This portfolio pertains to Atlantis Casino Resort in Reno, Nevada. It discusses the facility mix adopted by the resort. Its unique selling point (USP) is drawn from its excellent customer service, reputation for luxury, and a range of activities it offers for adults, children, and the whole family.
The Atlantis partners with transport companies that promote environmental sustainability, specifically those that use advanced technology in transport system.
The Miossec model is applied in analysing how the resort might be a focus of destination development.
This portfolio identifies problems and challenges faced by the Atlantis, as well as the means through which the resort addresses them
This portfolio is about Atlantis Casino Resort. It provides a discussion of an outline of the facility mix of this resort and whether its facilities have helped in creating a unique selling point (USP). It also tackles the utilisation of sustainable transport alternatives and how the chosen resort has responded to this. Moreover, this portfolio looks at how Atlantis Casino Resort has been a focus of destination development, addressing this point by employing a resort-destination development model, the Miossec Model. Finally, the brief discusses development problems and management challenges identified by the resort and how they are being addressed.
An Outline of the Facility Mix of Atlantis Casino Resort
Atlantis Casino Resort is a deluxe hotel and casino located in Reno, Nevada. Its facility mix includes approximately 1,000 rooms and Jacuzzi suites, nine operating restaurants, a night club that plays live music, a concierge hotel tower, a spa, a salon, and a family entertainment room. It also offers more than 150 table games and 1,400 slots in its casino (Dallas, 2006). Aside from these, its facility mix includes Las Vegas-type shows and water sports, such as windsurfing. The resort has a tropical theme that complements its excellent customer service, apart from its reputation for luxury. It has a 14-acre waterscape that serves as its centerpiece with grottos, lagoons, and other attractions. What is unique about its facilities is this combination of adult, children, and family activities, which other casino resorts nearby do not offer (Kraus, 2007).
These facilities have helped the Atlantis in creating a unique selling point (USP). USP refers to an understanding of the products or services’ uniqueness from that of the competitors (King, Kerr, Jefferies, et al, 2005). In the case of the Atlantis, such USP can be initially seen in the combination of deluxe hotel and casino, as well as its other unique features described above. It would not be common for a casino to also have a complex resort system and other facilities that the Atlantis offers, making the entire business case to cater to various ages, including adults and children. The Atlantis has hence captured these target markets in its product offering. The casino and the night club are certainly places for older people, whilst the family entertainment centre, the waterscapes, and the water sports are for children and the whole family. This would mean that a family who wants to stay in a place that offers a range of activities would choose to come to the Atlantis over some others because of its unique features.
It is worth-mentioning why resorts like the Atlantis need a unique selling point. This is because the USP serves as the reason why one’s product differs from everyone else’s, which draws customers toward the resort, thereby selecting it over all the others. According to King et al. (2005), USP can be as simple as offering the friendliest welcome or the easiest booking system. In the case of the Atlantis, its unique selling points are its reputation for luxury, excellent customer service, and various product offerings, as mentioned above.
Moreover, why a resort needs a USP is because it serves as a clear benefit for the resort, whereby it enables the clients to be willing to pay to satisfy their needs (King et al., 2005).
An important point to consider in line with the above heading is the idea that repositioning – or changing the current position of a certain business – can take place because of various circumstances, such as the emergence of a new competitor. This is seen in an example where conference venues in some UK resorts failed to continue to fulfill the needs of customers due to lack of maintenance and product enhancement (Davidson and Rogers, 2007). In the case of the Atlantis, it may be analysed that how it has responded to the use of sustainable transport alternatives has contributed to the resort’s reputation for excellent customer service.
Problems and Challenges
The problems that the resort faces are the unavailability of seasonal employees during peak season and lack of job security, which is a big concern amongst employees (Glass Door, 2014).
The challenges include how it can attract visitors for its family-oriented activities during lean season and increase its revenues from these activities during this period (Glass Door, 2014).
