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Caesars Citizenship Blog

Exemplifying our Caring Culture: Arnetta “Coco” Jones

Arnetta, an EVS team member at Harrah’s New Orleans, found out her new colleague was facing hardship taking care of her family and took action. “We care for everyone—guests, employees… the whole New Orleans area is on our shoulders, and we stand up for our commitment.”

Watch Arnetta’s story here:

Valuing Diversity: Johnny Wong

Johnny, a culinary team member at Horseshoe Southern Indiana, is beloved by guests for his omelets and by his colleagues for his integrity.

Johnny came to the U.S. in 1983 from Cambodia and began cooking the following year. He typically works on the front line, making his famous omelets and chatting with guests, but he’s also a “do-it-all” team member, helping out wherever needed in the kitchen.

Johnny notes that the kitchen team at Horseshoe Southern Indiana includes team members from China, Hong Kong, Vietnam and Mongolia. “It’s nice to get to know people from different countries, different cultures,” says Johnny. “Sometimes we don’t understand each other and we do sign language!”

When not working at Horseshoe, Johnny can be found watching movies and listening to music with his wife, daughter and son, or perhaps mowing the lawn.

Watch Johnny’s story here to see how he embodies diversity, an important Caesars Entertainment value:

Supporting Immigrant Team Members: Caesars Entertainment Statement on Immigration

Caesars supports comprehensive immigration reform that both advances border security as well as streamlines the immigration process for those who are willing to work hard and complete the legal process of citizenship. This has been our stance for many years and we continue to stand by it. We believe this reflects our corporate values of creating a caring culture and supporting the vibrant communities where we operate.

Our position is supported by the American Gaming Association, the foremost association in our industry. The AGA recognizes that our workforce is diverse and includes immigrants from around the world, and also depends on global consumers.

As always, we will continue to support comprehensive immigration reform at a policy level. We will also continue to support team members of Caesars and affiliated businesses who wish to become citizens. Here’s how our Citizenship Rewards program achieves that:

How We Celebrated the African American Community in Honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Each year, Caesars Entertainment partners with the community to both celebrate and honor the legacy of the civil rights leader Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., recognizing the progress that Dr. King achieved for African Americans and all people of color.

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Dance troupe West Las Vegas World Class Dance Ensemble performs traditional dance to the beat of live drums.

Hosted at Caesars Palace, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Banquet is a chance for the Las Vegas African American community to honor Dr. King while discussing the challenges African Americans face today. Speakers recalled Dr. King’s leadership not only in the U.S., but as an inspiration to other nonviolent protesters around the world, from Ireland to India. It was also a chance to think about how to apply Dr. King’s legacy to our everyday lives.

“When we get on a plane, or train, or even go to the restroom – we are benefiting from Dr. King’s powerful accomplishments. By law, here in the United States in the middle of the 20th century, you could be told based on your color, or your religion, or because you were a woman, that you couldn’t apply for a job or go to a certain school. These luxuries that we take for granted are protected by law – the Civil Rights Act – that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his life for,” says Regina Ford, Caesars Entertainment Vice President of Diversity & Inclusion. Ford oversees diversity initiatives across our entire enterprise as well as community relations with diversity organizations.

Hosted by the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Committee of Las Vegas and emceed by Clark County Commissioner Lawrence Weekly – the first sitting African American Chair for the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority Board of Directors – the banquet gathers local dignitaries, from the head of the Las Vegas School Board to the first Latina in the U.S. Senate, Caroline Cortez Masto of Nevada. Additional entertainment was provided by a performance by an African drumming and dance troupe from the West Las Vegas World Class Dance Ensemble.

The Banquet is a fundraiser to support disadvantaged black students attending college through the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Committee of Las Vegas scholarship fund. In 2017, the banquet raised more than $10,000.

Parade

One of the largest Martin Luther King, Jr. Day parades west of the Mississippi, the parade celebrated its 35th anniversary this year. With Denise Williams leading as the Grand Marshal, the parade featured themed floats celebrating phases of Dr. King’s life and the power of the civil rights movement.

