Let’s Hear 12,000 Hearts Beating

Let's hear 12,000 hearts beating this November

Dear Ravers,

Since 2016 we’ve been sharing with you a program called NB3FIT Week. From November 5-12, 2018, the goal is to get kids across Indian country MOVING. It’s pretty simple: Native-led organizations, businesses, urban Indian centers, schools and groups are asked to host a physical activity, fitness and/or health awareness event during this week.  WHY NOT YOUR ORGANIZATION? And if you’re a supplier to the industry, you can get involved as well!

In 2017, NB3FIT WEEK engaged over 10,000 Native youth through 91 registered sites and over 130 physical activity and health-centered events in 21 states! The goal this year, 12,000 kids!

It doesn’t have to be a ton of work – think run/walk, obstacle course, class taught by a local martial arts studio or local sports team. The goal, is to show kids that moving is fun. To show communities how to easily integrate more physical activity. To inspire kids that may not particularly enjoy fitness that it can be fun. Because Native Americans are at risk and change can start by something as simple as an activity at NB3FIT Week.

Want to get involved?

  1. As a Native-led organization consider doing an activity this year (or pass it on to someone who will take the ball and run with it). To find out more and register your event go to http://www.nb3foundation.org/nb3fit-week/
  1. As a gaming vendor you can be a sponsor or donate directly to NB3 Foundation. Contact Cyanne Lujan at [email protected] or 505-867-0775 ext. 101.  We’ve all heard that one person can make a difference, well, one dollar can as well.  Your sponsorship not only helps with materials and signage for the organizations participating, but also goes into the overall grant fund. Donations have helped Tribal organizations do so much important work, but here’s a few that we all can get our heads around (as we were all kids once, right?):
  • Repave outdoor basketball courts
  • Replace worn equipment (dead basketballs, ripped nets, bats and baseballs)
  • Start new after-school activity programs for latch key kids
  • Offer clean water and healthy snacks
  • Provide fresh vegetables through community gardens

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Taking the Heat This Labor Day

By Chris Faria, Raving VP of Marketing

For many of you folks in the casino industry, Labor Day isn’t a day off, as you’re entertaining and servicing guests at your casinos today.  Whether you have the day off or not, most of us are lucky not to be out in the heat. Let’s give a shout out to those folks that make our worlds go round, by laboring for us outside laying asphalt, picking produce, fighting fires. Hopefully they’re relaxing in your casino today – you’ll recognize them by their sunburned faces, their beat up hands, and the grease underneath their fingernails that just won’t come off.

It’s been a helluva’ summer, especially out here in the West. This past August in California and Nevada there have been over 20 active fires wind distance from Reno. We’ve lost over 10 firefighters according to FEMA; there’s no recording agency for laborers or other workers that died from the heat or smoke.

In Reno, we finally saw blue skies after weeks of smoke so thick we couldn’t see the Sierra Nevada Mountains surrounding us.  You could've mistaken our view for the flat plains of the Midwest, and as soon as you'd go outside, you’re hit with the smell of smoke. The view is not important, you know what this means:  families have lost loved ones, their homes, and for local economies, it’s been devastating. And let’s not forget the health of our workers.

Here in Reno as in other parts of the country, our construction workers have been out in over 100 degree temperatures with air quality ratings in the UNHEALTHY range. My husband is one of them. You think you’ve got OSHA to protect you? Nah, the job must go on. Wear masks? Not happening.

So, hey, we all have choices, right? My husband chose not to go to college and enter into a trade.

Someone’s got to do it, right?

Labor is what makes the world go round … but who wants to do it?  Not high school students. In a recent survey, “A scant 6 percent of high school students hope to have a future career in the skilled trades – defined as plumbers, carpenters, electricians, heating, ventilation or air conditioning installers, or repair people.”

