Editor's Corner

For some reason, I can’t seem to get my travel schedule coordinated with the right seasons. Here we are in the heart of summer and I have been in Las Vegas, Nevada (hot desert), for a project. Then I’m off to Fredericksburg, Virginia (the muggy East Coast), to attend the semi-annual Agritainment Study Group meeting. Later in the month I end up on the eastern coast of Florida (super humid and hot) for another project.

I continue to be intrigued by culture, as it varies so much throughout the world, as well as throughout America. Local culture has a direct impact on the success of location-based entertainment businesses. Fine-tune a project to the culture, and you can have a winner.

Most people have only one mental image of Las Vegas. They think of the Strip packed with casinos, shows, shopping, buffets, fine-dining restaurants and everything else that’s oversized and over the top. Yet there are currently around 1.9 million residents in the Las Vegas metro area, and a whole lot of them have no interest in the Strip or casinos (only one-quarter of all American adults visited a casino in 2007.) Their culture is far different than the culture on the Strip.

Developer Turnberry Associates recognized Las Vegas residents wanted retail, dining and entertainment that had the same quality and was upscale, the same that could be found on the strip or in the many other casinos scattered throughout the metro, but that was not part of a casino. The company developed Town Square, an upscale 1.5 million-square-foot lifestyle center located just west of the airport. The center is thriving, including major nightlife. The Rave cinema is booming, not only for the quality of its stadium seats and projection, but also because it is among the very few cinemas that aren’t found in casinos. Most upscale-income families really don’t want to take their children to a casino to see movies -- or even to do so themselves. Town Square is attracting customers from most of the upscale communities. Most of these customers are bypassing casino complexes with cinemas, retail and restaurants and traveling further to casino-free Town Square. This just goes to show that if you investigate a culture to truly understand it, you can find opportunity.

We’ve written several articles about the importance of considering culture. You might want to check out:

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Randy White