by Chisty Lamagna, CMP, CMM, CTSM
• Casinos are a sure bet for those who don't gamble
• Double down on entertainment value
If casinos traditionally haven’t held any allure for you or your group, don’t count them out before launching your next site search. Today’s Midwestern Casinos are a perfect destination for gamblers and non-gamblers alike.
The reason? Unlike years ago, gaming hotels now spend equal parts of time catering to an expanded range of activities that include gourmet restaurants, back of house group tours, live shows, and more.
For those who have an interest in learning the basics or even the finer points of games of chance, many casinos will put together private demonstrations, allowing your guests to advance their skills and experience the rush of playing without the risks. Demonstrations can be tailored to the group’s skill level and interest, allowing for a truly customized experience. Decks of customized playing cards are a great takeaway gift. For those who want to go the extra mile, customize the front and the back of the cards, using employees and perhaps vendors as the images on each of the cards in the deck.
Prefer fresh air? The great outdoors await and most venues have an abundance of offerings to explore. Pools, horse stables, and a newer sport called ‘FootGolf;’ a golf-soccer hybrid are for the taking. Many resorts either boast or are affiliated with championship golf resorts. As an added bonus: no matter what outdoor activity you choose, breathtaking views are the backdrop.
For those who prefer to remain indoors, top notch spa offerings await. From traditional massages to more exotic clay wraps and aroma therapy, these state-of-the-art facilities cater to both men and women for single treatments or bundled offerings that can last half the day.
Want to get up and go? Don’t be surprised if you find a bowling alley onsite, or top of the line workout studios with group classes and optional private training opportunities. Sports bars, comedy shows, nightclubs, dancing, and concerts are just some of the nightlife offered.
Many casinos have relationships with local Native American Tribes and can arrange a host of activities. Traditional dancers will perform, the lost art of storytelling showcased, and artist demonstrations with the opportunity for guests to purchase items can all be combined with a sunset, alfresco dinner.
To arrange for any of the above or to create a Midwest adventure of your own design, talk to the Casino concierge, speak to your CSM, or reach out to a local DMC. The only thing more expansive than the views are the opportunities that await you. And you can take that to the bank.
When Christy joined the meetings industry 25 years ago, event planning was more of a concept than a recognized profession. In the ensuing two and a half decades, she proudly participated in its evolution. Christy has earned multiple certifications, writes thought-provoking articles and teaches strategic planning at the University level. Christy’s latest mission is to bring the industry and the talented professionals who share her passion for strategic planning the respect they deserve.