Saturday, October 28, 2017

Balancing profitability with good taste and media impact, what would you do with Mandalay Bay room 135 floor 32 if managing the hotel were your job?

That room probably no longer exists, as of right now.

Once investigators no longer need to preserve it as a crime scene, and they turn it back over to the hotel management, the knocked-out curtain wall windows would be repaired, and that room -- actually a suite with a conventional room connecting -- would be permanently removed from the room inventory of the hotel, and that space would be completely repurposed.

File storage space is a possibility — and for the near future, if that space is used at all, the most likely one. Provided that it's strictly back office space where no visitors doing business with the hotel would be asked to enter, sales department or comptroller space is also a possibility. Security department use is a possibility.

Whatever its eventual use, it's going to be strictly back office or corporate space for MGM Resorts International (which owns Mandalay Bay and several other casino hotels, and can probably find some corporate use for the space not directly related to the operation of the Mandalay Bay itself), and the doorways leading into it from the corridor will be painted over to make the entrance as nondescript and unnoticeable as possible, much the same way as the door from the corridor to a utility closet or housekeeping area would be.

And the space would probably stand empty for a year or two before even staff would be comfortable being assigned workspace in it. Would you be comfortable having yourdesk moved to that spot?

That space certainly has no future as a guest room. I can't imagine anyone ever wanting to be registered into it as a guest (actually, yes I can, but only the sick kind of person you wouldn't want in the hotel, period), and I don't think a permanent monument would be viable.

It wouldn't surprise me at all to see that entire 32nd floor corridor sealed off for a couple of years, until the disturbance has passed somewhat, and memories start to fade. And when it reopened, I would expect to see all of the rooms on that floor having been totally gutted and renovated, and looking very different from the way they do now.

This would, of course, occur at the same time that the rooms in several other floors immediately above and/or below are redecorated and renovated (in a good hotel, you have to do that with the rooms every five years or so), so as to draw as little attention as possible to the reopening of that particular floor.

Profitability of the guest rooms in a casino hotel is quite often not as much of a factor in its successful operation as we might think, at least not in the same sense as it would be at a hotel that's in business strictly as a hotel. The business of a casino hotel is to operate a casino, not a hotel. Everything else that's on the site, the restaurant, the lounges, the shops, the floor shows; is there to support that. The rooms exist at all -- indeed the hotel exists at all -- only to put gamblers up for the night and keep them comfortably on the site of the casino for as long as possible. That's why, in some of the larger, older, more dated casino hotels, you can see rooms renting for under fifty bucks a night: between resort fees and the money you're putting down at the tables or into the slot machines every night, you're making it up to them and their costs are covered if you stay in one. Mandalay Bay can probably afford to close off that floor for a while.

As far as good taste goes, I've seen the tacky “only in Vegas” decor of some of the rooms on that floor prior to the shooting (Purple Corinthian columns? In the room?), and I don't exactly consider the exterior of Mandalay Bay to be an architectural gem on a good day (Wynn, by contrast, is pretty classy), so we're not going to go too far there. And as far as media impact goes, right now Mandalay Bay is in as bad a shape as they can possibly get just because of the mere fact that the shooting occurred from that particular hotel. And it'll take some highly-skilled public relations over the next few years to recover from that. (So far, to give them credit, they seem to have that handled as well as you can hope for.) For now, the only way it can get any worse is to have someone capable of Donald Trump or Anthony Scaramucci-sized gaffes doing their PR for them.

But one thing I do understand about people who gamble, is that they're superstitious and don't like courting bad luck. I can't imagine one wanting to be registered as a guest anywhere near that hotel room for a long time to come. And any good casino manager is going to realize this. Meanwhile, as far as curiosity seekers go, security's not even going to want them in the building.

No one's going to get much use out of the 32nd floor of Mandalay Bay for quite some time.

'The room disappears': Here's what experts say Mandalay Bay will most likely do with the shooter's hotel suite

Mandalay Bay won’t rent Vegas shooter’s infamous suite again

Originally appeared on Quora

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