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.
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion
Eighty degree temperatures and outdoor installations at the annual Art Basel Miami Beach called for bright, elevated beachwear. See more street style pictures on WWD.com. #theyarewearing #ABMB (📷: @lifeinreverie)
Following September’s emotional tribute to her brother Gianni, Donatella Versace wanted to bring the spring show’s deep sense of intimacy to her @versace_official pre-fall collection. Donatella found inspiration in Versace Palazzo in Milan and from Gianni’s opulent apartment. Archival patterns and new motifs were splashed on silk shirtdresses and fitted jersey frocks. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com. #wwdfashion
Demna Gvasalia continues to shake up the Paris fashion calendar — and experiment with new runway timetables for his @vetements_official brand. WWD has learned that Vetements plans to stage its next coed show for the fall 2018 season on January 19 during Men’s Fashion Week in the French capital. Details about the timing and venue have not been confirmed — stay tuned on WWD.com to catch the latest. #wwdnews (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
@zacposen's go-to holiday gift? Cookies! "I'll usually bake cookies and send them as a gift," said the designer, who recently released his cookbook "Cooking With Zac: Recipes from Rustic to Refined." Get the recipe for his Brown Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies via link in bio 🍪🍪🍪 #wwdeye #cookingwithzac
For @monsemaison’s pre-fall 2018 collection, Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim honed in on the brand’s many signatures — men’s wear, which was tweaked and feminized through deconstruction, proportion play and lots of bare shoulders. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
On Friday night, @yohjiyamamotoofficial received the Design for Asia Lifetime Achievement Award in Hong Kong. The 75-year-old designer has been celebrated for many years and is best known for his dark and avant-garde tailoring. “In my long career, in design, architecture, [I’ve been to] so many parties, this is the very first time that I have such a warm feeling, I really appreciate this,” Yamamoto said. #wwdfashion (📷: @dominiquemaitre)