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Agencies Scout Tropics

LOS ANGELES-Agencies may soon be able to pick up their own piece of paradise in two separate vacation destination reviews.
Circus Circus Enterprises is in the midst of a search for an agency to handle the launch of its newest Las Vegas hotel and casino, Mandalay Bay, according to John Marz, the company’s corporate vice president of marketing. Billings are expected to be in the $20-30 million range, according to industry estimates. The client declined to comment on billings or specifically name the shops in the review.
The contender list for the luxury, tropical-themed resort, set to open on the Las Vegas Strip in early 1999, has been narrowed to several Southern California shops, according to Marz. Travel, tourism and entertainment experience is important, he said.
The client has had “in-depth conversations” with the shops, and a winner could be announced as soon as this week, Marz said. The selected agency will handle both the creative and media portions of the account.
Marz joined Circus Circus last month from DRGM, a Las Vegas agency that handles advertising for the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino. He had served as DRGM’s president and chief operating officer. Mandalay Bay vice president of marketing Jack Leone, who joined the casino last month from MGM, is assisting Marz with the review.
Separately, Tahiti Tourisme in El Segundo, Calif., formerly the Tahiti Board of Tourism, has begun an agency review for its estimated $2 million creative and media account. Consultant Bob Mathes in Boulder, Colo., confirmed that he has compiled a list of about five contenders in the Los Angeles area.
Incumbent agency The Phelps Group in Santa Monica, Calif., which has handled the account since 1991, is defending the business, according to the consultant. -with Angela Dawson