Sunday, December 27, 2009

Sam Baris steps up for us

December 26, 2009

Mr. George Maloof
Palms Casino Resort
4321 West Flamingo Road
Las Vegas, NY 89103-3903


Dear Mr. Maloof:

Santa Fe and The Fat City Horns is the best band in Las Vegas, and it is a shame that its contract is not being renewed at your casino. Whenever I have clients or friends in town, I always take them to your casino to experience this phenomenal band. Without exception, they leave the performance thoroughly impressed, alluding to old Vegas, and how a plethora of high-quality live music once existed in every casino. Unfortunately, those days are over, and it is incumbent on you to keep this tradition alive.

As a consultant to the hospitality industry and talent buyer, please allow me to convey to you several observations that I have experienced during my dozen or so visits to see Santa Fe this past year.

Santa Fe invariably packs the room to the point of being standing room only. I have to arrive an hour early to secure seats. Once the show commences, I rarely see any wait staff taking orders and serving drinks to patrons. That always amazed me since the purpose of a lounge is to generate revenue through beverage sales. When the band is playing, no one wants to get up, leave their seat, traverse through the crowd, wait at the bar for service, and then take the drinks back to their table. This process is extremely time-consuming and inconvenient for the hundreds of patrons enjoying the band in your lounge. It's just common sense to have a diligent wait staff on the premises that professionally serves all patrons before, during and after the show. In addition, a two-drink minimum should be mandatory. That is a fair and reasonable cover that no one would object to, especially when considering the world-class talent that they've come to see.

Speaking of world-class talent, Santa Fe attracts the creme of the crop of the music industry. Whenever these great musicians are performing in Vegas, many come to The Lounge to sit in with the band. I have seen members of the groups Earth, Wind and Fire, Chicago, Kenny Loggins, Santana, Gino Vannelli, Spyro Gyra, Tower of Power, et al, perform with Santa Fe. Where else in Vegas does this occur on a weekly basis? Absolutely nowhere! This is the best- kept secret in town, but it shouldn't be. Why isn't your PR department exploiting this phenomenon to the nth degree? This is exciting information that should be disseminated to all media outlets for consumption by the live entertainment-hungry public. I diligently read all the local newspapers, including the underground rags, Las Vegas Weekly and CityLife, and not once have I ever read about this fact. I neither hear about these performances on radio nor see it on TV nor on Vegas websites. With all the entertainment critics, editors, bloggers and broadcast journalists in town, one would think they would be talking about Santa Fe and all the world-class talent it attracts to your casino on a regular basis, but they are not.

Santa Fe and the Fat City Horns is attracting huge crowds every Monday night. The band is successfully doing one of the most difficult tasks in the hospitality industry: putting large numbers of butts in seats on a Monday - usually the slowest night of the week. It is performing its job in an exemplary manner; however, I wish I could say the same about your hotel staff. With all due respect, it is my professional opinion that the entertainment director, food and beverage manager and PR department are not doing their jobs and dropping the ball in this matter. They should be aggressively and creatively marketing Santa Fe and The Fat City Horns, along with the famous, world-class artists it's attracting. They should be maximizing profits through beverage sales. Monday nights at The Lounge should no longer be the best-kept secret in Las Vegas. It should be a well-known fact by everyone in the entertainment industry, the local media and tourists planning to visit our great city.

I respectfully request that you reconsider your decision not to renew Santa Fe's contract, and that you book them for another year in The Lounge. In addition, I suggest that you admonish the aforementioned individuals and departments to perform their jobs with enthusiastic professionalism and creativity to diligently make Santa Fe and The Fat City Horns and The Lounge the must-see band and destination they should rightly be.

Thank you for your time and consideration in this matter.


Sam J. Baris

The Cookhouse Advertising Agency
2620 S. Maryland Parkway #630
Las Vegas, NV 89109-1692

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