Considering Price Over Value

Recently, in a dinner conversation, the following question was posed.  “If you could have a room at the Bellagio or a room at the Circus Circus, which would you choose and why?”  Interesting question, and perhaps even more insightful were the answers provided.  We thought we would share the conversation and how it applies to our industry.

The first dinner guest was quick to chime in.  “Well, Bellagio, of course.”  When prompted, he discussed the benefits of choosing Bellagio.  First, the name itself is comforting.  It is a brand, and it is well known.  The amenities are refined, and you are guaranteed to be well-treated.  You can situate yourself in luxury, it’s easy on the eyes.  The people are generally happier, and the setting is serene.  You can relax and enjoy the moment.

These refrains were echoed by additional dinner guests.  Some adding in that at the Bellagio, you could expect to be professionally greeted, that they had water waiting for guests upon check-in.  That there was thought given to their first impression, and that they placed an importance on service.  Another talked about the appointments of the casino and how no detail was overlooked- down to the branding and the logo.  “They are so proud of what they built that they stamped their name on it.  They are not afraid to tell you who they are.”  Another guest pointed out the fountains- and how with Bellagio, they don’t want you to just be entertained, they want you to “be dazzled”.

The conversation then moved on to the Circus Circus.  One dinner guest mentioned that they would consider this as a first option- because in their opinion, their money would be stretched farther.  With lower table minimums, they could play longer.  With less pricey meals, they had greater budget flexibility to buy desserts with their meals.  They were okay with a compromise of quality in exchange for a monetary savings.

It was at that point that a different dinner guest, a man of few words, opined the following sentence.  “What if your perception of these benefits at Circus Circus is wrong?”  Everyone turned to listen more intently.  “I’ll give you an example”, he said.  “Having been to Circus Circus, I’ve seen the crowds.  It is a misconception to believe that you can get on a $5.00 table that readily.  See, they may advertise a $5.00 table, but there are only a few available.  Often there is a wait for them.”  This brought up a great point and turned the entire direction of the conversation to this one point.  Is perception of lower price inhibiting you from experiencing greater value?

Consider this- the person choosing the Circus Circus experience will most likely spend less money.  But will they waste more time?  Will they experience longer lines, less entertainment, and perhaps even never have the chance to play as they wanted?  Do they really save money if they do not have the experience they planned to have?  Is it worth it to spend a little more to be guaranteed an ability to play, to know that you will not experience some of the frustrations you would otherwise encounter with a budget provider, and to relax and enjoy the experience?

We do not intend to disparage the Circus Circus, by any means.  In fact, having recently played there, we found their dealers to be exceptionally friendly, their gaming to be as expected, and their guests seemed genuinely happy.  We use them as an example of a lower cost provider by comparison only.  We have tremendous respect for their Veteran’s Program, and they are a very family-friendly establishment.  Check out their Splash Zone if you have not done so already!

The point of sharing this conversation was to share insight in to what we learned.  Sometimes saving money does not equate to saving time.  Often we place an importance on price without considering value.  Aesthetics play an important role to many – and can bring about a more favorable experience.  Service is crucial, and making sure you are treated as a treasured guest is the best way an establishment can thank you for your patronage.  Consider these aspects when making your next consumer spending decision.  If you are choosing for a group- that is a tremendous responsibility.  Make sure your selection reflects the core values of your participants, and is not decided upon solely by cost basis.