George Maloof Jr., who played football at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, runs the hotel division of his family’s Maloof Companies, which owns the NBA’s Sacramento Kings and the WNBA’s Sacramento Monarchs, as well as hotels, casinos and banking and other businesses.
WWD: As the owner of the Palms, a casino resort with more than 700 rooms that opened in 2001 off the Las Vegas Strip, and the neighboring Palms Place Hotel-Spa, a condominium-suite complex with 599 units, you are considered a formidable Las Vegas player. What’s your sense of the state of the city?
George Maloof Jr.: Everybody is focused on Las Vegas and what is happening with the economy here. I think some of it is exaggerated. We have so much to offer in Las Vegas that it is still the number-one destination in the world and will always be. There is a lot of volume that is coming into Las Vegas. Maybe people aren’t spending as much and maybe that’s the difference.
WWD: Is there a particular area in which people — Las Vegas locals and visitors — are spending less?
G.M.: I wouldn’t specifically say that we can identify an area, and I wouldn’t say that it is a dramatic number at all. I just think, in general, things are a little flat. The growth that the city has been used to over the last few years, we haven’t seen that.
WWD: How are you performing in terms of key indicators such as occupancy and room price?
G.M.: Our occupancy has been very strong.…Knock on wood, we have been very fortunate.
WWD: Have you changed your promotion strategy at all to drive business to the Palms?
G.M.: We have a marketing plan that focuses on local people that live in Las Vegas and out-of-town visitors. We have always had the same plan, that hasn’t changed at all….Because we are not on the Strip, we can go after a local market.
WWD: How has Palms Place been received?
G.M.: We have sold every unit….We have done very well in a very tough market.
WWD: You have said that you wanted to create the “ultimate party hotel” with the Palms. What does that mean?
G.M.: When people think of a destination where they can come and have fun, they always think of the Palms. [People are] coming here and getting away, maybe taking their minds off the economy.
WWD: What upcoming event are you looking forward to?
G.M.: We have the Midsummer Night’s Dream Party in two weeks.
WWD: What are you going to wear?
G.M.: I haven’t figured that one out yet. Maybe a mask.
WWD: What is the mood of people who live and work in Las Vegas?
G.M.: I hope it gets better. I think that there has been so much attention on what is happening with the economy in general. It is on everybody’s mind, there is no question about it. I don’t think anybody is immune to it. You just have to believe in the city and the people and the leaders of this town. I happen to believe in them. Hopefully, I am one of the leaders of this town.
WWD: What do you think could be done to help stimulate the Las Vegas economy?
G.M.: If people stop talking about it, that might be a good start. I really believe that. There is so much attention on that that maybe [it would be better to] focus on something else. That would be a big change….Everybody just needs to take a chill pill.
WWD: Are you doing anything to change the prevailing mood in Las Vegas?
G.M.: People have to be excited about things. What we try to do is create events. Whether it is through a slot promotion or something we do in one of our nightclubs, we are creating things that give interest to people and have them come out and enjoy it.
EXCLUSIVE: Two and half months after John Targon, cofounder and codesigner of Baja East, was hired as creative director of the contemporary division at Marc Jacobs, he has left the company, WWD has learned. Marc Jacobs International, which is owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, confirmed Targon’s departure in a statement: “John Targon is a talented designer and we appreciate the work he has done here. Ultimately working together did not make sense for the brand and we wish him the best.” Read the story by @jessiredale, link in bio. #wwdnews
@theluxurycollection is officially launching a collection, tapping Sofia Sanchez de Betak for the capsule. Over 30 styles will be featured in the Chufy x The Luxury Collection, debuting next month at Bergdorf Goodman, The Webster, FiveStory and more. De Betak, known as “@chufy,” drew inspiration for the collection from her trips to Japan in the past year #wwdfashion
@lhd, founder and CEO of @thewebster, has teamed up with @lebonmarcherivegauche for the European launch of her ready-to-wear line, LHD. The launch will come with an exclusive pop-up opening today that’s set to run through May 20. Located on the second floor, it carries her debut Miami-themed resort collection, launched in November as see-now-buy-now. #wwdfashion
@longchamp, which marks its 70th anniversary this year, just opened its biggest U.S. store on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue. On the lower level there’s a floor-to-ceiling display of the brand’s iconic Le Pliage bag – in all of its different colors, shapes and sizes. Customers can also have their product personalized in-store by imprinting names, initials or emblems. #wwdfashion (📷: @ericmtownsend)
“Whenever I’m in that place of sound and music, I don’t have fear or nervousness…This album has a lot of themes of courage and boldness and I want to be the soundtrack for people’s lives. I’ll be so happy if [my songs] evoke strength in people, which I know music has done for me,” says @kimbramusic of her newest album “Primal Heart.” The New Zealand-born singer sat down with WWD to talk about her music, newest tour and connecting with hear fans — read more on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
Luxury handbag resale company @rebagofficial is planning to sell a rare collectible for $70,000: the @hermes White Crocodile Himalayan Birkin. The exclusive Birkin sold for about $100,000 in 2008, when @davidbeckham bought one for his wife @victoriabeckham to add to her collection. Read more about the rare Birkin on WWD.com #wwdaccessories
With her costume pearl necklace and what-you-see-is-what-you-get style, Barbara Bush, who died Tuesday at age 92, was a straight-shooter from start to finish.
Born Barbara Pierce in New York City, Bush served as the 37th first lady, as well as the country’s second lady from 1981 to 1989. In addition to being part of the longest presidential marriage — 73 years — Bush also had the unlikely distinction of having one son, George W., become the 43rd president and another son, Jeb, run unsuccessfully in 2016. Having served as second lady during the Reagan administration’s two terms and lived all over the world during her own husband’s ascending political career, Barbara Bush made it clear that literacy — not fashion — was her priority. Read more from Rosemary Feitelberg’s obituary on the late First Lady in WWD.com, link in bio. #barbarabush #wwdnews
Western and ’90s trends have influenced denim for fall 2018. Think raw, dark and coated jeans mixed with bold prints and tough leather. #trendtuesdays #wwdfashion (Styled by @thealexbadia;📷: @ryanplett)