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Vegas Gang #125 : Andrew Pascal, CEO Alon Las Vegas

By Chuckmonster on Saturday, 2nd April 2016 11:47pm
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 11


Live from #VZZZT, the Vegas Gang Podcast with super duper special guest Andrew Pascal, CEO of ālon leisure and Playstudios recorded live on stage from from The Showroom at The D, Saturday April 2, 2016.

Listen here.


Big thanks to Andrew, Rob and Jenn from ālon for participating and to our always incredible host Derek Stevens and his phenomenal team at The D and Golden Gate making us feel so welcome.

Tagged: alon   andrew pascal   vegas gang   podcast   playstudios   


Comments & Discussion:

Andrew Pascal was the worst interview in Vegas Gang history. The guy gave no information other than self absorbed love of himself. He waxed on about offering what Vegas used to have and mentioned value and customer service. I cannot imagine elon will offer any value to anyone but the very wealthy. Will there be reasonably priced shows or dinners, good rules and pay tables in the casino, reasonably obtainable comps? The guy refused to answer any question in a straight forward direct manner. He was painful. I could not get through it all.

I commend you for trying by coming from different angles in your questions. Unfortunately, he simply did not get the point of interviews–sharing ideas and the transfer of information.

Rant over.

Thank you!

Agree with Johnny, this was pretty bad. Pascal seems like the prototypical CEO who doesnt answer any questions (mainly because he doesnt have any answers) and just spews out managerial bullshit. Wouldnt be surprised if Alon folds.


Thanks for the comments. Sorry if you didn't find it interesting.

I don't equate value with cheapness. There are many things that are expensive that offer tremendous value. There are many cheap things that do not have value. It does seem that Alon is aiming at the higher end of the market but that doesn't mean they can't create a product of value for those customers.

They've assembled a truly top-notch team. The best of the best. If they don't succeed in the market it won't be because they didn't have a carefully considered plan.

I think some of the questions you were hoping to get answers for - reasonably priced shows or restaurants, obtainable comps and even the rules in the casino - are an interesting lens with which to analyze what they are potentially trying to do. Based on the vibe I've gotten, I think they are going for customers who are looking for a different type of experience and likely one where those sorts of questions are less important. I don't mean to sound like a prick - not all products are for all consumers and one of the best things about Vegas is that there are so many options.

I've found Andrew to be exceedingly interesting and if that didn't come across then I failed to some degree and for that I apologize. Thanks for listening.

We knew going in that Andrew was not going to be sharing nitty gritty details or hard specifics about Alon. He has just bought in and reserved a chair at the billionaires poker table. When he finally makes his way from the cage to the table, he's going to be sitting between shrewd competitors with massive bankrolls, dangerous tendencies and family history. Tipping his hand at this juncture would be foolish and dangerously expensive.

What we got from Andrew was a high level, yet incredibly compelling discussion of the sprit and soul of Alon, who Andrew is as a leader, where he extends and diverts from the Wynn philosophy and how Alon will offer something truly different from what is in the market. Andrew told us everything without telling us anything.

This is the first time VegasTripping & the Vegas Gang had this degree of access to a casino resort project at such an early stage. I'm pretty sure that this interview with Andrew is just the first in a series of interviews we will be doing with him and other Alon execs over the course of Alon's gestation and evolution. Patience.

Almost thru the whole episode - I thought overall it was obvious that some of the questions made Andrew uncomfortable, with the pauses (or maybe that's just the editing), but it's not like he didn't answer them at all.

I think the discussion of nighclubs trying to be all things to all people is one which many companies fail to realize as they become successful. It happened in the 90's and 00's as auto companies started selling more cars - suddenly they though they could market to everyone in every market type. Just look at BMW as an example now - what used to be a German car company for gearheads and performance nuts has now wanted to just dominate sales with cars of every shape and size.

Yes, those of us who know more than the average individual may be disappointed with a lack of answers, but I can't say I blame him - without a firm timeline for opening, doing so would open his hand to those who are going to competing for alon's slice of the pie.

Just as the things I do evolve over time when I get to town, so will resorts as they are designed. To me some of the answers were almost the cater to millenials type of experience, but as well all know, that seems to be the flavor du jour right now.

"Skate to where the puck is going, not where it had been" -- Wayne Fucking Gretzky

Everything I heard in that interwiew echoes that quote. I am bullish on álon.

Thanks for the great interview gentlemen!

First, great job. Considering the circumstances (the proverbial billionaire's poker table mentioned earlier), I think you guys did a great job.

Reading between the lines and considering the vibe of the interview and your comments so far, is it fair to say that Alon's "big idea" is a Macau-style "six-star" resort? I'm thinking all suites, no discounting, super high table limits, super exclusive nightclubs (the comment about being with "the people you want to be with" was telling to me....), bespoke shopping experiences, etc. etc. Maybe Vegas' version of the in-progress Louis XIII?

My guess is they don't target the nickel craps player who flirts with playing full odds, the retired businessman who comes to town from Indianapolis with a $5,000 bankroll, or even the Los Angelino willing to buy a couple $500 bottles of Grey Goose for a bachelor party. Those are great customers for Sheldon or Steve, but Andrew wants the jet set. They want the people with friends at Mossack Fonseca. They want the people who fly private to Thailand and stay at Trisara. Remember, the 1% of the 1% is a ton of people if your denominator is the entire world.

Unlike a few of the other commenters, I think that's great. I'd love to see it attempted on the Strip. I'm not confident that much exclusivity is going to be profitable (Bellagio dropped the idea of a dress code pretty quickly if I recall correctly), but this is the team to give it a shot. I'll be happy to throw on a sports jacket and walk the floor.

The more I think about it. The more I think I'm right.

Thanks again for a great interview!

^^ In other words, for the type of clientele whose idea of slumming would be walking across the street to Wynn and Venetian?

That's an interesting thought, but where does the velvet rope get placed to keep out all the Looky-Lou's? It's hard to imagine that level of exclusivity with the overall egalitarianism of the Las Vegas strip experience.

But I hope you're right, because I'll put on my best pair of shorts and clean sneakers to go check out something like that. (Pascal reads, faints.)

@toast fascinating. i didn't get even a hint of millennial marketing from Andrew's answers. the market he's targeting isn't generational, it is a demographic - people who like nice things.

@ranger great comment! the LouisXIII mention made me drop my phone. Hearing Andrew get excited when I mentioned Altira to him (formerly Crown Macau - see my review on MacauTripping.com) is worth noting. Altira is a six star, ultra luxurious modern hotel experience. It isn't tuxedo luxury, it is sharp and playful resort luxury wrapped in impeccable service and jawdropping interiors, views and offerings. They me feel like I was wanted, special, important and deserving of respect. Altira is (purposefully?) a little isolated from all the other resorts in Macau. Imagine an ultra-ultra high end M Resort with Michelin three star dining.

The big question was why Alon? Why the time, energy, stress AND risk? I think Andrew did a great job of explaining his passion for the hospitatilty and gaming industry. He came across as focused and determined, and a believer in his team. This was but the trailer.

Chuck - it wasn't necessarily the fact that I thought Andrew was marketing towards millenials. I get that it will definitely be an upscale place and certainly one to check out. It was more the terminology in the answers that seemed to similar to PR talk of "experiences" as part of the whole traveling and resort life these days. I agree, those who like fine things, it transcends age, it just takes some folks to reach a different point in their lives to get to it.


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