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!


HBG Design's 2020 Predictions for Hospitality & Gaming Industry

As published in Indian Gaming Magazine's Ask the Experts Column titled "Spotlight on 2020 and Beyond"

Dike Bacon, HBG Design Principal/Partner

Big data and the leverage of big data will continue to have a huge impact on Indian Gaming and the entertainment and hospitality industry for years to come.  Data is such a significant part of our everyday lives and the management and analysis of big data by AI (artificial intelligence) is stunning if not a bit shocking.  Like it or not, big data is watching you.  Virtually every digital interaction we choose to make – things like internet engagement and behavior, tele-communications, electronic/card transactional history, social media activity, etc. – leaves a digital trail that is collected and stored.  Similarly, location-based services and cell phone connections track our physical moves, from major travel activity to simple everyday actions like walking down the street or migrating through a store or a casino.  Our movements are mapped and stored.  It’s virtually impossible to hide.  There’s certainly no hiding from the steady improvements in facial recognition software or even parking lot license plate readers.  Cameras are literally everywhere.  Law enforcement agencies, security companies, retailers, and casinos are implementing these new technologies that instantly connect a face or a car to a person and then to a huge wealth of data.

Big data has become a significant tool in creating competitive advantage, having a profound and positive impact on Indian Gaming.  When a gaming operation knows what its guest wants; when they know what their personal preferences and spending habits are; that enterprise is much better positioned to create tailored products, services, and experiences and deliver them in very personal and memorable ways.  When a guest gets what he wants, he’ll spend more, patronize more, and in many instances, drive further for the personalized experience. It’s been said that the most successful brands have an emotional connection to their customers.  Big data can provide insight into demographic, behavioral and psychographic attributes like values, attitudes, and beliefs that resonate personally and culturally. Big data offers casino resorts the opportunity to create real value that connects directly to their customer base.  And by the same example, when a casino knows very detailed demographic and psychographic information about the customers that it doesn’t have, the casino is much better equipped to design and deliver very targeted and tailored amenities with higher projected returns and success rates.

At HBG Design, we have been exploring and leveraging demographic, behavioral and psychographic data in order to enlighten our clients about its impact on competitiveness. Data can inform planning and design decisions that are targeted and specific.  Generally, most existing casino operators know their guests through loyalty programs and surveys; which are often narrow and depend upon guest participation.  By diving deeper and studying information such as detailed spending habits, income levels, travel habits, casino visitation, etc., we can improve decision-making, and uncover valuable insights that influence program, quality levels and price points. The benefits of big data are still unfolding in our industry, but the results of leveraging this kind resource are clear: higher guest satisfaction, competitive advantage, and of course higher profits.

Sycuan Casino Resort Featured in Global Gaming Business Casino Style Magazine

HBG Design's Katie Toth Talks about the Value of IIDA

IIDA SoCal Newsletter

The Value of IIDA

Katie is President-Elect of the IIDA SoCal Chapter

When I first moved back to San Diego after having graduated college seven years earlier, I was anxious about being back. Most of my friends from college had since left, and I was making the switch from residential to commercial and hospitality design.

I was in the midst of taking my NCIDQ exams, studying hard for the IDPX. I noticed a flier in the break room at work for an NCIDQ study group, and I decided to go. Not only was the study group the extra boost I needed to stay on track with studying, I became friends with the co-chairs of Professional Development who were leading the group. I passed my exam and at the same time had inadvertently started building my San Diego network.

A couple of months later I joined the ranks of the IIDA San Diego City Center as co-chair of Professional Development. Since then, I held my own Study Group session on behalf of the San Diego City Center, passed the Practicum, and spent two years as the co-chair of Advocacy. In July, I assumed the role of President-Elect for the Southern California Chapter.

Through my experience with IIDA, not only have I gained a wealth of knowledge about the commercial and hospitality design industry, I have established a solid network of like-minded interior designers and industry members – some of whom are great friends. Through these leadership positions, I have developed skills and tactics to assist me in client meetings and large team-based projects.

My membership in IIDA has proven to be a worthy investment. And it is important to remember that it is just that: an investment – in yourself and in your career. And I strongly believe that you get out of it nothing less than what you put into it.

The mission of IIDA is to provide meaningful resources to commercial designers and their clients in order to advance the profession and business value. And that is exactly what IIDA has done for me.

Katie Toth, IIDA, LEED Green Associate
President-Elect, IIDA Southern California

HBG Design Principal, Dike Bacon, speaks at the UNLV Gaming & Hospitality Education Series

HBG Design Principal, Dike Bacon, was a speaker on a session panel called ‘Expand or Die: Non-Gaming Amenities’ at the UNLV Gaming & Hospitality Education Series produced by Global Gaming Business. Held at Morongo Casino Resort on May 21, the ongoing speaker series will keep tribal gaming executives informed about the topics that will define Indian gaming over the next decade.Read more

Global Gaming Business Names Emily Marshall Emerging Leader

All in the Design

By Michael Vanaskie  Mon, Apr 22, 2019

See full article in Global Gaming Business Magazine

Emily Marshall, IIDA, Interior Design Discipline Leader, HBG Design

Casinos and integrated resort developments are among of the most iconic architectural buildings in the world. It’s easy to recognize this looking at the Las Vegas skyline or the seminal steel structure of Marina Bay Sands.

While the exteriors sometimes create iconic attractions, what lies inside is critical to creating memorable guest experiences. Emily Marshall appreciates this notion. As leader of the Interior Design Group at HBG Design, she’s an expert on the design nuances necessary to create environments that leave a lasting impression.

“Interior design for the hospitality and gaming industry is all about creating vibrant experiences for guests,” Marshall explains. “This has always intrigued me—the drama and excitement that physical spaces can impart, the thoughtfulness that’s put into how guests use and experience a space.”

The nuances of both the business goals and guest desires in gaming and hospitality originally attracted Marshall, and keeps her pushing forward. “There’s a psychological element to it, paired with the fantasy of escapism. That’s kept me challenged and passionate about my career.”

While Marshall could be a considered a design veteran with 14 years of experience, her interest in and experience with art and design began well before her professional career. The daughter of a prominent Memphis architect, she developed an eye for design at an early age. Professionally, she points to her first mentor as having the most impact on her career trajectory.

The Spa at Cache Creek Resort

“The influence of my dad notwithstanding, my first mentor, Jacques Coetzee, taught me how to truly be a designer,” Marshall says. “He helped me understand the importance collaboration plays in the role of an interior designer, while also teaching me how to push the boundaries of design and to be bold in my expression of interior spaces.

For young design professionals, Marshall has advice on ways to grow both professionally and personally. “Broaden your perspective. Travel! Go see as much of the world as you can. The challenges we face when designing very complex experiences have existed before, so it’s important to see how other designers dealt with them."

“Every project has issues, some more visible than others, so seeing details in real time is important,” she adds. “I believe in complete immersion into places whose cultures and traditions affect their visual connection to the built environment.”

VIP Lounge at Winstar World Casino Resort

For someone whose livelihood revolves around creating memorable experiences for others, Marshall says the projects have had just as much of an experiential impact on her. “Seeing these gaming and resort projects come to life has given me indescribable and unforgettable experiences of my own.”

This year, she looks forward to seeing three major projects come to fruition and open. “These large-scale projects have been years in the making,” she says. Be on the lookout for Marshall’s latest imprints on the gaming and hospitality industries.

HBG Design Weighs in on Market Growth in Global Gaming Business

Global Gaming Business MagazineRead more

Dike Bacon Weighs in on Indian Gaming’s “Ask the Experts: 2019 Predictions”

See full article in Indian Gaming Magazine

As part of Indian Gaming Magazine’s Editorial Advisory Board, HBG Design Prinicipal Dike Bacon was asked to share his insights and predictions for the casino resort industry in 2019. Here’s what he had to say…

There is an old saying in the gaming industry – ‘The most important customer is the one you don’t have.’ This is just as true today as it was 25 years ago. It is important to constantly study social, cultural and economic changes in search of important influences that will guide client investment and design directions. 2019 will be an interesting year of contrasts. The gaming industry has had the significant benefit of riding a historic economic tailwind, but that may start to change.

As the national economy evolves and potentially tightens, so may the wallets of the guests. Discretionary entertainment purchase decisions will continue to be more informed and selective. Guests will be willing to indulge on some higher-end experiences, but only for very specific things. Luxury, or at the least the perception of exclusivity, will continue to be a resort differentiator. The caveat is that guests will desire a luxury experience, but won’t necessarily want to pay for it. They will be willing to make certain trade-offs. As an example, guestrooms will continue to trend smaller in square footage, but will have higher levels of design, finish, and technology.

Guests will continue to dine out. As resort operators curate and offer more unique localized food and beverage offerings, margins will continue to improve. But all F&B offerings don’t have to be custom. The inclusion of national chef-driven brands and emerging regional brands will continue to be a strong trend. Technology will continue to condition people to demand more convenience. In-room technology that is complex or confusing can have the opposite effect. The Guestroom technology should be intuitive and user friendly. Guests will continue to become more engaged with a property and will demand a more effortless and personalized experience.

In a recent national hotel survey, 60% of hotel guests said they want higher quality service and a better overall ‘experience.’ This has produced things like the artificial intelligence driven chatbot called ‘Ivy.’ Ivy has already been implemented in some casino resorts. Ivy is powered by IBM’s Watson platform and has the potential of handling over 90% of guest requests. Watson is a question answering machine. One of the most interesting results of the guest/Ivy interaction is the amount of valuable data gathered about the guest’s resort experience.

The future success of the Indian gaming industry will be dependent on providing experiences that have cross generational appeal. One of the most interesting emerging generational connectors is health. The flagged hospitality industry continues to devote more and more attention to wellness as a differentiator. Wellness attributes can include things like increased sound attenuation, better artificial lighting and natural lighting, high quality air filtration, and organic materials. Implementing products and experiences that have cross generational appeal will continue to be one of the strongest trends for years to come.