“We had nice weather this year, so a lot of people attended. Beyond attendance, though, the parade really sets the tone for the Southern Nevada community for the rest of the year, inspiring us to live out Dr. King’s legacy in our own lives each day,” says Ford.

Living Our Values

Caesars Entertainment aspires to foster an inclusive workplace and culture every day. In 2015, 34 percent of managers in the U.S. were people of color and 52 percent of team members were people of color. We also support businesses owned by women and people of color, encouraging them to become suppliers for Caesars. It is our hope that through ongoing diversity and inclusion efforts, we honor Martin Luther King, Jr. not only every January, but every day of the year.

HERO Stars: Four Team Members Who Stood Out In Q4 2016

When our team members aren’t busy creating memorable experiences for their guests, they can often be found helping out in our communities and sharing our Caring Culture. They volunteer their time, expertise, creativity and passion to help make their communities the best places to live and work. From projects that support everything from health and wellness to seniors, there’s something for everyone who wants to lend a hand.

Each quarter, Caesars Entertainment celebrates our HERO Stars and recognized team members from our affiliated businesses whose volunteer efforts really stand out. This quarter we are proud to honor four outstanding HEROs who gave their time and their efforts to make a difference.

Read on to learn about our HERO Stars for the fourth quarter of last year. They’ll each receive a $500 check to share with the nonprofit of their choice.

Jack Heston, Table Games Dealer, HORSESHOE TUNICA

Jack volunteers for a long list of causes, including hunger, health and supporting veterans. He contributed a total of 101 hours of time with his community in 2016.

While many team members participate in our HERO events, Jack also seeks ways to volunteer on his own. As a runner, Jack participates in a run, walk or marathon almost every month – in 2016, he did 10! – supporting a variety of causes. Another monthly do-good habit of Jack’s is delivering coffee, cookies and conversation to veterans at Memphis’ VA Hospital. Recognizing the dire need for blood donations, Jack works with a variety of organizations to meet that need, including March of Dimes, Gateway to the Delta, Memphis Recovery Center and more.

 

 

Charlean Antwine, Casino Operations Manager, HORSESHOE BOSSIER CITY

Charlean’s role as casino operations manager means she is skilled at motivating team members. She also leveraged this skill to mobilize more than 300 team members to participate in HERO events in 2016.

Charlean is especially passionate about health and wellness, having organized events for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Relay for Life, Alzheimer’s Walks, and more. She also helped host the Bossier Council on Aging’s annual Sweetheart Luncheon, celebrating Valentine’s Day with local seniors. A longstanding tradition, the luncheon draws both singles and couples for a formal lunch and a dance.

Charlean’s colleague Preston Langley says it best: “Charlean is the key to our volunteer events here at Horseshoe Bossier City and Harrah’s Louisiana Downs. She is, in my opinion, the epitome of a HERO Star.”

Eunice Polanco, Room Attendant, BALLY’S ATLANTIC CITY

After the loss of a friend, Eunice was looking for a way to honor her memory by taking action in the fight against breast cancer.

Together with her supervisor, Eunice rallied the housekeeping department to support the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk in Ocean City. She convinced a whopping 75% of her team members to purchase a pink HERO shirt, raising $2,500 for the organization. Eunice also drove participation in the Making Strides Walk and spent many hours in the kitchen baking, both of which raised additional funds to fight breast cancer.

Nikki Jackson leads Atlantic City community relations and saw Eunice’s efforts firsthand. “Eunice overcame language barriers to connect with new colleagues and truly extended herself for the breast cancer cause, making a lovely tribute to her friend,” notes Nikki.

Jason Rinta, Performance & Culture Manager, PARIS LAS VEGAS

Jason’s above-and-beyond dedication to Breast Cancer Awareness Month at Paris Las Vegas engaged team members across the city to raise awareness and funds for the American Cancer Society. In particular, his leadership of the Battle of the Bras event at Planet Hollywood led to an impressive 33% increase of leaders modeling and a 150% increase in event attendance. But even more exciting was the $90,000 raised at the event – nearly five times the amount of last year’s Battle!

