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The Extreme Casino Makeover

Chris Moore reflects on his expirences in the Casino industry during his time in the former Eastern Block.

If we look back to 2007, initial expansion started from the casino's then 43,000 sq ft, expanding it to over 115,000 sq ft followed by a further development that added 7,000 sq ft to provide a full service nonsmoking casino for guests, plus in 2010 the 108-room 160,000 sq ft hotel was added. That all added up to over 300,000 sq ft of entertainment fun and excitement, but you haven't stopped there – further development has been undertaken. Can you provide details on how the enterprise is operating in 2013/2014?

Valley View Casino & Hotel, San Diego's premier gaming destination, has redefined our award-winning casino experience with the unveiling of our Extreme Casino Makeover. The all-new Valley View Casino & Hotel has made casino history by undergoing a head-to-toe transformation that involved an estimated six months of remodeling work completed in just 11 days. Unlike most construction projects of this magnitude, Valley View Casino & Hotel's Extreme Casino Makeover was completed on an hour-to-hour schedule, 24 hours a day, with every minute counting toward the overall success.

Visitors to the all-new Valley View Casino & Hotel will enjoy new enhancements and amenities throughout our property with dozens of luxurious updates in place from floor to ceiling. Guests are welcomed into the all-new Valley View Casino & Hotel by a brand new, high tech video monument sign alongside the main road marking our casino entrance and highlighting all of the exciting promotions, events and giveaways happening inside. In our casino, all-new carpets have been installed, plush new seating has been added, the Players Clubs and VIP Lounge received a new look and more. Plus, all restrooms on our property have been updated with the addition of beautiful marble and granite. At the award-winning Buffet, an expansion was completed that offers even more room with additional seating for guests to enjoy endless Maine lobster every night and all day on weekends. Each hotel room in Valley View's 108-room boutique hotel has also been upgraded with an upscale redesign and luxurious new amenities. To top everything off, the hotel, parking garage and more have received stunning new paint jobs. All of these updates were made in addition to various behind-the-scenes improvements to help Valley View Casino & Hotel's team members continue to provide unparalleled service to all of our guests. 

At Valley View Casino & Hotel, we pride ourselves on making every interaction great and are taking this dedication to service to the next level in 2014 with new team member initiatives designed to make each and every guest feel at home. Our goal has always been to provide service that shines beyond what's expected to make each visitor to Valley View Casino & Hotel feel unique, comfortable and not only thrilled with San Diego's only Certified Loose slots, but also with their experience here at San Diego's Favorite casino.

Do you host slot tournaments?

Valley View Casino & Hotel hosts weekly slot tournaments during which qualified players compete for up to $10,000. Every week brings new thrills and more chances to win with exciting themed slot tournaments held on weekends. To learn how to qualify to participate, guests can visit our Valley View Casino & Hotel Players Club for the perks of membership and more. Signing up for San Diego's most generous Players Club is always quick, easy and free, plus new members enjoy a complimentary endless Maine Lobster Buffet just for joining.

Valley View Casino & Hotel is one California's most popular casino venues - what are the key factors in your opinion that contribute most to the operation's success in these competitive times that involve a whole host of entertainment and leisure alternatives?

Valley View Casino & Hotel is home to San Diego's only Certified Loose slots including 2,000 machines in every denomination. When new guests sign up for our Valley View Casino Players Club, they receive a complimentary endless Maine Lobster Buffet as our gift to them, plus guests can always expect VIP treatment and service that cannot be matched. Our seven award-winning dining options at Valley View Casino & Hotel span the globe as well as the flavor spectrum for a culinary experience that is sure to amaze. Whether they are looking for over 200 options in the world-renowned Buffet, the finest steak and seafood at Black&Blue Steakhouse or a fresh take on casual dining at BLD's, we have something to satisfy every appetite. In fact, Black&Blue Steakhouse is the only restaurant where guests can even win their surf & turf for free with Dining For Dollars – a unique card game played right at their table where the card they choose determines the price they pay for the gourmet surf & turf. Plus, at the all-new Valley View Casino & Hotel, there is so much to enjoy including all-new plush chairs and carpeting, exciting new promotions, the expanded famous Buffet, redesigned restrooms and so much more. To top it all off, Valley View Casino & Hotel is San Diego's Friendliest casino with service and attention to detail that cannot be matched. From our valet to the hosts in any of our restaurants to our enthusiastic promotions team and all of our 1,000 team members that make Valley View Casino & Hotel the destination for fun and excitement in San Diego, every guest interaction is truly exceptional and it's what keeps our loyal guests returning year after year.

Could you provide an insight into the organisation's approach to its rewards program? 

