Mike Peña, Director of Pool Operations at Circa Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, knows his way around a casino opening. Each one, he says, comes with a unique set of challenges, but opening Circa during a pandemic was new territory.
“It was chaotic, to say the least,” he says. Between an unexpected, accelerated timeline for completing the project and juggling all the rules and regulations put in place in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, things became quite complicated, but, he says, “we made it happen.”
Overcoming COVID-related Challenges
Making it happen meant navigating uncharted waters in terms of guest expectations. Would guests want to come out during a pandemic? What could Circa do to ensure a safe, seamless guest experience despite the very real barriers presented by COVID restrictions?
Peña credits Circa’s partnership with UrVenue for much of the success the resort has enjoyed since opening earlier this year, despite the pandemic. Benefits like online booking have made it simple for guests and staff to safely navigate personalized, memorable experiences.
A VIP Guest Experience that Starts at the Booking Stage
Guests say this experience is much better than the typical restaurant reservation experience, where they could be seated anywhere and often have no choice in the matter.
“Before they even set foot in the venue, they’re already excited about it. They’ve taken the 3-D tour, and they know exactly what their vantage point will look like from their cabana.”Mike Peña, Director of Pool Operations at Circa Resort & Casino in Las Vegas
“It’s very user-friendly,” he says. “Guests can select the location and choose their venue experience.”
Peña says the UrVenue platform has helped Circa create VIP-level experiences for all guests: guaranteed reservations, knowing exactly where they’ll sit, and feeling like they are part of the experience before they even arrive.
“One of the frequent comments we get is about the site’s usability and how we’re able to incorporate these 360-degree view links,” Peña says. “You’re picking exactly where you want to be when you come and visit us. The guest can take a virtual tour of the venue.”
On the operational side, Peña says, UrVenue has been “super helpful” because the platform streamlines the process of room management.
“You can see what’s open, what’s not and where your reservations are. Then, when they arrive, we can quickly seat them, get them settled, and hand them off to the cocktail server. It’s really seamless and easy.”
UrVenue has helped Circa maximize all of Stadium Swim’s real estate and revenue.
“One of the most powerful tools we have through UrVenue is our ability to control the pricing of our inventory and yield it appropriately, based on how much we’re selling, We can take a strategic look at cabana rentals based on metrics, which allows us to set the right prices to maximize our revenue opportunities.”
UrVenue Stands Out in the Online Reservation Field
UrVenue offers features Peña notes are lacking from competitor offerings. The platform goes beyond serving as a basic restaurant reservation tool, a difference that has made it ideal for Peña’s Stadium Swim venue. “We’re not just putting people in chairs,” he explains. “We’re strategically choosing how and where to place things, and UrVenue makes that possible.”
Throughout his many years of experience, Peña has witnessed an evolving tech landscape. Where technology may have played a role in bookings and the guest experience at one time, today it is front and center.
“What’s great for guests is that they can secure experiences resort-wide, from the Sportsbook to the pool to making a bar reservation.”
He likens UrVenue to the services a guest might receive from a concierge. “The one-stop-shop model is definitely important,” he says. “What’s great for guests is that they can secure experiences resort-wide, from the Sportsbook to the pool to making a bar reservation.”
Putting UrVenue to the Test
Peña says the Circa team wouldn’t have been able to successfully open during the pandemic and to meet an unexpected November surge without UrVenue. “Nobody could have prepared for 75 degrees in the middle of November in Las Vegas,” he explains. “We ended up being way busier than anticipated and UrVenue helped us manage our 360 pieces of individual real estate.”
“Before they even set foot in the venue, they’re already excited about it,” he says. “They’ve taken the 3-D tour, and they know exactly what their vantage point will look like from their cabana.”
Without the platform, Peña says, it would have been a frustrating, chaotic task trying to figure out how to manage the flow and capture the unexpected business. Now that the platform has been put to the test, he is confident the Circa team will continue meeting and exceeding guest expectations and behind-the-scenes operational activities.
“UrVenue has played an integral role in Stadium Swim,” he says. “Without it, we wouldn’t be able to run our business because we would have no visibility into what’s going on, reservation-wise.”
UrVenue is the leading hospitality technology platform that powers commerce, enhances the guest experience, and monetizes resort real estate by leveraging non-room inventory across all customer touchpoints in the booking and in-stay journey. UrVenue maximizes revenue-per-available-customer with its advanced booking, ticketing and presale platform built for hospitality venues: nightclubs and day clubs, restaurants and lounges, resort pools and beaches, sportsbooks, spas, special events, small group meeting rooms, recreation services, bundled experiences and more.
Since 2011, UrVenue’s scalable enterprise technology has been the trusted industry standard for clients ranging from independent venue operators to global hospitality, entertainment and gaming organizations including Wynn Resorts, MGM Resorts International, Caesars Entertainment, Tao Group, Bagatelle and Okada. Request a demo to learn more about UrVenue solutions for hospitality.