Jason’s ability to fuel healthy competition among Battle of the Bras participants was evidenced by record leadership participation. And he helped to tie the event’s mission and purpose with our Caring Culture by having the participants their personal story of how breast cancer has affected them to make the evening especially meaningful.

Thanks to our HERO Stars for being amazing ambassadors or our Mission, Vision and Values in our communities. You truly Inspire Grown-Ups to Play for a Cause!

And the Winners of the Breast Cancer Awareness Competition Are…

Each October, Caesars team members across the U.S. rally their colleagues to raise funds and awareness supporting breast cancer. From the well-loved Battle of the Bras and pink blackjack table felts to health screenings and donation drives, everyone finds a way to get involved.

Some locations take it to the next level, showing tons of enthusiasm and dedication to the cause with a wide variety of educational and fun initiatives. To recognize their efforts, we hold a contest each year.

Here are this year’s winners, with just a few examples of their many creative initiatives. Together, the three winners earned a combined $25,000 donation from the Caesars Foundation to their local American Cancer Society chapters!

First Place: Harrah’s Ak-Chin, won a $10,000 donation

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Harrah’s Ak-Chin won first place in our contest for the second year in a row! Supporting those suffering from breast cancer is a key part of their efforts. Harrah’s Ak-Chin partnered with the Ironwood Cancer and Research Center to donate comforting items to women undergoing chemotherapy at its facility. Team members gathered blankets, mints, puzzle books and more, delivering 32 bags to patients at Ironwood. The team found time for fun, too, by surprising guests with a pink flash mob right on the casino floor and decorating office doors with creative breast cancer awareness themes.

 

Second Place: Atlantic City Region (Caesars Atlantic City and Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City) won an $8,000 donation

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We know that guests appreciate our support of breast cancer awareness, and we like getting them involved. Our Atlantic City locations hosted a variety of fun events benefiting the American Cancer Society (ACS), from a benefit concert to a raffle with all proceeds benefiting ACS. Atlantic City locations also hosted free on-site mammograms for guests and team members to support breast cancer prevention.

Third Place: Tunica (Horseshoe Tunica and Tunica Roadhouse) won a $7,000 donation

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Education is an integral piece of breast cancer awareness. In addition to fundraising, our Tunica locations were especially focused on the link between healthy lifestyles and cancer prevention. They kicked off the month with a morning walk from Tunica Roadhouse to Horseshoe Tunica, ending with free healthy refreshments and education about how daily exercise like walking aids in cancer prevention. Tunica locations hosted a total of ten educational workshops for guests and team members, including talks on detection and prevention from the American Cancer Society. In addition, throughout 2016, the two locations have raised $95,000 for the American Cancer Society.

Honorable Mention: Northwest Louisiana (Horseshoe Bossier City and Harrah’s Louisiana Downs)

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Caesars locations enterprise-wide compete for the money by decorating bras for the team member fashion show Battle of the Bras, yielding some truly beautiful (and bizarre) creations. At Battle of the Bras, Caesars’ Northwest Louisiana properties ignited the audience to raise more than $6,000 for the Mid-South Division of the American Cancer Society from generous guest and team member donations to add to a total $20,000 donation to the organization.

It’s the enthusiastic participation of our locations nationwide that have helped us contribute almost $4 million to cancer-related organizations to date. We support the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, the Making Strides Breast Cancer Walk, and more. Thanks to all Caesars guests and team members who participated in Breast Cancer Awareness Month at Caesars

Fêting Our Vets

At Caesars, we appreciate and honor the ongoing sacrifices made by active service members and veterans. Since 2013, Caesars has hired more than 2,000 veterans through our Hiring Heroes program. We’ve received 3,126 applications from veterans in 2016 alone.

We’ve also donated $1 million to veteran organizations and our HEROs have put in more than 4,000 hours aiding community veteran groups.

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Harrah’s New Orleans veterans at yesterday’s flag raising ceremony.

