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On Aug. 9, the Opening Night Celebration of ASAE’s Annual Meeting & Exposition featured Capitol recording artist Dierks Bentley on stage outside of the Music City Center. John H. Graham IV, FASAE, CAE, ASAE President & CEO, and his family met Bentley backstage. Shown here (left to right):
Garrett Hatch; Graham IV, John H. Graham V, Eileen Graham, Lily Campbell, Bentley; Connor Campbell, Harrison Campbell, Grant Campbell, Kelly Graham Campbell, and Charlie Campbell.

Hosted Buyer or Traditional Model? Industry Leaders Split

An increasing number of industry trade shows are adopting the hosted-buyer model (the association sponsoring the show brings prospective buyers to the show in exchange for a number of appointments set up with exhibitors).

But what do exhibitors think about this model vs. the traditional “free-flowing” attendee pool?

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Michelle Mason to Head Association Forum of Chicagoland

The Association Forum of Chicagoland’s Board of Directors announced Michelle Mason, CAE, FASAE, will take over as President & CEO Sept. 15. A highly respected, longstanding member of the association community and Managing Director of Strategic Developments and Innovation, for the American Society of Quality (ASQ), she succeeds Christie A. Tarantino, FASAE, CAE, who resigned in March to join the Institute of Food Technologists as CEO.

To read more click here

Susan Neely Ready to Assume ASAE Chair

The ASAE Board of Directors Chair is a bully pulpit, and something Susan K. Neely, CAE, President & CEO of American Beverage Association (ABA), is honored she will occupy. She’s ready to assume the office, building off the successes of her predecessor Arlene Pietranton, PhD, FASAE, CAE, CEO, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, while also championing matters close to her heart.

To read more click here

Detroit CVB President Guarantees Great Experience at ASAE 2015

Following a wave of negative publicity for the city, Larry Alexander, President & CEO of the Detroit Metro CVB, sought to reassure media that there should be no concerns when the Motor City hosts the ASAE Annual Meeting & Expo from Aug. 8–11 next year.

To read more click here


Too Big to Fail? Ask Revel

By Mike Santa Rita

When the Revel Casino-Hotel opened in 2012, it cost $2.4 billion to build and came equipped with 1,400 rooms, high-end restaurants, and glitzy nightclubs. It was heralded as the turnaround that Atlantic City was looking for.

It seemed competent to succeed just through the sheer size of the investment. Two years later, owners can’t find a buyer and are intent on closing in early September as part of bankruptcy proceedings. Revel had already filed for bankruptcy twice before.

Revel is not the only one. Casinos in Atlantic City are falling quickly. The Atlantic Club closed in January, and the Trump Plaza and the Showboat say they plan to shut down later this year.

But how did the most glamorous hotel on the boardwalk become a shabby, poor relation? Gamblers criticized the hotel from the beginning because its layout forced them to walk a long distance or ride up a steep escalator to get to the casino. It also imposed a strict no-smoking ban and did not offer bus trips to out-of-town gamblers who want to come and gamble in Atlantic City. The idea of selling a luxury hotel that happened to have a casino did not play well on the boardwalk, where gamblers wanted to gamble. That’s what Atlantic City is all about.

And Revel was not alone. Atlantic City has faced increased competition from Pennsylvania and Maryland, along with the prospect of new non-Indian tribe casinos in New York state. The city's gambling revenue is down to $2.86 billion in 2013 from $5.2 billion in 2006, according to the Wall Street Journal.
So where did it fail? I think owners misjudged the economy of the nation and Atlantic City in 2012. The nation was still coming back from a recession, and even gamblers had to watch their pocketbooks. There was no money to spend on extravagances, and the Revel was a supreme extravagance. The owners misread their market and bet heavily on an upscale resort that couldn’t find a niche within the Atlantic City Market.
So, the next time you hear the phrase “too big to fail”, think Revel Casino-Hotel and the $2.4 billion that went down the tube betting on just that premise.



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