HBG Design Weighs In: 'Pandemic brings new challenges to design concepts', by Hotel Business Magazine

In July’s Hotel Business Magazine, HBG Design Practice Leader, Rick Gardner, AIA, comments on recent challenges facing the hospitality and entertainment industry during these unprecedented times. The firm has been proactive in developing guest-oriented design solutions focused on health, safety and wellness.

“We like to think about change in hotel design in a post-pandemic world like this — if you were to pick up a hotel room and literally turn it upside down, everything that falls to the floor goes away. This means all the soft goods like bolster pillows, bed throws, etc. are eliminated; we’re leaning toward a clear simplification of materials, along with reducing non-washable materials – that could include shifting from curtains to washable blinds; using anti-viral and antimicrobial fabrics in the guestroom; and anti-microbial grout in the bathrooms. Surfaces will change and transform — we’re looking at LVT instead of carpet; new and improved filtration systems and air handling; and making touchpoints touchless, using technology like Alexa and Google to a greater extent – leveraging voice control to reduce need for surface contact to turn on lights, the TV, the shower, etc.”


Announcing: the Groundbreaking of the new Grants Pass Downs Entertainment Venue, Oregon

The summer horse-racing season has come to an end this year at Grants Pass Downs, but a special event was held on Thursday, July 9 that shows the local track has a bright future.

The groundbreaking was a huge success, according to: KAJO 99.7 FM, local Grants Pass Oregon radio who was on hand for the event.  Read the article at KAJO.com here.

On Thursday morning, a special groundbreaking ceremony was held to begin the Grants Pass Entertainment Venue and Tunnel Project.

HBG Design is the architect, designing and interior designer for the project.

GP Downs officials said the ceremony marked the next phase in the overall mission of revitalizing the horse racing industry in Oregon. The venue will be a premier gaming destination in Southern Oregon and the tunnel will provide convenient access to the track infield during community events such as soccer.

   

The Dutch Bros Foundation has spearheaded the upgrade by underwriting the cost of numerous projects at the facility at the Josephine County Fairgrounds including widening the track for larger races, sprucing up the facility and building fields.

If approved by the city, the Grants Pass Entertainment Venue will be constructed in the southwest corner of the Fairgrounds property and the existing River City BMX track will be moved, possibly to the new Beacon Hill Park in the northeast part of the city.

Posted on KAJO.com 7/10/20 6:58AM by Sam Marsh

 


The Desert Blooms in Dazzling Color at the new Desert Diamond West Valley Casino

HBG Design created the Desert Diamond West Valley Casino’s strikingly bold and sophisticated exterior and interior aesthetic, including the 75,000 square foot casino floor, five uniquely designed restaurants and two eye-catching feature bars – the Edge Bar and the two-story Rock Bar – all derived from a distinctive Sonoran Desert-inspired design language.

Watch the 'A Virtual Journey of Desert Diamond West Valley Casino' video below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dp1qKDqtvVM


The Desert Diamond West Valley Casino’s signature arching roofline is easily visible from adjacent Interstate 101. The architecture creates a beautiful contrast against the light and shadow of the desert sky. Its curved roof integrates LED lighting to mimic the ever-changing drama of the desert’s endless sky, beckoning guests within.

 

On the 75,000 square foot gaming floor, the arching canopy is animated with vibrant, ever-changing ambient light recalling the desert’s endless sky. The illumination of the ceiling’s cloud-like fins subtly change throughout the day, mimicking the changing light quality of the desert in the morning, afternoon and evening.

 

Flip through and read more about the project design below.

 


Nathan Peak Joins Other Industry Experts for GGB's Webinar: 'What Will a Casino Resort Look Like in the Wake of Covid-19?'