Our locations throughout the U.S. host a variety of fun (and serious) events to make Veterans Day special for all. Read on to learn more:

Honoring Team Members Who Have Served

Caesars gives all our locations the option to share a corporate letter thanking veteran team members.

Horseshoe Southern Indiana is one of many gaming locations that opted in, purchasing a special commemorative coin to distribute to veterans and service members.

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Horseshoe Southern Indiana active service member Norbert Bostock displays his commemorative coin and recognition letter.

 

Harrah’s New Orleans honored veteran team members yesterday with a property-wide team celebration, culminating in a flag raising at noon.

Celebrating Veterans Who Have Served

Many of our locations are inspiring veterans to play, providing discounts at restaurants like Horseshoe Southern Indiana’s Smoke and Rye and Harrah’s New Orleans’ Besh Steak. Our Tunica and Harrah’s New Orleans properties are honoring veteran guests with a complimentary meal in the buffets all day long, while Bally’s Atlantic City is hosting a luncheon for New Jersey Gold Star Mothers.

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Groceries bags ready to be distributed as part of the Tunica locations’ food and clothing drive.

Supporting Veterans Who Have Served

While it’s important to honor and celebrate veterans, we also believe in serving those who have served, especially if they’re facing hardships.

As part of our HERO volunteer program, Horseshoe Southern Indiana is conducting a food and clothing drive to support the local VA hospital, as are the Tunica locations. Tunica in particular has set a goal to collect enough socks and tee shirts for 500 veterans at the Memphis VA Hospital.

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Marine Corps service members get together with Harrah’s and Bally’s Atlantic City team members to make Toys for Tots donations.

Last weekend, Bally’s and Caesars Atlantic Cityculinary team members hosted an annual brunch for disabled veterans at the Vineland Veterans’ Home, featuring food donated from Caesars properties. In addition, Atlantic City locations are kicking off the holiday season early via their Toys for Tots partnership with the Marine Corps, hosting 30 organizers at Bally’s Atlantic City.

Tunica locations are also getting ready for the holidays by gathering on Veterans Day to write holiday greeting cards for distribution to the Millington, Tenn., Naval, Army and Army Reserve Base.

On this Veterans Day, Caesars thanks all veterans for their service, especially our team members and guests!

 

Caesars Exceeds Our Green Key Rating Goal

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At Caesars, we inspire grown-ups to play. We also work hard to be good stewards of our planet’s resources through our CodeGreen strategy. While many of our efforts are behind the scenes, the Green Key Global Eco-Rating Program helps guests understand how our progress measures up across the hospitality industry.

Recently recognized by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, Green Key is a rigorous program that ranks, certifies and inspects hotels and resorts based on their commitment to sustainable operations. Green Key uses a rating system of 1 to 5 Keys, with 5 being the highest possible attainment.

Every other year, CodeGreen Leaders at our properties lead their teams in completing Green Key’s comprehensive self-assessment to evaluate environmental practices across departments of their hotel, including food and beverage, housekeeping, meeting facilities, engineering and corporate environmental management. Within these five areas, CodeGreen teams examine policy and practices for energy and water conservation, solid and hazardous waste management, building infrastructure, community outreach and other sustainable practices. Green Key also conducts a random onsite verification audit of 20 percent of participating hotels each year, ensuring the accuracy of the scored self-assessment.

We’ve had all of Caesars-owned hotel locations participate in Green Key since 2013. In 2016, we also surpassed our company goal of getting 90 percent of hotel properties to the 4 Key level.

This year, 97 percent of our owned or managed North American hotel resort locations achieved a 4 Key rating or higher, and 100 percent of locations achieved Green Key certification. We’re especially proud of this achievement because it means we have 30 Green Key Eco-Rated hotels – more than any casino-entertainment company in the world!