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What Your Hosts Are Telling Us

By Chris Faria, Raving VP of Marketing

Last week,  we conducted our annual Host Development Conference at Caesars Palace, which preceded the Casino Marketing & Technology Conference. If you’re not familiar with the program, we develop it every year for the team at BNP Media/Casino Journal; it’s been an industry mainstay for since 2005 with learning appropriate for newbies to experienced hosts. The essence of the program: train your PD team to be an elite sales force, not a guest service fulfillment department.

We set the stage for the entire program, using pre-collected survey data from registered conference attendees. This ensured that what’s top of mind and relevant for attendees was addressed and weaved throughout the program.

A profile of the respondents

  • The largest percentage of attendees/survey respondents were in their current positions for less than five years.
  • These attendees represented commercial, tribal, and cruise line programs from U.S., Canada and overseas who were just starting a host program or expanding/revamping their current player development programs.
  • The majority of titles were those associated with the Player Development department including entry, mid and senior-level positions such as Executive Host, VIP Manager, Players Club Manager and Directors.

What did player development specialists tell us?

The two questions that gave us the most revealing information about what our PD folks are facing:

When asked what the top three issues that are facing their properties, the answers were:

  1. Lack of qualified staff
  2. Lack of amenities (tied with #1)
  3. Competition

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Mid-Century 4th of July – Remember When

By Chris Faria, Raving VP of Marketing

Last month my husband and I picked up a 1966 Apache Eagle Tent Trailer to tow behind our 1974 VW Thing. We’ll be using it for weekend camping, as well as taking it to “vintage” trailer shows. At these events, you “stage” your campsite and your trailer with all period pieces. For us, that would be those old green Coleman coolers; aluminum webbed lawn chairs, our brown sleeping bags with the cowboy yellow flannel inside and Melamine dishes. (I do understand that some younger readers may not know what these things are).

To prepare, I’ve been looking through my own hand-me-down camping gear and searching antique stores and eBay. It’s put me in a bit of a melancholy mood … to know that the year I was born classifies me as vintage. And that common household items I grew up with are now hotly marketed as “mid-century” and are sold at premium prices.

So, in this reflective mood, I thought about this annual holiday piece I write. Fourth of July, for most of us in the U.S., is traditional … and betcha’, the menu and the activities haven’t changed much in the last several decades, with the exception of bans on fireworks in Western states.

I was wondering too, if Fourth of July is celebrated differently in, say, the land of our English forefathers compared to what I experienced growing up in California. I reached out to former Reno gaming reporter and good friend Tom Walsh, a Philly born and raised writer, on his thoughts.

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What David Bowie and Casinos Have in Common

WHAT DAVID BOWIE AND CASINOS HAVE IN COMMON

By Chris Faria, Raving VP of Marketing

The other day I watched "David Bowie: The Last Five Years." At the end, I turned to my husband of almost 30 years and confessed. See, when I was in high school, I was really into modern-rock, and Bowie's album "Let's Dance" (1983) was a staple in my record collection along with Adam Ant, the Cure, Talking Heads, etc.

Where's the shame?

I didn't know that he was THE Ziggy Stardust and I had just “discovered” him on his FIFTEENTH album.

This is almost as bad as thinking that Led Zeppelin was the name of a real person (I’m not admitting to this).

Okay, sure, I knew he had been around "for a bit" – but for my friends and me, his current music was most relevant. He looked like us; we dressed like him and we loved that Robert Palmer look and his hair. Ziggy, just too weird.

Go ahead, send me hate mail and tell me how shallow I was.

So really Chris, you ask, what does this have to do with casinos?

Well, we talk a lot about connecting with our customers now and those of tomorrow. Boss lady Deana wrote an article about how the 50-something woman is YOUR customer. We've talked and debated to exhaustion about how millennials are our future customers. Still, with this awareness, we continue to launch new brands that don’t exactly match up with our clientele. We build attractions that don’t fit the bill.

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Supporting Indian Gaming – the Raving NIGA Wrap-Up

HOW LAUGHTER BRINGS US TOGETHER

A star-studded guest list including Notah Begay III, Chairman Ernie Stevens, Jr., A.C. Green and tribal leaders and casino executives throughout the country came together for a night of laughter benefiting the NB3 Foundation.

