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.
There'll be no rest for those headed to Europe for men's, as Paris just closed the gap with Milan. According to a provisional calendar released by the Chambre Syndicale, Paris Men's Week will now open a day earlier on January 16. See new highlights on the official lineup on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
BREAKING: Jonathan Saunders is leaving @DVF. The designer has resigned from his position as chief creative officer of Diane von Furstenberg, the company said in a statement on Friday. At the time of his hire, von Furstenberg said Saunders’ arrival symbolized and facilitated her stepping back from the day-to-day duties that occupy the work of a full-time creative director. The British designer joined DVF in May 2016 and was in charge of all product categories. #wwdnews
For @versace_official’s spring ad campaign, the brand emphasized the archival prints from the spring tribute collection dedicated to the late Gianni Versace. Closing out the show were five of Gianni’s favorite models: Cindy, Naomi, Carla, Helena, and Claudia. Bowing on December 18, the new campaign is yet another tribute to supermodel-dom as the images by Steven Meisel are fronted by @iamnaomicampbell, @cturlington, @gisele and more. #wwdfashion
Four-time Oscar-nominated actress Annette Bening has been waiting 20 years to play Gloria Graham in "Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool," which will be released on December 29. The movie about Graham – a Hollywood star known for her controversial relationship with a younger Englishman named Peter Turner – is based off a memoir Turned wrote. "She felt vulnerable to him, because she loved him, she really did love him. And anyone that we really truly are in love with, we re vulnerable to in a very deep way," said Bening. Read our full interview with the modern icon of an actress on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @ninebagatelles; Styled by @cristinaehrlich)
The crisp white button down: a staple that can be dressed up or down and accessorized throughout the decades. Here, on a Art Basel-goer in 2017 on the left and on the iconic Audrey Hepburn in “Roman Holiday” in 1953 on the right. #tbt #wwdfashion (📷: Andrew Morales)
Known for her work with @victoriassecret, 25-year-old model @georgiafowler is raising her profile in Hollywood. Fowler stars in @vincecamuto’s holiday campaign, which launched in partnership with “Pitch Perfect 3.” “Almost every shoot with Vince Camuto, I’ve had to face a fear…It was definitely a challenge. I’m so grateful for it, though. I’ve always wanted to be a pop star, so that was the perfect chance,” Fowler said. Head to WWD.com to read about Fowler’s experience modeling, including at the #VSFashionShow, and her relationship with Nick Jonas. #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
EXCLUSIVE: Huda Kattan just became the first beauty influencer to land a major beauty deal. Kattan's business, @hudabeauty, has received a minority investment from private equity firm TSG Consumer Partners. The brand, which industry sources say is on track to do $200 million in retail sales for 2017, will receive support on product, retail and geographic expansion through the deal. Get all the details on the deal and read @_a_collins' interview with Kattan on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdbeauty #wwdnews
Peruvian model @juanaburga_official – who is known for walking the runways of @rodarte, @viviennewestwood and @torybuch – is making the move to the big screen with drama “Los Últimos.” The film premiered in Argentina in November and arrives in the U.S. and Europe in 2018. On making the switch from modeling to acting, Burga told WWD: “It’s a completely different thing – a lot of people think it’s similar or try to connect things, especially like getting used to the camera or being looked at all the time or playing these different characrers, but film is a completely different story.” #wwdeye (📷: @jgreenery)
London’s newly opened @designmuseum will look back on the life and work of Azzedine Alaïa in a show that the designer helped to curate before he died of heart failure last month. The retrospective, which Alaïa had worked on with Mark Wilson, chief curator of the @groningermuseum, will look at the impact of his work worldwide. The show, “Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier,” will run from May 10 to October 7. Read more about the exhibit on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @zefashioninsider)