Four properties – Harrah’s Las Vegas, Harrah’s Council Bluffs, Horseshoe Southern Indiana and Flamingo Hotel and Casino Las Vegas – improved their Green Key Eco-Rating from 3 to 4 Keys this year to help the company achieve a 97 percent 4 Key Eco-Rating across our 30 hotel-resort properties. What’s more, Green Key has granted Horseshoe Tunica 5 Keys, the highest rating possible, granted to just 3 percent of participating hotels. To achieve this, Horseshoe Tunica has made improvements such as installing high efficiency windows, using sensors to avoid overwatering landscaping and switching to more efficient lighting.

Interested in staying at a Green Key Eco-Rated hotel or learning more about traveling sustainably? Check out Green Key’s hotel map and green travel tips here.

As with all our successes, it’s our passionate team members who have made this achievement happen. Their work on CodeGreen initiatives and the Green Key self-assessment are what help us meet our goal each year.

Honoring our HERO Stars: Team Members Who Go the Extra Mile in Volunteering

Our team members volunteer their time, creativity and passion to improve the communities where we live and work. Their efforts support strategic priorities for team member involvement in the community: two-thirds of all programs support seniors, education, environment and health and wellness, while one-third supports causes important to their specific location.

Each quarter, we celebrate HERO Stars: three employees who go the extra mile to truly make a difference! Read on to learn about our HERO Stars for the third quarter of 2016. They’ll each receive a $500 check to share with the nonprofit of their choice.

Crystal Fulton, Marketing Capabilities Manager, CORPORATE

crystal-fIn the beginning of 2016, Crystal set a goal to volunteer 100 hours this year. Thanks to her dedication, including spending time volunteering almost every weekend, Crystal beat her goal in August!

Crystal lends her time to support a variety of local needs, including education, health and wellness, and seniors. She shares her passion for sports by serving as a youth bowling coach and assisting at USA Swimming and USA Gymnastics meets. She leads fellow HEROs in initiatives such as fundraising for breast cancer services at the Nevada Dragon Boat Festival and collecting pet food to help seniors care for their cats and dogs. Finally, Crystal is trained as a Smart HERO, helping our guests complete online brain health check-ups at HealthyBrains.org, which is funded by Caesars in partnership with the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. Crystal’s colleagues say she is inspiring and encouraging to her community and fellow team members alike.

Crystal put the $500 donation towards her Making Strides fundraising account to benefit American Cancer Society during Breast Cancer Awareness month.

Ernestine Richards, Casino Services Cashier, HORSESHOE TUNICA

ernestine-richardsOver the past year, Ernestine has shown incredible dedication to the American Cancer Society Harrah’s Hope Lodge, which provides free lodging and a warm, home-like atmosphere to cancer patients undergoing treatment.

Ernestine participates in regular Game Nights and Dinner Nights at the Hope Lodge, chatting with residents, serving dinner and playing bingo. The Hope Lodge’s manager greatly appreciates Ernestine’s kind dedication, saying that residents ask for her by name, hoping she’ll be joining for dinner or bingo. Ernestine certainly is committed, having not missed a Game Night or Dinner Night since last January. In total, she’s volunteered a total of 71 hours, serving as a friendly presence to 240 cancer patients at a difficult time in their lives.

Andrea Corn-Rhodes, Corner Cafe Attendant, HORSESHOE SOUTHERN INDIANA

andreaAndrea and three friends decided to make a difference to help the homeless in their community. They launched an effort called Paper Bag Angels, with a mission of easing the needs of the homeless. Once a month, Andrea and her friends hand out 400 bagged lunches to people struggling with homelessness, serving up sandwiches, snacks and beverages.

Paper Bag Angels also collections socks, blankets and pillows, and Andrea has rallied other team members to help. For example, the housekeeping department donated 20 blankets, while team members in the security department held a sock drive. Still other team members donate paper bags, food and money to support Andrea’s ambitious project.

Andrea volunteered 120 hours so far this year, distributing more than 3,200 bag lunches. Her next goal is to increase distribution to 500 lunches each month. To meet this goal and continue supporting local homeless people, Andrea is growing her team of volunteers and plans to register Paper Bag Angels as a nonprofit.

Andrea put her $500 towards purchasing 100 Clean the World hygiene kits, which contain important hygienic products, for the homeless she serves in the community.