Global Gaming Business, The Innovation Group and Regulatory Management Counselors P.C. (RMC) present a national webinar series for the gaming industry

‘Gaming in Crisis: The Path Back’ 

featuring insights from

HBG Design
Nathan Peak, AIA, Leed GA
Principal & Design Director

In the May 28 ‘Gaming in Crisis’ Webinar Series - Episode 5, Design Changes: What Will a Casino Resort Look Like in the Wake of Covid-19?, Nathan Peak joins a panel of industry experts in casino operations and hospitality design to discuss the type of facility planning and design changes that may be implemented in casinos, food and beverage venues and hotels as properties reopen in the wake of Covid-19.

“Whether on the gaming floor or in the guestroom, the first touch point for every guest must provide a sense of well-being and safety both physically and mentally, without detracting from the allure and luxury of the hospitality environment,” says Peak. 

https://youtu.be/z4uRGieXsB4

‘Gaming in Crisis’ Webinar Series - Episode 5, Design Changes: What Will a Casino Resort Look Like in the Wake of Covid-19? 

Speakers
Michael Soll, The Innovation Group - Moderator
Frank Freedman, Chief Operating Officer, Four Winds Casinos - Speaker
Nathan Peak, AIA, LEED GA, Principal/Design Director, HBG Design - Speaker
Robert Gdowski, AIA, Principal, JCJ Architecture  - Speaker

View more webinars in the Gaming in Crisis: The Path Back Series Here.


From 2 Offices to 100 Virtual Home Offices Practically Overnight!

Our HBG Design Family is collaborating remotely from over 100 unique locations across San Diego and Memphis while we continue to advance our projects and respond to our clients' needs.

The support and commitment our employees have shown to each other, to our clients and our communities during these extraordinary times continues to demonstrate why we’re consistently ranked as a top workplace.  Thanks to every member of our team for your extraordinary measures in these unprecedented times.

You can continue to reach us through our main office numbers (Memphis 901.525.2557/ San Diego 619.858.7888) or email/call our employees directly.

We’re looking forward to being back together soon!

 


Indian Gaming Magazine Showcases The Spa at Cache Creek and Ho-Chunk Gaming

Regional casinos play a vital role to the success and growth of the national Indian gaming industry. While many tribes operate multiple facilities on reservation land, the challenge tribal owners and operators often face is how to create a similar level of brand experience at each property, while also differentiating to grow market share and expand their regional customer base. Ho-Chunk Gaming in Wisconsin offers a case study in accomplishing these important strategic goals.

In the heart of California’s Capay Valley lies the four diamond Cache Creek Casino Resort, owned and operated by the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation. Nestled among acres of farmland, ranches and the rushing Cache Creek River, the newest amenity at this luxury resort is The Spa at Cache Creek Resort, designed by HBG Design.

Read the full features on both The Spa at Cache Creek and the re positioning of the Ho-Chunk Gaming brand here:

Indian Gaming Magazine Showcases The Spa at Cache Creek and Ho-Chunk Gaming

 


Ho-Chunk Gaming's Wisconsin Expansion and Renovation Projects Receive State-Wide Recognition

Ho-Chunk Gaming's Latest Expansion and Renovation Projects Receive State Wide Recognition

How exciting to see Ho-Chunk Nation's Project Forward on the List of Top Projects in Wisconsin for 2018! These include the three projects HBG Design expanded and renovated for Ho-Chunk Gaming at their gaming properties in Wisconsin Dells, Black River Falls and Wittenberg, WisconsinThe Daily Reporter honors those in the industry — generals, subcontractors, architects, engineers and owners — whose projects met and exceeded expectations in 2018 with this list. Congrats team!

See winners in Wisconsin's The Daily Reporter online


Your Three Step Plan to a Millennial-Ready Casino

By Danny Valle, AIA, Principal, HBG Design

As published in Indian Gaming magazine, September 2015

You have a thriving regional casino operation and loyal gaming customers. Baby Boomers have been your bread and butter demographic for years. Now you are wondering how to reach the millennial generation, when article after article tells you that millennials do not prefer slot machines-but your main revenue source has typically come from slot gamers. So, where do you start and how soon do you need to put a plan in place?