The Indian Gaming Tradeshow & Convention (NIGA), the largest gathering of tribal leaders and casino executives in the country, was held for the first time in Las Vegas. This provided an opportunity for Raving to hold their 4th Annual Native Strong Comedy Slam at a spectacular venue: The Smith Center.

Myron’s Cabaret Jazz was loud with laughter with over 140 guests. The night kicked off with a heartfelt welcome and message from Chairman Ernie Stevens, Jr. of NIGA and Notah Begay III and was followed by Native American comics, Ernie Tsosie, headliner Howie Miller and our long-time event host Larry Omaha. Each year Raving Entertainment Partner, Kell Houston, is tasked with the lineup instructions: must be Native American, incredibly funny, and oh yeah, work for peanuts as this is for a charity event. Once again, he nailed it!

The event benefits the Notah Begay III Foundation and its critical work addressing obesity and type 2 diabetes amongst Native American youth. Chairman Ernie Stevens, Jr. announced “The message is clear. We have to have a healthier Native American community. It’s more than just getting away from alcohol, drugs and violence. We have to spread the message that we can do better.”
 
Raving CEO Deana Scott shared, “The Comedy Slam is where it always comes together for me – there’s nothing like shared laughter. I leave more determined and more connected to why we’re in this business. This event brings together Tribal leaders and gaming executives that are so passionate and dedicated to the success of Indian gaming and to a better future for generations to come. I can’t thank our supporters enough.”

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Raving’s Solutions Magazine April 2018 Issue

Your New Raving Strategic Solutions Magazine has arrived!

Check out what's inside!

DOWNLOAD/PRINT THE PDF

Will you be attending NIGA? Pick up your free copy of the magazine at our booth (#927) and join us at the fourth annual Native Strong Comedy Slam on April 19 - learn more about this fundraising event on page 20.

From your favorite columnists:
 

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Raving’s Solutions Magazine January 2018 Issue

Your New Raving Strategic Solutions Magazine has arrived!

Check out what's inside!

DOWNLOAD/PRINT THE PDF

Are you joining the Raving team at the end of the month in Durant, OK for the 20th National Indian Gaming Analytics & Marketing Conference? Be sure to pick up your free copy of the magazine at registration! 

From your favorite columnists:
 

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Who’s in that Santa Suit?

By Chris Faria, Raving VP of Marketing
Hey Ravers! It’s been awhile -- I’ve missed writing to you about all those things that inspire and challenge us outside of work.

See, it’s been a little crazy around here …

Just a little over a year ago, our team was having our annual holiday dinner here in Reno. It was snowing and the roads were very icy. We had just started on our appetizers when Santa and an elf came walking through the door.

Backstory – for many years, Dennis dressed as Santa and played our zany host until he got too hot and had to take the get-up off. But not this year.

This “new” Santa was Deana Scott and the elf, Brady Scott. They made it through a blizzard (without the aid of Rudolph) from their home in Oregon. This is how the team found out that Deana was our new CEO and Raving’s future owner. Dennis thought it would be a great surprise. Well, he was right. We had heard conversations, but we didn’t know it was a done deal.

There was a new Santa in town.

Now, twelve months later, Raving is a Native-owned company. Brady, a Coquille Tribal member, brings not only his culture to us, but together with Deana, they add a wealth of experience in Tribal economic development. During these last several months we have expanded our services to not only commercial casinos, but we’re working on more ways to assist Tribes in ways that Raving hasn’t done before. This old dog is learning a lot of new things.

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Raving’s Solutions Magazine October 2017 Issue

October Raving Strategic Solutions Magazine 2017Your New Raving Strategic Solutions Magazine has arrived!

Check out what's inside!

DOWNLOAD/PRINT THE PDF

If you're interested in a printed copy of the magazine, fresh off the press thanks to our partners at CSG Direct, email us today [email protected] and will get a complimentary copy in the mail to you!

From your favorite columnists:
 

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