Quantcast

How Margaritaville impacted riverboat gaming market in its first - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

How Margaritaville impacted riverboat gaming market in its first 6 months

Posted: Updated:
BOSSIER CITY, La. (KTBS) -

Six months ago the Shreveport-Bossier riverboat gaming market expanded with a new casino on the Red River.

Before the building went up, before the dirt was even turned, Margaritaville developer William Trotter made a strong statement.

"We're going to bring in seven million people to this spot right here," Trotter told former KTBS anchor Ed Walsh in 2011. "So if you add our numbers to their numbers, that's 13 to 14 million people here over a 12 month period."

Because Margaritaville opened in the middle of June, we only have five and a half months of admission numbers from the State Police. But is Margaritaville on the right track?

Since it opened, more than 1.1 million people walked into Margaritaville's casino. That's just 16 percent of the 7 million Trotter predicted, not even close to half way.

As for a combined total, over the same six months a little more than 5 million people entered all six boats on the Red River. Still really far from the 13 million Trotter said would come in a year's time.

But Barry Regula, Margaritaville General Manager, is satisfied with the numbers so far.

"We're able to help grow the market seven percent, which is not where we'd like to be but it's well on its way to what we're hoping to accomplish," he said. "So we're very pleased with the great reception we've had to the opening of our property."

Regula means the market grew seven percent over the same time period in 2012. But for the 2013 calendar year, the market has only grown 2 percent.

"We saw quite a few local people when we initially opened, but we also saw people from regional destinations—Dallas, Little Rock, Houston, Waco, Collin, College Station," Regula said. "People who had not been in the market for several years."

Margaritaville's strongest months in attendance were right after it opened, but it is still second place to Eldorado each month except August when it had the most people playing there.

"Usually the new casino, particularly if it's a new casino with a marquee-type name like Margaritaville, probably for the first year- year and a half is going to be the big player in the market," said Dr. David Hoaas, an economy professor at Centenary.

Hoaas said he expected Margaritaville to perform better in the first six months. He did predict that the other boats would lose players when it first opened, and they did—but now the numbers seem to be leveling off.

"The individuals going to our casinos are much more of a local market than I expected," said Hoaas. "After they've checked it out, after they've seen it, they've gone back to their kind of usual gaming locations."

Not what Trotter said would happen in 2011.

"We're not going to take from their pie," he said. "What we're gonna do, we're gonna grow this market by 12.5 percent."

"They're going to need to attract more people form outside this area," said Hoaas. "They're going to have to spend some marketing dollars elsewhere. They're going to have to get more opportunities for people to do things."

And Regula recognizes that. He said Margaritaville is still on the upward slope. They continue to rev up their advertising in other markets as well as plans for the future.

"Look for more headline entertainment," he said. "Look for more things that focus on the pool and our outdoor dining venue. Look for more specials and events running out of our Margaritaville restaurant."

Regula said the company looks to develop the land around the casino to bring even more options to the area.

That's exactly what Hoaas said the gaming market needs in order to continue to grow.

"Once we have some type of opportunity for families to bring their children here, whereby the parents can do gaming and the children can do something else, like a water park or something like that," Hoaas said. "I think that's really the next step to have any type of large increases in this particular market."

The Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourism Bureau is conducting its own study on Margaritaville's impact on the market in its first six months. That information should be released at the end of this month.

RELATED ARTICLE: New casino boat bound to make waves in the market (June 2013)

  • ArkLaTex SlideshowsMore>>

  • ArkLaTex Adoptable Pets

    ArkLaTex Adoptable Pets

    Friday, August 29 2014 6:12 PM EDT2014-08-29 22:12:16 GMT
    There are lots of animals in the Ark-La-Tex who are looking for that perfect home.
    There are lots of animals in the Ark-La-Tex who are looking for that perfect home.
  • KTBS 3 Viewer's Pets

    KTBS 3 Viewer's Pets

    Thursday, August 28 2014 7:00 PM EDT2014-08-28 23:00:16 GMT
    Viewer's petsViewer's pets
    Viewer's pets
    Viewer's pets
  • Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services Adoptable Children

    Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services Adoptable Children

    Thursday, August 28 2014 6:44 PM EDT2014-08-28 22:44:11 GMT
    DJanaeDJanae
    Foster/Adoption Parenting Minimum Qualifications and Steps to Certification Minimum Qualifications for Certification.
    Foster/Adoption Parenting Minimum Qualifications and Steps to Certification Minimum Qualifications for Certification.
  • Assignment EducationMore>>

  • Pilot program through Volunteers of America works to prevent drop-outs in local schools

    Pilot program through Volunteers of America works to prevent drop-outs in local schools

    Sunday, August 31 2014 7:48 AM EDT2014-08-31 11:48:45 GMT
    (Photo source: Volunteers of America)(Photo source: Volunteers of America)
    Education and skills training beyond high school isn't even a consideration for a startling number of students.
    Education and skills training beyond high school isn't even a consideration for a startling number of students.
  • Anna P. Tooke Memorial Library taking shape in South Bossier Parish

    Anna P. Tooke Memorial Library taking shape in South Bossier Parish

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 10:27 PM EDT2014-08-28 02:27:55 GMT
    Anna P. Tooke Memorial Library (Photo source: Prevot Design Services)Anna P. Tooke Memorial Library (Photo source: Prevot Design Services)
    It's Bossier Parish's smallest library branch. Originally just a bookmobile, this 12 x 30 foot temporary metal building has been the Koran community's only branch since 1977.
    It's Bossier Parish's smallest library branch. Originally just a bookmobile, this 12 x 30 foot temporary metal building has been the Koran community's only branch since 1977.
  • Family mourns loss of Natchitoches teen

    Family mourns loss of Natchitoches teen

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 7:53 PM EDT2014-08-27 23:53:10 GMT
    18-year-old Johnquaries Smith was a high school senior at Natchitoches Central High school.He died Tuesday after he was punched by another student on campus.
    18-year-old Johnquaries Smith was a high school senior at Natchitoches Central High school.He died Tuesday after he was punched by another student on campus.
  • KTBS 3 News Tips

    Send your news tip or story idea to the KTBS 3 Newsroom.  Enter your email address below to get started.

    * denotes required fields
    We're sorry, but only one entry is allowed per person.
    Thank you for your continued interest.

    Thank you for your submission to KTBS 3 News.  A member of our staff may contact you for more information.

Share Your Images
Powered by WorldNow
    Powered by WorldNow
    All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and KTBS. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.
    Advertising | EEO Public File | KTBS 3 Public File | KPXJ 21 Public File