Now in their 20’s to mid 30’s; millennials are major brand influencers. Numbering 80 million+ strong with entertainment dollars to spend, there is no denying that this social, tech-savvy younger generation is spurring the evolution of entertainment—and the design of regional casinos and casino resorts.

But, how do you begin to align your entertainment offerings with millennial consumer preferences?

Only by understanding the values important to millennials can you begin to capture this prolific market segment. Start by elevating your focus on social technology, targeted amenities, and authentic and unique design.

1) Build an online social presence that meets Millennials face-to-face.  

With 71% of millennials using social technology every day, your first contact with this generation is likely to occur online—so, start by developing a well-designed social technology program that complements their preferred communication style.

Research tells us that this generation uses social media like a second brain, to vet new brands, cultivate relationships and communicate their preferences to their extensive online networks.

"Millennials, in particular, are seekers of information, and they make informed decisions knowing there are a tremendous number of options available to them," says Rich LeBaron, Director of Emerging Technologies at Sycuan Casino outside of San Diego, California.

"If the information they are seeking is difficult to consume quickly, they will be turned off and move on to other options," adds LeBaron. To enhance its online customer service, Sycuan Casino strengthened its social media communication on Twitter and Facebook, and has leveraged cutting edge cloud technologies to design and develop the gaming industry’s first truly engaging and responsive mobile application for Iphone and Android users.

The app provides quick and easy access to important information about entertainment events, dining options, personal club accounts and allows patrons to participate in exclusive offers and rewards. "We are consistently told by our customers that our new phone app is a major driver in where they decide to game," adds LeBaron.

Imagery and design speaks volumes to millennials. Sycuan's social technology sites feature lifestyle images showing guests of all demographics enjoying the property’s amenities. "Presenting and conveying information through imagery and short to the point text is absolutely critical to engaging millennials online," says LeBaron. "Web pages should be telling stories from top-to-bottom to keep customer engagement high."

2) Connect your amenities to the personal interests of Millennials.

Research tells us that millennials are driven to cultivate experiences that enhance their lifestyles. They are not lured my money or materialism. But they will spend money on entertainment if provided with creative amenity options that support their social interests and their personal brands.

Having grown up in a world addicted to the Food Network and ESPN, millennials are gravitating toward food-centric and sports-centric venues. Local healthy eating / farm-to-table dining, wine tasting, craft beer brewing, live sports and fantasy sports; millennials are elevating these activities to an entertainment-driven art form.

These activities also provide ‘Instagram-able’ moments to share with their online social networks. And, smart design of these venues incorporates ample lounge areas conducive to gathering and lingering, resulting in increased F&B revenues for owners.  

Because of millennial influences, casino operators are rethinking the guest experience, transforming casino properties into amenity-rich entertainment destinations.

“We want to become a complete entertainment destination for customers in our region,” says Leo Culloo, General Manager at The Point Casino in Kingston, Washington, owned by the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe. “Because millennials are so highly diverse in their entertainment preferences, we host multiple unique events throughout the week to balance the distinct needs of our customers."

The Point Casino hauls in truck-loads of sand for their popular Spring Break Beach Party concert series, and offers regular wine tasting events, a cigar lounge, and outdoor kitchen and dining amenities, among others, in response. "We are also building more open indoor and outdoor gathering amenities including an outdoor kitchen into our new hotel to provide the flexible space needed to accommodate our social events," adds Culloo.

"Here at Sycuan, we know millennials aren’t always visiting us to gamble," says LeBaron. "It’s imperative to connect them with our other amenities and entertainment options; and our GameDay Sports Bar is one of the best in all of San Diego."

And, for a tech savvy demographic, convenience is likely the most appreciated amenity. The Point Casino later this fall will be testing integrated tablet devices at each gaming machine in its casino. “The tablets will give patrons the autonomy and convenience to instantly order food and drinks, delivered right to the guest on the gaming floor,” says Culloo.

