It is one thing to be the star performer in your hotel company’s portfolio. It is another to keep the title in today’s challenging environment. But the hotel at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino in North Carolina, which is posting overall occupancy of 100 percent with brand-leading gaming revenue per room night, is holding its own thanks to a heads-up business strategy and the revenue management system that supports it.Even though the Harrah’s Cherokee gaming operation has been impacted by the national economic downturn, the hotel itself continues to perform on par with previous years. Much of the credit goes to a savvy executive team that is readily handling the challenges of a changing economy and to Rainmaker’s revolutionSM revenue management system used by all of Harrah’s properties and which the Cherokee Casino hotel implemented at its 2002 opening.
The 576-room property is fortunate that convention business is not its primary segment. Thanks to its primarily leisure guest mix, it has avoided the downturn affecting corporate travel although leisure travel is softer than normal.
“During the months of February, March and April 2009, our admissions and day-trip traffic are improving, but people are playing below their average gaming revenue level,” said Jeremiah Wiggins, director of planning and analysis for the Harrah’s Cherokee property. “It throws a curve ball at our revenue managers tasked with predicting total guest value and setting criteria for the rooms we have available, but we are still performing well.”