Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort is a 1,100 room success story in the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina. The property is a popular drive-to destination for markets that include Atlanta, Asheville, Charlotte, Knoxville and Winston-Salem. The original casino opened in 1997 and Rainmaker’s revenue management system was installed in 1999.
The first 252-room hotel tower at Harrah’s Cherokee was soon followed by a second 324-room tower in 2005. Even with the additional rooms, Jeremiah Wiggins, the property’s director of planning and analysis, said, “In 2007, our resort was running at 101% occupancy, with most rooms comped to high-end gamers. An analysis of our demand using Rainmaker’s revenue management system revealed that we were denying nearly 10,000 room requests a month.” A more compelling statistic was that only one-third of the denied gamers had visited the casino. “The other two-thirds of the denials were lost business to us and the local market,” said Wiggins. Based on these numbers, the Cherokee team determined it was time to consider another expansion.
The leaders of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation, which owns Harrah’s Cherokee, insisted that any expansion plan encompass only enough rooms, slots, parking, restaurants, and amenities to turn a profit without creating excess inventory. The stakes were high for the property’s possible capital expansion. The project would be costly, and since property revenue funds the Eastern Band’s school systems, hospitals, law enforcement, and other tribal services, the decision would impact the entire community. Leaders needed to base the decision on reliable financial forecasting.
Read how Rainmaker's guestrev helped improve forecasting needs for Harrah's by downloading the full case study below.