Caesars salutes our HERO Stars for their passion and dedication to supporting our local communities – they’re an inspiration to all!

Caesars & Climate

 cdp_a-list_climate2016_rgbEverything you didn’t know you wanted to know about CodeGreen at Caesars

In our last post, we talked about the Sustainable Development Goals and how Caesars is getting involved. Today, we’ll share a bit more about how we’re working to impact Goal #13: Climate Action, in part by leveraging Goal #17, which encourages companies to create partnerships to achieve the goals.

Our Environmental Strategy: CodeGreen

Like all hotels and casinos, our properties impact the environment, from things like lighting our slot machines to guests using water in our hotel rooms. CodeGreen is our solution.

We often write about CodeGreen here on the blog, but in case you need a refresher: CodeGreen is Caesars’ environmental strategy to reduce our impact in the areas of energy, greenhouse gas emissions, water, waste and construction. It’s how we answer the call to cut back our overall resource usage, and take aggressive and proactive measures to preserve our environment for future generations.

Reducing both our energy use and greenhouse gas emissions are a large part of our climate strategy. We’ve made good progress, having reduced energy use by 23.4% per air-conditioned square foot and by 9% in absolute energy use since 2007. We’ve also reduced our GHG emissions by 28.3% per air-conditioned square foot since 2007. By 2025, we aim to reduce GHGs by 40% per air-conditioned square foot over 2007 levels, and we have the same target for energy use.

Water use is also important, given that many of our operations are next to waterways or in the Southwest. In addition to setting aggressive targets, we disclose our impacts to the CDP in its Water Survey and are the only gaming/entertainment company to do so.

For our climate efforts, we were awarded a spot on the CDP A List , which the CDP announced today!   Just 9% of the corporations participating in CDP’s climate change program are awarded a position on the Climate A List.

Beyond our Walls

Though we’re proud of CDP’s recognition for our progress in reducing energy use and GHG emissions, we want to go further in doing our part to reduce climate impact. In the past several years, companies have increasingly been called upon to share not only the impacts they create directly, but the climate impacts that occur in their supply chains.

For example, that fresh, tasty salad you got at Guy Fieri’s earlier today? Those vegetables were grown on farms and transported to Caesars in trucks that use fuel and thus create GHG emissions. The linens in our hotels’ comfy beds? They’re made from fabrics that were once raw materials like cotton, also grown on a farm, and later manufactured into linens. Farming and manufacturing have a number of impacts on the environment, from water use to GHG emissions, which are connected to climate change.

So Caesars has Climate Impacts Beyond its Properties. What’s Next?

Understanding the specific climate impacts of our supply chain is really the first step in beginning to manage them. The second step is prioritizing impacts so we can tackle the biggest ones first. To do this, we estimated the entire carbon footprint of our total supply chain spend and compared carbon footprints of different areas, like food and linens. From there, we are working on how to reduce climate impacts in priority supply chain areas.

Working with Suppliers

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Our strong relationships with suppliers enable us to collaborate with them to understand our shared climate impacts. We work with multiple third party nonprofits, including CDP, whose supply chain program helps us work with suppliers to help measure and manage climate impacts.

As part of the program, Caesars asked key suppliers representing the largest portion of our supply chain’s carbon footprint to privately respond to CDP’s survey about their climate impacts. We received 54 complete supplier responses to CDP this year. Of these, 71% of our suppliers responding to CDP’s survey said Caesars was their first (and only) customer to ask them to fill out the CDP survey. We are proud to be helping them move the needle on understanding their own climate impacts while helping us to understand our supply chain’s footprint.

What’s more, Caesars is leading the way in hospitality as the only gaming/entertainment company represented in the CDP supply chain program of more than 75 member companies. We look forward to the industry building more robust climate metrics in their supply chain working with nonprofits like CDP.

Still, transparency is only the first step, and we are continuing to work collectively with our top suppliers to reduce our collective climate impacts, mitigate water use and increase efficiency. This means our guests will be able to enjoy slot machines, fresh salads and comfy beds long into the future.