not that there's anything wrong with that
Posted by Abe Sauer on April 20, 2011 03:00 PM
The job title may still be a bit insulting, but the existence of it says a lot. Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City has hired an “alternative lifestyle marketing” director specifically to target LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) consumers.
The casino claims it is the first property (presumably in Atlantic City) to dedicate an executive position to courting the so-called "gay dollar," a move that is certainly emblematic of an iconic casino property's move to recover.
Its new “alternative lifestyle" marketer is launching the casino's quest to build a LGBT base with a stage show, called Believe, reminiscent of La Cage aux Folles.
LGBT consumers have proven resilient despite the sluggish economy with data showing the groups spends an average of $2,300 per summer travel season while heterosexual consumers average only $1,500.
Add to this the overall data putting the estimated annual buying power of LGBT consumers at more than $700 billion. The casino's close proximity to New York City's large gay population makes hiring a full-time marketer far less of a progressive vision than a business necessity. In fact, to not target these consumers would be branding malpractice.
In 2009, Resorts Casino Hotel was acquired by its lenders after the owners simply gave up and stopped paying the bills. Last year, the property posted a 12% increase in profits. This despite an overall revenue downturn of 7% for the Atlantic casino business as a whole.
While much of that increase is due to the previous year's dismal performance, it's a sign of progress for the first ever American casino to open outside Las Vegas. The casino opened in 1978 and is struggling to return itself to the prominence (and profitability) it once knew.
Resorts' new marketing hire follows closely after Harrah's New Orleans Casino hired a Director of LGBT and Ethnic Marketing last month.
The period between the two announcements saw a meeting of The Connecticut Alliance for Business Opportunities, the state's first-and-only LGBT chamber of commerce founded in 2007. One member of the Alliance is Foxwoods Resort Casino.
At top, the "gay" Ikea ad condemned by Italian Prime Minister and heterosexual bunga-bunga practitioner, Silvio Berlusconi.