How Atlantis Casino Resort Has Responded to the Use of Sustainable Transport Alternatives
In terms of the use of sustainable transportation alternatives, the Atlantis Casino Resort uses transport vehicles with latest technology and low carbon emission to protect the environment (Atlas Choice, 2014) in order to accrue with its existing sustainability policy. Encouraging its employees and visitors to use public transportation will contribute to reduction in automobile pollution, a green option for transport utilisation. The Atlantis partners with green transport companies that use the latest technology for environmental friendliness. This is in accordance with the resort’s green ethos and carbon footprint (Atlas Choice, 2014).
Since the Atlantis safeguards its reputation for excellent customer service, its transport service is free, fast, and convenient, and guests do not have to wait a long queue in order to enjoy the service, (Airport Shuttles, 2014), neither do they have to be bothered by carbon emissions that can be exhumed by its vehicles. This is because the resort adopts the latest non-carbon emission technology in its transport system (Atlas Choice, 2014).
The transport alternative system used by the Atlantis may be viewed as sustainable because of the environmental friendliness it offers.
How the Resort Might be a Focus of Destination Development
This section discusses the means through which Atlantis Casino resort might be a focus of destination development, using a resort destination development model – the Miossec model.
First to consider is the fact that Atlantis Casino Hotel might be a focus of destination development since it is located in a region (Reno, Nevada) with many other resorts that offer more or less similar services. Examples of these are the Aquarius Casino Resort, the Avi Resort and Casino, and the Downstream Casino Resort, which are all a combination of casino and resort. Hence, the reason for the Atlantis to be a focus of destination development is the fact that it competes with others for similar markets and must identify a suitable market positioning based on its relative strengths (e.g. Murphy, 2008).
According to the Miossec model, the development of a resort area in a peripheral location starts from its initial establishment towards being a composite hierarchical tourism area in terms of historical dimensions (Krakover and Gradus, 2002). This model may be considered the most logical geographical description of destination development as it depicts a progression of such destination from its infancy through maturity (Gunn, 2014). Along with the stages of development, the reaction of prospective and actual tourists on one hand, and transportation developments on the other, are two separate aspects. The Miossec model depicts the parallel development taking place in the Atlantis Casino Resort, transportation, and number of customers. Hence, this model impliedly assumes a direct relationship amongst the growing number of attractions, transportation improvements, and increasing customer demand in the Atlantis (Krakover and Gradus, 2002). The model in fact focuses on the spatial and temporal development of destination in relation to physical change. It identifies the interaction of four major elements influencing the resort’s destination development: (1) “the characteristics of the destination; (2) tourist behaviour; (3) mode of transportation; and (4) attitudes of residents and decision-makers” (Latkova, 2008, p. 19).
Taking the Miossec model, Atlantis Casino Resort has gone through minimal developments in its initial phase. During the second phase, it went through a development as a pioneer resort in its area. In the third phase, it presented noticeable changes through which there has been expansion of a system of resorts (where the Atlantis is part) to serve an increasing number of tourists, and where residents either accept or reject the presence of such tourism development. The last stage has seen further development of the area (Latkova, 2008). Since the Atlantis is already an established luxury hotel resort in Reno, the Moissec model of destination development is relevant, particularly in this fourth stage.
In terms of where the Atlantis Casino Resort would be positioned in the Moissec model, such positioning is in its destination characteristics (being a casino resort that also features family-oriented activities), analysis of tourist behaviour, considerations for an alternative transport system, and the way it takes into account the attitudes of decision-makers, such as the local government with whom it partners for environment-related matters (e.g. Latkova, 2008).
In order to be different from all the others and strengthen its USP as described earlier, Atlantis could pursue the development of a visitor attraction that harmonises with its adjoining environment, such as an aquarium park that can showcase the destination and add to the number of customer activities. It could also ‘adopt’ an adjacent natural attraction and take steps to ensure it can be adequately maintained, for example, by sourcing outside funding. Here, one can see the attitudes of decision-makers being considered and applied to the development, which is the model’s key element influencing the destination development (e.g. Latkova, 2008).
