Grazie–Are You In?

March 20th, 2013 | Darcy Martinez

Executive Director of Marketing Tyler Bain sat down with us recently to talk about Grazie, the loyalty program at The Venetian and The Palazzo, and how it benefits both guests and team members. This is part one of a Q&A series.

The affluent, the cultured, the fashionable and famous, Grazie is your all-access pass to the most enviable events and exclusive offers.

The affluent, the cultured, the fashionable and famous, Grazie is your all-access pass to the most enviable events and exclusive offers.

Q. So, why should guests enroll in Grazie?

Tyler Bain: When guests become members, they immediately get benefits: Car rental discounts, access to the VIP line at Grand Lux Cafe, suite and ticket upgrades, and email offers.

Q. Are there other incentives to get the attention of Grazie members?

Tyler Bain: There are a lot of them. Members get rewarded for everything they do here. When they play slot and video poker games, they earn Slot Reward Points which can be redeemed for slot credits and resort comps. Members also earn Status Points for playing their favorite games and for all charges made to their suites. These Status Points enable Grazie members to reach higher status levels.

Q. What are these status levels?

Tyler Bain: There are three. Upon enrolling in the program, members automatically become part of the Grazie status level. As members earn more Status Points, they can achieve Gold or even Platinum status. The higher the status level, the more exclusive the benefits and faster points can be earned.

Q. So there’s a third type of points?

Tyler Bain: Yes, Grazie Gift Points. Members earn these points through slot and video poker play, and use them at our annual Grazie Gifts Extravaganza. This is a huge shopping event where Grazie members can select from an incredible selection of items, from jewelry to motorcycles, televisions, cars, and pretty much anything you can imagine. They use Grazie Gift Points like currency and they love it.

Here at Grazie, we’re so much more than a players club. We’re a loyalty program that rewards guests of The Venetian and The Palazzo for staying in our lavish suites, dining in our exquisite eateries, shopping at our fabulous boutiques, and of course, gaming in our extravagant casinos. The points you earn as our loyal guest entitle you to outstanding perks.

Here at Grazie, we’re so much more than a players club. We’re a loyalty program that rewards guests of The Venetian and The Palazzo for staying in our lavish suites, dining in our exquisite eateries, shopping at our fabulous boutiques, and of course, gaming in our extravagant casinos. The points you earn as our loyal guest entitle you to outstanding perks.

Earth Hour is this Saturday!  We hope that as many people as possible will show their “green” spirit by turning off lights on Saturday night, taking part in the I Will If You Will campaign, and challenging others to join as well.

To provide some last-minute inspiration for those who are looking for some fun challenges, I talked with The Venetian|Palazzo’s assistant director of sustainability, Rishi Tirupari, to see what our own team members are doing. Check it out!

Katarina: Rishi, it seems like The Venetian|Palazzo’s team members have some terrific ideas for the I Will If You Will campaign – tell me about it?

Sands’ Assistant Director of Sustainability, Rishi Tirupari.

The Venetian|Palazzo Assistant Director of Sustainability, Rishi Tirupari.

Rishi:  They definitely have!  Here are just a couple of examples – Sebastien Silvestri, our head of food and beverage for The Venetian|Palazzo, has promised that he will make lunch for his team if 400 of his team members take part in Earth Hour.  The director of public area department, Rick Walter, has promised that he and his managers will clean our casino and pick up trash if 80 percent of his team members join Earth Hour. Additionally, Ashlyn LaPorte and the Sands Expo management team will take alternate transportation to work if 80 of Sands Expo team members use alternate transportation at least once before Earth Day.

Katarina: Those are great challenges, and so different from each other.

Rishi:  Yes, that’s been the best part. I love seeing how this campaign has inspired our team in such different ways, and how we can help others. Kristen Dimond, head of hotel operations and her executive team for The Venetian|Palazzo will volunteer for eight hours with Habitat for Humanity to build a house for a family in need, if 500 team members bring old cell phones, plastic bottles and cans to recycle at work on March 19. Did you ever think that turning off your lights could help build someone’s home?

Katarina: That’s great! Which challenge do you think has been the most creative?

Rishi: That’s hard to say, but here’s one. John Caparella, the president of The Venetian|Palazzo and Sands Expo, and Pete Boyd, the senior vice president of operations at The Venetian|Palazzo have said that if 1,000 team members participate in Earth Hour, they will pedal bike-powered blenders to create smoothies for all of them!  I think everyone is excited about that!

