Luxe Life Blog
President Randy Morton reveals secrets of Bellagio’s success
It’s an incredible and unheard of achievement in the travel and leisure industry. For 10 consecutive years, the Bellagio has not only received numerous prestigious awards, but a decade later, it also is still earning them -- and even more.
“Ten years ago, we were the only resort in North America with two five-star awards,” President Randy Morton told me. “We were obviously built to last because we’re still winning them -- and more. It’s all due to our 8,200 employees.”
Randy was so thrilled with the latest AAA Five-Diamond Awards and Mobile Five-Star Awards presented to the Bellagio that he threw a 27-hour nonstop party last week for all three shifts of employees. He had his top restaurant chefs cater a celebratory feast for the employees so that they were eating just like guests. Additionally, the valet staff agreed to wash employees’ cars as another thank you.
The Bellagio is regarded as the flagship resort of MGM Resorts International and is its corporate headquarters. Hotel mogul Steve Wynn, who opened it as the most expensive hotel ever built in October 1998, built it on the site of the demolished Dunes. It was merged into MGM Mirage in 2000 and has been featured in Ocean’s Eleven, 21 and Lucky You.
“We’re a traditional hotel property that’s stayed true to our style throughout the decade, and our employees are the reason we repeat every year. It’s actually more difficult to keep the awards than it is to win them the first time,” Randy said. “We send letters in dual languages to our employees’ homes to keep it that personal.”
He also created a five-step program, “Beyond Excellence,” and gave one to each employee when he met them individually: 1) Smile -- brighten every guest’s day with a warm smile; 2) Greet -- warmly greet every guest as if they arrived at your home; 3) Name -- show respect for the guest by using their name; 4) Thank -- say thank you by wishing the guest a great day; and 5) Sincere -- be sincere and provide service from the heart.
“The most important is the sincerity that shows their service comes from their hearts. That’s where the Bellagio magic is amazing, and they’re dedicated to keeping it right from the heart,” he said.
Randy also instituted a two-way dialogue with employees. “We have communication through two newsletters. The one I send out is ‘B-Informed’ that tells them everything we have going on, and the one they send me and my executive staff is ‘B-Heard,’ where they can voice anything they wish, and we act on it promptly. As a result, we have the lowest staff turnover in Las Vegas -- and in fact in the resort industry. They tell everybody they love working here.
“My No. 1 priority is to service our employees so they are the best informed and they know they have the recognition to be heard. Our employees are the first line in customer service. They are the front line of the Bellagio, and they’re the reason we keep on winning.”
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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