Dotty’s purchase of Hacienda good for BC

It’s all about connectivity and deep player databases in the casino world, and the Hacienda did not have much of either as a stand-alone property.

Dotty’s, which owns a chain of nearly 90 taverns with slot machines, has plenty of both.

Player loyalty cards are an essential component for casinos to not only track players, but also offer rewards. As an example, Station Casinos has its “Boarding Pass” card that visitors can use at any of the company’s properties to redeem for cash, complementaries and merchandise. The card can be used at nine hotel-casinos or the seven smaller casinos the company owns in Clark County.

On a larger scale, Caesars Entertainment Corp., which introduced the industry standard for player loyalty cards under Chairman and CEO Gary Loveman, connects its nine properties on the Strip to a database of 52 casino properties worldwide.

By comparison, the Hacienda has “Club Matador” which is connected to, well, the Hacienda. With the Dotty’s acquisition, the tavern operator not only acquires the Hacienda’s player database, but now has a flagship hotel-casino to funnel regular Dotty’s players to for getaways.

In theory, Dotty’s could promote the Hacienda, which overlooks Lake Mead on the highway to Hoover Dam, to its customers in Las Vegas or Pahrump or Carson City.

Many of those players could stop by Boulder City.

While I haven’t talked to Dotty’s owner R. Craig Estey, this database is one of the first things I thought of. While Dotty’s are smaller casinos, often in strip malls or small stand-alone taverns, suddenly the company has an asset with 370 hotel rooms overlooking a lake it can market to its players.

If I were a business owner, or the Chamber of Commerce, I would be on the phone to Estey to see how we could leverage Boulder City tourism in this deal.

Do your players want to jump from a plane? Play a round of golf? Visit a museum? Visit antique shops? Rent a boat?

(Can’t really leverage our restaurants because the Hacienda has one of those).

The chamber and city already have a good relationship with the current management staff, much of which may remain in place (that remains to be seen.) But I would have to think that many of the Hacienda’s players, like its workers, probably already live in Boulder City.

With Dotty’s, that Hacienda players’ net can now be cast more widely.

During the past few weeks, I’ve written about the real possibility of the Interstate 11 loop opening in four years and the potential effect it could have on city tourism. Here, to me, seems to be an opportunity to mitigate that effect. Just look at the numbers. Dotty’s has 61 taverns in Clark County, another five in Carson City and 14 in the Reno area, plus numerous others in rural Nevada.

Those players could soon be getting hit with marketing for the Hacienda.

That, in turn, could be very beneficial for Boulder City.

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