The Valley View Casino & Hotel Players Club is the key to taking one's casino experience to the next level. Each week brings more giveaways and more chances to win. Not only do new Players Club members get a free endless Maine Lobster Buffet just for joining, but signing up is quick, easy and free. We have a 4-tiered program that rewards everyone, including first time gamers enjoying their free Maine Lobster Buffet and swiping their Red Card to receive invitations to participate in exclusive slot tournaments, events and daily promotions. Our loyal Silver Card and Gold Card gamers like to visit Valley View Casino & Hotel a few times a month, earning free dining, slot play and hotel stays every time they use their Players Club card. Black Card guests enjoy stopping by once a week or more for the thrill of everything from Certified Loose slot machines and table games to big name concerts such as Jay Z, Cher, Kelly Clarkson, Bruno Mars and more. Plus, Black Card members can watch professional sports in style from our luxury suites at the Padres and Chargers games. We believe we have the most generous Players Club rewards program in all of California, which is why we have the highest percentage of players using their Players Club card in the state.

Entertainment is also a big factor with casinos – what are the facilities for staging concerts and do you provide a busy schedule of different entertainment and entertainers or do you have a number of regular resident singers and bands?

Live entertainment is featured nightly at our Main Stage Bar in the Main Casino. From DJs and live bands to radio broadcasts and action sports on our state-of-the-art LED video wall, there is something happening every night at Valley View Casino & Hotel. Plus, exclusive giveaways and drawings are held to award guests international trips, sold-out concert tickets, once-in-a-lifetime experiences, cash prizes and brand new luxury cars. In addition, Valley View Casino & Hotel has a long-standing partnership that includes naming rights for the Valley View Casino Center in San Diego. The Valley View Casino Center features major headliner concerts, exclusive events, family-friendly activities and more. Valley View Casino & Hotel Players Club members can enjoy invitations and tickets for these show-stopping live events as a perk of membership and just one more thank you to loyal guests from San Diego's Favorite casino.  

Has the casino operation ever considered franchise restaurants to complement and provide an additional mix of options to cater for your ever-widening variety of patrons?

Valley View Casino & Hotel takes great pride in all seven award-winning dining options throughout our casino. Before joining Valley View Casino & Hotel, I served as a Food & Beverage executive at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, developing, growing and managing all of the dining operations throughout the casino. This experience has served me well and the extensive experience of our culinary team led by Howard Silver, Vice President of Food & Beverage, and Ashley Archer, Director of Food & Beverage, at Valley View Casino & Hotel both enables and motivates us to operate our own restaurants and food outlets to create incomparable options for our guests. From California's only iconic endless Maine Lobster Buffet to San Diego's A-list choice for best steakhouse – Black&Blue Steakhouse – there is no shortage of delicious cuisine for all of our loyal guests. Plus while staying with us in our beautiful hotel, guests can enjoy complimentary poolside breakfast served daily with a spread that includes homemade pastries, fresh-squeezed juice, a hot item, delicious fruit and more prepared by our culinary team. With options at all seven restaurants that incorporate the best local ingredients, freshest flavors, inspirations from the global stage and more, Valley View Casino & Hotel has transformed and redefined the casino dining experience for all. Unique dishes and menus have made San Diego's Favorite casino a nexus of fine dining without relying on larger restaurant franchises to supply food that cannot compare to the variety produced in-house with fresh, locally grown ingredients.

What aspects of your role do you find most satisfying?

Valley View Casino & Hotel is a business near and dear to my heart, as I have seen this casino grow from humble beginnings in early 2003 to a sought-after destination that attracts almost 3,000,000 visitors each year. Having experienced this expansion from day one, I feel very connected to Valley View Casino & Hotel and invested in the continued success of this property that has made a name for itself as San Diego's Favorite casino.

At Valley View Casino & Hotel I have not only experienced the physical growth of our casino, but also the strengthening of the team with over 1,000 team members that are the reason why our loyal guests return again and again. Valley View Casino & Hotel has been recognized as a Top Workplace, Compassionate Workplace Award recipient and one of the Best Places to Work, largely because of our unique Leadership Mentoring Program. The program offers mentoring every month to our entire leadership team of approximately 185 Vice Presidents, Directors, Managers and Supervisors as the most comprehensive Leadership Mentoring Program in the casino industry in the country.

Ultimately, there is nothing more exciting than being able to bring joy and excitement to the lives of guests from across the country. When people visit Valley View Casino & Hotel, they expect San Diego's only Certified Loose slots, table games designed to thrill, world-class dining and a beautiful newly refinished hotel; however, they can also expect world-class service from the friendliest team members. We find satisfaction in knowing that each visitor to Valley View Casino & Hotel experiences the best of San Diego with memories that last long after they leave the property.

On behalf of myself and the 1,000 team members at Valley View Casino & Hotel, thank you for the opportunity to be interviewed for inclusion in such a distinguished publication. We look forward to sharing this feature with our loyal Valley View Casino & Hotel guests.