It never ceases to amaze me the adaptability of organizations. Companies have slowly been shifting their strategic initiatives to focus on the value that exists in generational shifts. It’s easy to look at the data across the board and see that more and more of the dollars being spent in the market place are coming from a Millennials wallet. There is value in exploring new and creative methods to gain Millennial market share based on current data. However, it is extremely difficult to see the correct path to take to leverage this data, and once you see the solution it’s even harder to take the risk to execute it. There are some anomalies out there, companies that are taking the leap and spending millions of dollars to create an environment that caters to Millennial spending. Take Las Vegas, a set in stone culture of development since 1931. For almost 100 years Vegas has been developing some of the most luxurious and awe inspiring hotels and casinos that are iconic symbols from here to Timbuktu. And for 100 years Las Vegas has followed a very simple formula; build extravagant interiors and create an environment that keeps people inside the casino. Pretty straightforward and effective, but oh are a times a changing… and so is Vegas.
Over the last decade Vegas has discovered a radical change in spending patterns and a significant loss of profits from gambling. This of course doesn’t apply to Boomers and Gen X’s who still prescribe to the traditional Vegas experience of gambling and relative debauchery, but rather to the younger generations that have already established a spending pattern that clashes with Vegas culture. As a generation, Millennials have learned to pinch pennies where they can and spend them on the activities that drive them. And what are those activities… Drinking and Clubbing of course. Well not everywhere, but when they are looking for a sinful escape like the one that Vegas represents, these are their top priorities.
Vegas has finally taken the biggest shift in strategic development since the 1989 and the development of the Las Vegas Strip. Targeting the millennial generation MGM Resorts is developing a 20,000-seat concert arena and a multimillion-dollar indoor-outdoor park that will be a haven to those who have struck out at the tables. The shift to these pedestrian friendly areas is only the beginning for Vegas. Linq, an outdoor promenade created by Caesars is another example of the shift to these outdoor spaces, hosting the tallest observation wheel in the world and abundance of retail shops.
Now, as much as these efforts will appeal to the millennial generation it is hard to see how, in and of themselves, these additions will drive millennial participation. Lord knows Millinnials aren’t planning trips to Nevada for a concert that will eventually make its way to their home town. I find it highly unlikely that these structures will do anything more than create a diversion for tourists of any generation. It is encouraging, though, to see Vegas take such a big risk to appeal to Millennials. Regardless of the generation you belong to, what draws you to Vegas are not the concerts offered or the new open spaces, but chance, the chance to escape to win something, step out your comfort zone, and for a few days leave your real life behind.
Vegas is again reinventing itself to meet the demand of the changing market which is now overflowing with Millennials looking to spend their money. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking to hit the tables in search of the illustrious hot streak or looking for a night club or music festival, Vegas is determined to remain the desert oasis getaway where, if you spend enough of your money, you can have the time of your life.