I hope this has given you some new ideas about how we can expand Earth Hour and help others. Earth Hour is on March 23 at 8:30 p.m. local time.

Environmental causes hold a special place in my heart. This “green” passion means I am extra proud of our Las Vegas Sands team this year. For the fourth year in a row, Sands employees around the globe are getting ready to participate in the World Wildlife Fund’s Earth Hour on March 23.

Earth Hour is an annual environmental campaign that challenges organizations and individuals to turn off lights for one hour each March to show their commitment to green initiatives. Our participation is just one piece of Sands’ comprehensive environmental program, called Sands ECO360°.

Like in years past, our properties will turn off non-essential outdoor lighting during Earth Hour.  Check out the photos– it’s inspiring to see! 

Lights On

Lights On

Lights Off

Lights Off

This year, we have set the eco-conscious bar a little higher by joining the new Earth Hour “I Will If You Will” challenge. This new push means we’ve extended a friendly challenge to others to expand the reach of Earth Hour. For example, Conrad Macao offered to turn off its non-essential lights for one hour twice a month for the rest of the year if 10 other Macao hotels agree to switch off their lights once a month. Even better, the challenge has already been met!  A total of 13 hotels have agreed to extend their Earth Hour “lights-out” to every month of the year, even including one in South Africa. That’s the impact of one person or organization taking the lead!

But we’re not stopping there. We are challenging our nearly 50,000 Sands team members across the globe to join us to embrace Earth Hour and pledge to turn off lights at home. In the spirit of a challenge, we are planning to plant one tree for every participating employee at the property with the biggest team that joins. The competition is on!  I can’t wait to see which team wins!

I hope hearing about our team’s dedication will inspire others to join us. Let’s build momentum for this campaign and make an even bigger impact. We all share the world – and the responsibility to it. Come up with an eco-challenge and join the team!

Can You Name The World’s Largest Five Diamond Resort?

March 11th, 2013 | Jeff Birchmeier

We have worked really hard to create a resort where guests, and even our fellow team members, receive an unparalleled and unique experience in a place like no other—with people like no other. Within our walls are the most dedicated, passionate and service-minded professionals on the Las Vegas Strip and in the world.

In the past year and a half, our team members supported one another and encouraged each other to strive to be the best; and it is with great pleasure to share with the public that The Venetian and The Palazzo both earned their fifth diamond, yet again, continuing our title as the largest Five Diamond resort in the entire world.

For 77 years, AAA has used professional inspectors to conduct in-person property inspections and publish the results, on a system of One to Five Diamonds. Hotels in all categories are subject to the same basic requirements for cleanliness, comfort and hospitality in order to be AAA approved. A Five Diamond rating is given to a hotel that offers ultimate luxury, sophistication and comfort with extraordinary physical attributes, meticulous personalized service, extensive amenities and impeccable standards of excellence.

Hotels at this rating level offer an extensive array of amenities and a high degree of hospitality, service and attention to detail. Among the 30,000 AAA approved and diamond rated hotels for 2013, less than one-third of 1% received the AAA Five Diamond rating. It’s an honor to be among these few fine hotels year after year.

Of the 30,000 AAA approved and diamond rated hotels for 2013, less than one-third of 1% received the AAA Five Diamond rating.

The Art Of The Brick

March 7th, 2013 | J.C.

The LEGO brick, that is. The ArtScience Museum at MBS explains: “Unlike most people, New York-based artist Nathan Sawaya never stopped building, creating and exploring his own imagination using LEGO bricks which he has played with since a young age. In this critically acclaimed and the first major museum exhibition to use LEGO bricks as the sole art medium, Sawaya transforms them into awe-inspiring and thought-provoking sculptures, elevating the toy to the realm of art.”

I Will If You Will

March 4th, 2013 | J.C.

Marina Bay Sands takes up the challenge…

LVS President & COO Mike Leven

Another fascinating interview with Mike Leven, our president and COO.

Writes Hotel Interactive: “For you young folks out there, today is going to be a major history lesson. Leven’s 50+ year career cast is as a central figure in the development of the modern hotel industry, and his fingerprints are everywhere. From his days running brands such as Holiday Inn and Days Inn to creating his own hotel brands like Microtel, Leven has literally done it all. He even combated racism and discrimination throughout the 1960s, which culminated in his helping hand in creating AAHOA, which is now one of the most powerful industry associations.”

