Where’s the heart in casino hospitality?

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To the editor:

What makes a great hotel casino after 45 years in hospitality is very simple: Great businesses are built by people, not by changing CEOs. It’s the personality of each employee that projects the attitude of the property.

Guests come to resorts to relax and be served not only in restaurants but in all aspects of the hotel. The rooms and all areas must be inspected daily; attention has to be paid to every detail. I read some of the hotel reviews online; each hotel should have a specific person reading all reviews. In 1978 Resorts read and saved anything and everything written about it.

Each employee is not just a worker; he or she is a representative of the property; this is where judgments are made by guests. My question is, does management lead by example? Do they understand that employees are actors in competing with other hotels? Does management understand that morale is a major factor in a hotel? Is there more emphasis placed on a big-name chef than there is in training people on the floor? Does the guest see the big name or does he see the server?

Each person is extremely important to the operation. The art of building clientele is difficult today, and it is even harder to keep them. I’m hearing that Atlantic City is on a comeback. The question is, where did it go wrong in the first place?

The hotels can use any excuse; some are valid. The bottom line tells the story, but it’s the CEO who can balance service and bottom line. That is their talent. Hospitality comes from the heart; it’s an ability to please just as the entertainer does on stage.

I escorted Don Rickles one night backstage. He took a look at the audience before going on and said, “This place is packed. You guys must have given out a lot of comps.”

I said, “No, they’re here to see you. There were only a few comps.”

His face lit up and he said, “It’s a Tuesday; I cannot believe it!” and walked back smiling.

Atlantic City will come back as long as everyone is on the same page of communicating, from the front to the back from the top to the line.

Daniel Fedeli

Egg Harbor Township

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