should continue to pay off for casinos in the long run.

Survey Says

Millennials and Gen Z aren’t alone in seeking nongaming attractions to complement their casino trips. About 76% of Gen X and 65% of Boomers also consider what’s available aside from the casino space in deciding where to visit.

When asked which casino brand is doing nongaming the best, the Hard Rock brand received the top marks. More than 21% of those polled said the casino and hospitality brand owned by the Seminole Tribe in Florida provides the best nongaming resort amenities.

MGM was second at 20%, and Caesars Entertainment was third at about 14%. Golden Nugget and Wynn Resorts — both at 6.2% — rounded out the top five.

The study concluded that restaurants and bars are the most important nongaming features for both local and destination casinos.

This highlights the importance of food and beverage variety and quality at casinos today, and casino owners and operators must give that aspect of the experience their full attention at all times,” the report summarized. “Especially in today’s world, where positive (or negative) reviews can significantly impact customer behavior, delivering great dining experiences can be a great way to drive non-traditional players through a casino’s doors.”

After eating and drinking offerings, the survey’s respondents said live entertainment ranked next in nongaming importance.

Loyalty Components

The LaneTerralever probe found that millennials and Gen Z said nongaming offerings are important to fostering their loyalty. Nearly 70% of millennials and 66% of Gen Z said nongaming features “have at least some impact on their loyalty.”

The survey class also expressed some hostility to further technological advances, such as robots that have replaced bartenders.

Although technology investments are often intended to simplify experiences and create more self-service opportunities, casino-goers have expressed that they value the high-touch, personalized nature of casino customer experience they have become accustomed to and are wary of technology taking some of that away,” the report found.

Last year’s cyberattacks that greatly disrupted day-to-day operations at MGM’s Strip casinos and across the country highlighted the downside of digital room keys, self-service check-in kiosks, and today’s high-tech casino floor.

“As in many other hospitality businesses, some operators have cut staff, while others have had difficulties finding and retaining staff. Look to creative ways of hiring and ensure that the employees are service-oriented, well-trained, and equipped to resolve problems,” the study concluded.

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