Listen here at Hotel Interactive.

Zou Shiming “Fists Of Gold”

February 22nd, 2013 | Afshin Ravanbaksh

Mentioned in an earlier blog post, the two-time Olympic Gold Medal winner and three-time World Amateur Champion Zou Shiming will soon make his professional debut, headlining a brilliant boxing card at CotaiArena. See more details here.

Meet Our Newest Team Member: Sophie Chow

February 19th, 2013 | Darcy Martinez

In celebration of Spring Festival, also known as Chinese New Year, we are kicking off the “Year of the Snake” with beautiful décor and exciting events! Kudos to Claudia Valteirrez, Ernie Cabrera, Kent Bagnell and their teams for all the hard work and dedication that went into the installation of Sophie Chow, an animatronic work of art! Take a look:

Sophie Chow

With a length of 98 feet and features that include blinking eyes, a tongue that goes in and out and a moving head, this immense arrangement looms virtually 38 feet above The Waterfall & Atrium Gardens of The Palazzo.

A giant peach tree holding blossom vines embellished with roughly 193,600 flowers, custom made dancing lanterns, oranges and traditional I Ching coins, derived from a collaboration of artists and artisans from all over the world, gave inspiration for Sophie’s strategic design.

Come see our Chinese New Year’s decorations.

“Chinese New Year is such a special event to our guests, that constructing and designing something that’s not only authentic, but in grand Las Vegas fashion was important,” said Dana Beatty, director of floral and horticulture.

Peach and cherry blossoms were also placed in the Atrium Gardens to offer our own spring season, since there will be no spring in the 2013 lunar year. Special planning a year in advance went into choosing the flower selections to ensure that only the best ones were used. “This year we went completely out of the box and ran with the Feng shui philosophy to bring our own spring season to life. We brought in pink and green cymbidium orchids and lavender mums to name just a few.”

For the past two years, professional Feng Shui master Peter Lung has offered inspiration for both The Venetian and The Palazzo designs. Here are some fun facts related to Feng Shui and the “Year of the Snake.”

  • The snake is blue, as the “Year of the Snake” represents water.
  • Sophie Chow’s face intentionally looks juvenile to represent birth of a new year.
  • It is recommended that guests walk clockwise around the tree and snake display three times to bring blessings of Heaven, Earth, and Mankind upon them.

It was an afternoon to remember when Philicia Tan and I, along with 25 Team Member Volunteers, hosted a group of 40 students and 18 teachers from Rainbow Centre Yishun Park School for fun-filled activities at ArtScience Museum, Marina Bay Sands on Thursday, 17 January 2013.

This very first activity for 2013 is part of Sands for Singapore, Marina Bay Sands’ Corporate Social Responsibility programme. Sands for Singapore aims to provide opportunities of a lifetime and for a lifetime to Singaporeans in need. This is achieved through our volunteer work, sponsoring training and enrichment programmes for the disadvantaged while leveraging on what our multi-faceted property has to offer.

The students, aged 6 to 11 years old, were treated to an exclusive tour of The Art of The Brick exhibition before trying their hands on a tote-bag printing activity using LEGO bricks.

ArtScience Museum donated 140,000 pieces of the bricks from its LEGO Christmas Tree last year to the school, which will be benefiting the students as teaching aids.

The volunteer spirit was once again widely visible as Team Member Volunteers took part in this meaningful event and accompanied the students at ArtScience Museum. Familiar faces were seen at the event with some new Team Members joining us for the first time.

Sands for Singapore, Marina Bay Sands’ Corporate Social Responsibility programme, consists of 25 committee members and more than 130 Team Members who are ambassadors for our CSR initiatives.

Photographer Jeff Chouw soaking in the volunteer spirit as he demonstrates the joy of photography to a student

Executive Pastry Chef Ryan Witcher with a student

The Team Member Volunteers

Associate Director, ArtScience Museum, Ross Leo presenting the bricks to Teacher Sean from Rainbow Centre Yishun Park School

Guest Service Agent from Mall Concierge, Charrie Sibal (left), assisting the students at the workshop

Team Member Volunteers and the students striking a pose at The Art of Brick exhibit

A student with a Team Member volunteer giving the thumbs up as he proudly shows his work of art