Caesars Entertainment executive Jason Gastwirth says A-list residencies at Las Vegas casino resorts are critical to the city’s ongoing growth and ability to attract new visitors to the Strip.
Speaking at the Global Gaming Expo (G2E) during a conversation titled “Retail, Dining and Entertainment: Determining the Right Mix to Maximize ROI,” Gastwirth said entertainment is playing a vital role in the overall economic health of Sin City. He opined that names like Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, and Jennifer Lopez not only bring new visitors to Las Vegas, but the online social media impact the stars generate brings attention to America’s gambling capital.
We have seen that with a residency we are able to generate billions of media impressions, and that translates to elevating our brand, and driving traffic to our website,” Gastwirth explained. “It’s an important part of our strategy.”
Gaswirth’s comments were first relayed by CDC Gaming Reports. G2E is the preeminent gaming industry trade show, and is held annually in Las Vegas.
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) found in its 2017 Visitor Profile that nearly six in town visitors attend an entertainment performance while in Las Vegas, and 20 percent dole out big bucks to see an A-list headliner. The report concluded that entertainment, not gambling, is the foremost reason that brings leisure travelers to Las Vegas.
That shouldn’t come as too shocking of a surprise. Las Vegas has long been known for its superstar residencies, and with the continued expansion of casinos across the country, resorts have found new ways to lure out-of-towners to Southern Nevada.
Caesars rival MGM Resorts seems to be winning in the entertainment game lately. Spears brought her four-year Planet Hollywood to a close in December 2017, and Jennifer Lopez went out in record-setting style at the same venue last month.
But both artists are rumored to be moving from Caesars Entertainment’s Planet Hollywood to the Park Theater at MGM’s reimagined Monte Carlo now known as Park MGM. Should the gossip turn true, the Strip theater would be home to a trio of female superstars: Spears, Lady Gaga, and J-Lo.
Caesars is focused on winning one of the three integrated resort licenses in Japan by wooing over lawmakers with entertainment. The general public there remains opposed to commercial gambling, which is why Gastwirth said recently, “Our pitch … has been that we are entertainment first.”
Caesars might be parting ways with Celine, Britney, and J-Lo, but the company’s theaters won’t sit vacant.
In June, Gwen Stefani’s residency debuted at Planet Hollywood’s Zappos Theater, and is set to reconvene in late December and run sporadically through March 2019. The Backstreet Boys are also performing there, and have dates through April 2019. Mariah Carey will return to Caesars Palace’s Colosseum in February.
Caesars is also rumored to still be one of several casino operators trying to court Adele to sign on for a Las Vegas residency.