3) Give Millennials the open, authentic design experiences they crave.   

Surveys show that design matters to millennials. Because they are highly visual consumers, they use design to filter their entertainment choices. This means that design targeted to millennials must be authentic (and hip and cool) to be effective.

With designs that integrate heritage, culture and local context, Indian Tribes have a great opportunity to offer millennials authenticity of experience.

For example, The Point Casino is developing a simple, modern design aesthetic for its new hotel on the northern Kitsap Peninsula of Washington State. Complementing the natural coastal beauty and the tribe’s native heritage, the property will integrate authentic, impactful tribal motifs and indigenous materials as design details. “Under the guidance of a tribal art committee and our design team, local artisans are reimagining elements of tribal culture in the hotel's exterior and interior design, including artwork, totem carvings, sculptures and etchings,” says Culloo.

Tribal clients are exploring how culture and history can engage millennials, by melding design, cultural education and entertainment experiences.

From a functional design standpoint, operators and designers are examining how millennials utilize space. They typically won’t patronize difficult to navigate environments. When Sycuan Casino modernized its casino a couple years ago, it visually opened up the entire gaming floor, eliminating barriers to transparency and convenience. Slot machines were placed prominently to accommodate Sycuan’s main customer base, but site lines were opened to other diverse amenities, including the GameDay Sports Bar, to attract new demographics.

Technology is an important factor in public space design. Because customers need dedicated spaces to use cell phones, laptops and personal devices, designers are integrating more soft seating areas, lounges and bar height worktops to accommodate passive social activities, with convenient access points to outlets and charging stations.

Start now and elevate your casino design by tapping into the preferences of these young adults. By focusing your resources and budget where they will matter most your property will be positioned for long-term marketability.


'Five Ways Your Casino Design Can Pay You Back', as appeared in Indian Gaming magazine

In today's post recession economy, the advent of next generation consumers, the 'millennial effect' and increased market competition are heavily influencing the gaming industry’s bottom line. Every budgetary dollar is scrutinized and many gaming operators are looking for economic and marketing advantages, seeking untapped methods for maximizing returns on their design, construction and operational investments.

There is an economic strategy that could potentially save a gaming operation hundreds of thousands of dollars each year, while improving the environmental standard for casino guests – sustainability. While not a new term or idea, the implementation of sustainability initiatives could become the essential strategy needed to protect your gaming interests and revenue share.

Defining Sustainability

In this context, sustainability can be defined as ‘Environmental stewardship through good decision-making and efficient casino design as translated into potential cost savings.’ The formula has been proven, and gaming enterprises must begin by elevating internal perceptions about the value of sustainability if they are to receive all the associated cost benefits and advantages to be derived from sustainable initiatives. But how do you translate 'sustainability' into your program for full effect, and can you trust that 'sustainability' will actually pay back?

Some within the gaming industry have made significant strides at rebranding their corporate values toward sustainability. Operators such as Ho-Chunk Gaming, the Tohono O'odham Nation and Caesars Entertainment have shown significant confidence in the form of companywide 'green' programs and/or in registrations for sustainable certifications. The Caesars Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore recently achieved LEED Gold certification, a testament to their efforts and commitment to environmental business practices.

This signals a growing trend in the gaming industry where environmental stewardship is becoming more prevalent within the owner’s design, construction and operational goals, especially when it aligns with corporate objectives and positively impacts ROI – a model heralded by John Elkington's 'Triple Bottom Line: people, planet and profit" concept.

Not sure how to start integrating sustainable programs at your casino? Whether you are designing a new property or renovating your existing operation, it's not too late to receive economic benefits. Following are five suggestions on where to start to see the biggest return on investment.

Energy Efficiency

According to the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Green Building Council, buildings, by sector, are one of the heaviest consumers of natural resources at 41%. Of that, the majority of that energy consumption comes from a building’s lighting, followed by space heating and space cooling.

