Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Penultimate day to work gone awry

Today we delved more into Excel. We did some really complicated things that I had no idea Excel was capable of. We learned some more terminology, like absolute reference, and we learned how to make some more charts necessary for our final report, which is farther away from completion than I thought (later to come). Excel is becoming really useful. I can’t believe there are more than 1 million cells in one column, which is something we learned a long time ago, but it’s still noteworthy. I really think I will use Excel and Word in the future, when it comes to business writing and professional communications.

As always, Reneta carefully went over the final report, making sure we knew everything we needed to know in order to write it. She gave us more tips and suggestions, like FOLLOW THE OUTLINE, if you have one. IF YOU SEE AN EXAMPLE THAT WORDS SOMETHING TO YOUR LIKING, USE IT. If “functionality” is something witty I took away from Mark, it’s “verbage” from Reneta. I like their vocabulary and how they explain assignments. In addition to our report, which should be about 8-10 pages, we need a cover page, a business letter to the Bank of Syracuse, for which we are writing this report, a Table of Contents, and an Appendix which includes the data worksheet, and your expenses. In the Appendix, we need RCS (Rooms Contribution Statements), 7 to be exact, which are basically the hotel’s performance in detail in 7 days of a week out of the 6 weeks.

We then had a very, very interesting 3-hour discussion about the gaming industry. We learned about the most major players in the industry, including MGM Mirage, Harrah’s, Wynn, BOYD Gaming, Station Casinos, and Pinnacle Entertainment. I mean, everyone knows Las Vegas: the big lights, tons of casinos with flash and cash, and millions of dollars. We watched several videos describing these aspects, and the current father of Las Vegas and the casino industry, Steve Wynn, who is the Chairman and CEO. He seems like a very charismatic and innovative man. We learned about the top casinos, 3 in particular. I thought Las Vegas was the biggest, a $6.2 billion industry, but it came second to Macau, a $10 billion industry, and next is Atlantic City, a $4.5 billion industry. I won’t go into so much detail because we covered a lot in 3 hours, but I will say a few more interesting things. Something really interesting I learned was that Las Vegas casinos are very, very “tricky.” Constant references were made to “opulent illusions.” Ever wonder why casinos seem never ending? Like even if you turn a corner, you don’t know exactly where you are? The casinos are especially designed in a circular shape, so that it seems never ending, unlike a room with four corners, so customers keep looking around. They make sure the lights are just the right shade and proffer the right temperatures.

One thing that really woke everyone up was when Reneta actually took action to show us how hotels/casinos book people. This was fascinating. She actually called Harrah’s, the world’s most successful casino company, well Harrah’s Cherokee in North Dakota to be exact. This was live in front of a quiet group of 80 people and on speaker phone. She wanted to make a reservation for one night, on Saturday for her and her husband. The operator asked for her Rewards number, which Reneta said she did not have. It was so funny, because just like we have been learning, if you aren’t a loyal member who could potentially bring in a huge profit to the industry, it will be “oversold.” Thus Reneta was rejected. It’s as if what we’ve been learning came to life.

We then took a group picture :)

Then it was time for office hours. We realized that we did not save our new, modified hotel file, and we did not have the data ready for use. Thus we had to calculate the Rooms Contribution Statements by ourselves. This wasted us time and energy, as pressure started to weigh on the group members. We had only tomorrow to do it, and everywhere around, everyone was in the process of writing the report already. All we did was the 7 RCS. I hope we will all have something to bring in tomorrow, which is dedicated for the report. We must finish it tomorrow. We have a lot of work to do, but because we don’t have the sufficient information from the hotel, we cannot completely do them, or without confidence at least. I can wait for tomorrow.

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