Cromwell, SLS Will Succeed with ‘Narrowcasting’

In Las Vegas, the era of supersized casinos designed to appeal to the masses could be drawing to a close. That wide-net approach is giving way to “narrowcasting,” in which smaller niche properties go after a very specific, smaller patron demographic.

SLS targets Californians who are already fans

Niche resorts in Las Vegas, including the new Cromwell and the soon-to-open SLS, “will make a compelling argument for smaller properties with a laser focus on specific demographics,” gaming analyst David Schwartz recently wrote on the website of the American Gaming Association. The new emphasis on “narrowcasting” to select demographics with lots of buying power will allow Vegas to “meet customers at the intersection of their wallets and desires,” Schwartz wrote.

The Cromwell, once Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall, is a case in point. Once targeted to budget-minded tourists, the resort that reopened May 21 has amenities that should appeal to a different patron, the type of see-and-be-seen young adults who like nightclubs, day clubs, beach clubs, pools and the like.

SLS Las Vegas, which is set to open Labor Day weekend, will emphasize dining, retail and other attractions beyond gaming. The resort is targeted not to mainstream customers from the four corners, but two very specific, very targeted groups: Southern Californians who are already familiar with SBE’s branded offerings, and Chinese citizens who helped fund the project via the EB-5 visa waiver program.

Union Gaming reports that additions to Vegas Strip nightlife, including Victor Drai’s day/nightclub at the Cromwell, and Pure, now under renovation by the Hakkasan Group, will be successful at broadening the city’s appeal.

“Las Vegas is becoming younger, increasingly international, more affluent, and spending more on food and drink,” the company reported, “which bodes well to absorb the new nightlife additions.”

“The most important economic data points are all trending in the right direction,” Station Casinos CFO Marc Falcone told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “The only place we’re not seeing it is in gaming revenue.”