It has been noted that the value creation of resorts does not match that of Porter’s value chain configuration due to the non-sequential operational process embodied in a resort destination (Murphy, 2008). Hence, the destination development that Atlantis Casino Resort shall pursue does not adopt Porter’s principle but a ‘value fan,’ (Murphy, 2008) which considers a site and individual focus for its destination activities, sustained by administrative functions that are tasked to aid the entire destination. In order to assimilate the value fan into the resort’s strategic management approach, the resort must manage its tourism product mix configuration (Murphy, 2008), where the right blend of products are being developed to fulfill customer expectations and thereby create the best value prospects for them.
In the Atlantis’ destination development pursuit, it is necessary to address some major principles, such as ensuring the purpose of every development item; designing for people; satisfying both functional and aesthetic aspects of the development; establishing substantial and appropriate experiences; fulfilling technical requirements; and meeting customer needs for the lowest possible cost, to mention a few (Murphy, 2008).
Development Problems and Management Challenges
The identified development problems for Atlantis Casino Resort are the following: (1) a possible lack of balance/leverage between financial costs and revenue from the development (Vogel, 2012); and (2) lack of sufficient knowledge and skills of existing employees for new areas of development, i.e. the aquarium park that features exhibition shows inside the aquarium, which require skillful staff (Robinson, Luck, and Smith, 2013).
The Atlantis addresses the first problem by conducting a financial feasibility study, which can situate the new development within measurable and realisable goals without incurring costs that exceed the returns. For the second problem, this is tackled by providing training to staff to match the requirements of the new developments (e.g. Zainai, Radzi, Hashim et al., 2012).
The management is challenged by the presence of various hotel resorts within the same area where it is located, which offer similar activities to visitors. It is therefore faced with the task of differentiating its range of product offering and activities, but is further delimited by the nature of the business, where the Porter’s value chain principle is not applicable (e.g. Murphy, 2008). This is addressed by conducting an effective marketing strategy that features the resort’s uniqueness and leverage.
The Atlantis is also challenged by the need to identify excellent programmes and product schemes for the lowest price possible (Murphy, 2008). This will be addressed by doing a financial study to ensure revenue despite the lower cost offering.
This brief provides a discussion of the facility mix offered by Atlantis Casino Resort; how it responded to the utilisation of sustainable transport alternatives; how it might be a focus of destination development; and development problems and management challenges thus identified.
The Atlantis is a complex facility mixing hotel and casino, with a reputation for luxury and customer service. These aspects have contributed to its USP.
The resort has responded to the use of sustainable transport alternatives by partnering with environmentally friendly transport companies.
The Miossec model is used to explain how the Atlantis might be a focus of destination development. This model states that there is a parallel development occurring in the resort, the transportation, and the number of customers.
Development problems include a potential lack of balance/leverage between financial costs and revenue; and lack of sufficient knowledge and skills of existing employees for the new development. The Atlantis is also challenged by the presence of casino resorts within its area that offer similar services, as well as the identification of excellent programmes and product schemes for the lowest price possible.
Airport Shuttles (2014) Concierge Tower at Atlantis Casino Resort Spa. Retrieved on April 23, 2014 from http://www.airportshuttles.com/reno/concierge-tower-at-atlantis-casino-resort-spa.html
Atlas Choice (2014) Reno Atlantis Casino Hotel. Retrieved on April 25, 2014 from http://www.atlaschoice.us/cheap-car-hire/nevada/reno/reno_atlantis_casino_resort/address/41910/3800-s-virginia-street-reno-nv-89502-usa-nevada
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Glass Door (2014) Atlantis Casino Resort Spa. Retrieved on May 5, 2014 from http://www.glassdoor.com/Reviews/Atlantis-Casino-Resort-Spa-Reviews-E348105.htm
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