ATLANTIC CITY, NJ (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Live Nation has struck a deal with casino-operator Harrah’s to give the Showboat Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City control over bookings at the venue’s House the Blues.
The two developed a licensing agreement that turns day-to-day operations over to the Showboat, including talent buying responsibilities, after casino officials began seeing a rift between casino patrons and concert patrons.
“I thought it was an odd combination to begin with. Of any casino, Showboat has the most geriatric people,” Global Gaming Business magazine editor and co-publisher Roger Gros told the Cherry Hill Courier-Post.
The older casino crowd apparently did not care for the occasional heavy metal and hip-hop fans in the midst. “There was a disconnect between the two,” Gros said.
Showboat’s senior VP and GM Jay Snowden believes that having everything under one umbrella will provide a more seamless experience for the guests. Most House of Blues employees have transferred to become Showboat employees, but general manager Michael Grozier is no longer involved with the venue. Snowden explained to the paper that the need for a GM is no longer relevant, as the casino will handle bookings to add the interests of gaming customers to the mix.
“This gives us control over what happens from a calendar perspective,” Snowden told the Courier-Post. “It allows us to do a lot more of what works well, and less of what hasn’t worked so well.”
The new arrangement will allow for hotel and casino officials to more accurately gauge the impact of the concert venue on bars, restaurants and the casino itself.
Snowden promises that the quality and quantity of bookings will be better than ever, with concertgoers seeing 90 percent of the type of acts already playing the House of Blues, ranging from classic rock to hip-hop to R&B to heavy metal.
“You may see a reduction in the real extreme music,” he told the paper.
“But you’ll always see names you never heard of,” he continues. “I’m not familiar with Josh Gracin, who appears Sunday, but tickets are selling.”
The members-only restaurant and lounge, the Foundation Room, will stay as is. The restaurant, nightclub and other accoutrements will also remain. –by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers