Resorts World Las Vegas, Steelman Partners

Steelman Partners says it’s seeing a boom in demand for architecture services in the gaming industry post-pandemic, although Asia is lagging in terms of recovery.

Speaking to ICE 365, ICE London’s live broadcast studio, CEO Paul Steelman said Covid had initially stalled demand, with 16 of its projects put on hold in early 2020. Now Covid is fuelling a boom.

“All of a sudden the casinos are doing remarkable,” he said. “We’ve come out and everyone has said let’s go. We’re seeing more business and more innovative ideas than ever.”

He said demand for luxury tourism had been particularly strong. 

In terms of casino design, Steelman said Covid had given a further push to a trend that was already occurring, which was to move casinos away from a dark room, nighttime feel to be more external facing.

He said the company had just completed a project in Arizona, which makes a feature of large windows looking out onto gardens and the mountains in the distance. 

“We feel the casino should be open to the outside,” he said. 

Speaking in a separate address on Monday at the ICE International Casino Conference, Steelman spoke about the importance of lighting and its ability to help to generate further revenue. 

The company helped to redesign Galaxy Entertainment’s Starworld Property in Macau, introducing a brighter interior with more innovative lighting. He said the changes had helped to boost revenue by 35 percent. 

Steelman said all of the properties in Las Vegas have their own look and feel. They follow the same underlying design principles, but all explore to some level.

“You need to have an immediate reaction and create something that is different from the next guy if you want to differentiate yourself,” he said, warning that the formula for success changes every day.

Steelman is behind multiple projects in Asia, including Bloomberry Resorts’ Solaire Resort & Casino in the Philippines, as well as the upcoming Emerald Bay on Cebu. It has designed NagaCorp’s Naga Phase 2 and 3 in Cambodia and the Grand Ho Tram in Vietnam, to name but a few.