As the clocks passed midnight and the celebrations commenced for the year 2000, the Mohegan Tribe took over management of the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville from a subsidiary of Kerzner International. This week saw the tribe launch of a $25 million advertising campaign to inform people that there is a whole world of entertainment on offer at the venue – ‘a world at play’. Entertainment is definitely the watchword for the casino industry these days, with more emphasis on leisure and less on gaming.
On another continent another Sun also shone when it came to advertising itself as a leisure destination. Sol Kerzner’s flagship casino, Sun City in South Africa, offered great golf, great restaurants, great shows, wildlife and water sports and was, and is - but now under a Sun International without Sol Kerzner - a popular family entertainment centre as well as a gambling paradise. A memorable ad campaign used the band Queen plus a cast of hundreds singing ‘We Will Rock You’.
The Mohegan Sun in Connecticut opened in October 1996 and completed a $1 billion expansion in June 2002. There is a 1,176-room luxury hotel on site, an arena with seating for 10,000, a cabaret theatre, 30 dining options, shops and boutiques, a convention centre and 300,000 sq ft of gaming floor. There is a fantastic 7-story waterfall at The Shops and a spectacular planetarium dome with ever-changing constellations above the Casino of the Sky. A second casino is called the Casino of the Earth.
Priding itself on being one of the most unique casinos in the world, there are further echoes of Sol Kerzner in the themed design. An expert in the concept, Kerzner has the Lost City at Sun City and the Atlantis, Paradise Island, as outstanding examples of his ability to provide ‘wow’ factor to his projects. Should he be successful in his bid to design a casino project for the Dome in London, the gaming industry and its patrons will be waiting in anticipation. In the meantime, the Mohegan Sun is continuing to attract customers to sample all there is on offer at the Uncasville location by its extensive advertising campaign. (E-01.17.05)
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