1) Establish energy conservation goals. Setting achievable goals and committing to them as part of your company's core values can be a very powerful tool in maintaining your financial objectives. A goal of 1% or 2% energy reduction annually can amount to significant savings over time. Set small goals initially to make sure they are, in fact, achievable. The inertia generated from each little victory will add up, and before you know it, you are well on your way to meeting, and most likely exceeding your long term goals.

2) Re-commission your existing facility. As technology improves and existing equipment ages and loses efficiency, have your existing HVAC systems re-commissioned. This activity could help you avoid the need for new or additional equipment, thus resulting in net capital savings. Re-commissioning can help you implement numerous cost effective strategies to reduce your heating, cooling and electrical loads. Also, upgrade your current light fixtures. Of the aforementioned 40% energy consumption, lighting can account for roughly 25% of that overall demand. For example, florescent lights with electronic ballasts are about 12% more efficient than conventional magnetic ballasts. According to the University of Michigan Department of Occupational Safety and Environmental Health, fixtures with electronic ballasts can result in a 5%-10% space cooling cost reduction, due to the amount of heat generated by the lights.

3) Design for performance. Leveraging performance-based whole-building analysis during the early stages of design can help optimize the building envelope, building site orientation and energy efficiency, typically resulting in reduced mechanical equipment size. Performance-based analysis allows for refinement and optimization of your building providing a potential for first cost reduction followed by decreased operating costs.

Energy modeling is an effective tool that allows an architect to conduct cause and effect studies on multiple design iterations, and helps to align the owners sustainable, programmatic and aesthetic goals with the overarching fiscal goal. Design impacts can be identified early and decisions made to mitigate potential unnecessary first costs or operating costs by evaluating fluctuation in energy demand. Imagine saving 50 tons of cooling load with 1 ton costing approximately $2,500. That’s a potential realized savings on equipment alone of $125,000 depending on the trade-off taken to achieve it.

Water Conservation

Water conservation can contribute significantly to your economic goals; whether its first costs on new construction or operational cost for an existing property, lowering water usage saves money and will help to extend the life of existing supply and wastewater facilities.

4) Use less. Water conservation is as much about retraining habits as it is about using highly efficient plumbing fixtures. The largest uses of water in hotels are restrooms, laundry operations, landscaping and kitchens. By using high efficiency toilets, shower heads, and faucet aerators you can use 20% less water than conventional models.

According to the EPA, operating costs and environmental impacts are highly influenced by water use. Industry estimates suggest that implementing water efficient practices in commercial buildings can decrease operating costs by approximately 11 percent, and energy and water use by 10 and 15 percent, respectively.

5) Capture for reuse. Consider taking advantage of your site’s alternative water sources. Depending on your level of commitment and/or your cost benefit analysis, utilizing alternative water sources is not for everyone. On-site generated water can vary greatly in quality and should be evaluated carefully for the appropriate use. Potential alternate sources for outdoor water usage/landscaping include: rainwater, foundation drain water, treated gray water and condensate from air handler equipment.

According to the EPA, outdoor water use can account for between 5-30 percent of a facility’s total water use. Using regional, drought tolerant landscaping in conjunction with efficient irrigation systems can provide for significant water savings. The proverbial low hanging fruit in terms of potential infrastructure cost impacts is the use of captured rainwater for irrigation purposes. Remember, check with your local ordinances regarding capturing rainwater since there may be restrictions on water rights, as there are in California.

Consider each method presented above, and start tallying your savings – the returns add up fast; and this is far from an exhaustive list of sustainable methods available (waste diversion tactics in both construction and operations also offer a high return rate). Become informed about the sustainable advantages. Rescued revenues can contribute to reinvestment programs for existing facilities or investment in community building. Remember, good companies stick to their values; great companies question and challenge their values regularly.