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MGM Grand at Foxwoods Taps SK+G

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LOS ANGELES SK+G has landed agency duties for the upcoming MGM Grand at Foxwoods, according to John Schadler, managing partner.

The resort, intended to cater to residents of the New York-Hartford, Conn.-Boston corridor, is expected to open next summer.

The Las Vegas agency has experience on both the MGM Grand in Vegas and on the MGM Mirage, Schadler said. "Our association with the brand will bring a different level of experience to the Foxwoods property," he said.

Horizon Media plans and buys media, with SK+G picking up some planning duties.

Schadler said the alliance between brand name hotels and other entertainment or gambling entities adds a differentiator to the overall offering. "Foxwoods didn't just add another hotel tower, but associated itself with another brand with its own identity," he said. "This is happening throughout the gaming industry: Known brands [like MGM] have become important adjunct partners to existing complexes; for instance, Mandalay Bay and the Four Seasons in Vegas. The associations offer a different profile product to a different customer set."

Schadler said hotel properties such as MGM are "breaking away from themed positions such as 'entertainment superstore' and marketing fine dining, retail experiences and superior accommodations." He said that at the Foxwoods facility in Connecticut "non-gaming related amenities are becoming a more important part of the experience."

The marketing of MGM at Foxwoods would not be a "duplicate effort," Schadler said. "Obviously, it's a different market and scenario, but the basic tenets of the brand will be looked at."

In addition to the cross-country win, business in Vegas is also "robust," said Schadler, who in New York oversaw marketing for Vegas developer Steve Wynn's enterprises.

The August Entrepreneur magazine ranks SK+G No. 200 on its "Hot 500" of the fasting-growing American businesses, Schadler said. "Every time I say the [Vegas] market can't keep growing at this pace I'm wrong," he said. "We continue to grow brands, expand franchises and infrastructure."