December Interview with the Experts Series:
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This month Rene West, the President and Chief Operating Officer of the Excalibur Hotel Casino and Luxor Hotel and Casino is our guest. She is responsible for the daily operation and strategic direction of each property. Luxor, the pyramid-shaped architecture and its two towers, features a 120000 sq. foot casino and 4400 rooms. Excalibur, identified by its colorful castle turrets, has a 100000 sq. foot casino and 3981 rooms. Her staff consists of over 6000 employees.
Rene is a leader in the gaming industry and rose through the ranks in a male dominated industry. Her first major appointment was President of a group of casinos on the Nevada border called the Primm Valley Casino Resorts that were seeing declining sales as a result of new gaming opening in California and many from California were no longer making the trip to Nevada which was devastating for the Primm casino located at the border. Not only was she able to turn the company around but she oversaw its sale for full market value at the height of the market before the “Great Recession”. She also created the industry’s first full service on-site housing community and developed an award winning employee transportation program while overseeing her mandate at the Primm properties. Her career also includes senior positions with Caesar’s Palace and Station Casinos and she has provided organizational strategy design for a number of other organizations.
The interview is very important as Rene takes the pulse of the American consumer and their discretionary spending behavior. The US economy is driven two thirds by consumer spending and as the Las Vegas Strip shows signs of recovery that means the entire nation is also in recovery because Las Vegas only does well when consumer confidence indicators are high.
In addition, Rene also discusses her thoughts on leadership which include remaining true to the core essence of who she is. She embraces her feminine characteristics in her leadership role. The interview is a fascinating look at one of America’s corporate leaders and a video that should be shared with others. As the video was not shot in our studio it is darker than usual however, what is most important is the interaction with Rene and her outlook and guidance.