Casino officials reach out to local businesses
Local businesses leaders learned what will be required for them to do business with Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati when it opens next spring during two Vendor and Supplier Information Sessions hosted by casino operator Caesars Entertainment Corp.
Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati will be a truly urban casino developed at a cost of $400 million on the 20-acre Broadway Commons site Downtown by Rock Ohio Caesars, a joint venture between Rock Gaming LLC. and Caesars Entertainment Corp. Caesars will manage daily operations.
A total of about 600 businesses were represented at sessions held at the Bell Events Centre at 444 Reading Road and at Great American Ballpark to inform businesses how to begin the process of making the casino one of their clients. The casino will begin contracting with vendors this fall following a bidding process.
More than 70 vendors and suppliers will be awarded the substantial contracts for services and supplies needed to keep the casino operating as it serves more than 6 million visitors annually, said Kevin Kline, senior vice president and general manager of the Cincinnati Casino. Cooking oil, napkins, beverages, linens, glassware, meat products, janitorial services, produce and numerous other supplies and services in large quantities will be needed from local, state and national suppliers, he said.
Efforts will be made to purchase as many products as possible locally and from diverse suppliers, he added.
The vetting process will be quite extensive, said Chris Wilks, director of Strategic Sourcing for Caesars Entertainment added. A business’ sustainability, financial and credit strength, strength of references, warranties, insurance, bonding and licensing, certification, and ability to provide service, he said. Businesses with gross incomes of $250,000 to $10 million are preferred, he said. Suppliers must also be familiar with Ariba Spend Management accounting system, which is used by Caesars.
Wilks said the process involves identifying the casino’s needs, submitting RFPs, evaluating proposals, and awarding contracts. The minimum for bid packages is $15,000, and payment occurs within 30 to 45 days following delivery. “We over evaluate and over analyze everything we do,’’ he said.
Next step is to register at www.HorseshoesCincinnati.com, and then continue to check the website for informational updates and upcoming outreach sessions, Kline said. “We need to know who you and what you can do for the casino. Attend supplier events. We will be attending events put on locally, so you can introduce yourself to us,’’ he said.
Kline said casino officials have established “incredible community partners’’ in regard to their outreach efforts, including the African American Chamber of Commerce, Cincinnati USA Chamber, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, City of Cincinnati, Port Authority and other organizations.
Lonnie Grayson, president of Environmental & Safety Solutions Inc., which is an established, award-winning, minority-owned Cincinnati business said he is interested in providing environmental, health and safety services to the casino. Grayson said he appreciates the effort casino officials are making to partner with the community. “It just makes good sense for them to reach out to the African American businesses,’’ he said.
Richardson & Associates LLC, another highly respected and established Cincinnati business is also interested in providing services for the casino, said Theresa Harper, the firm’s business development manager. “With Casinos comes the need for oversight, and R&A is knowledgeable about casino compliance challenges and internal controls to ensure compliance with state, county and local regulations. We want to be their second tier audit team,’’ she said.
Potential suppliers can obtain more information about the process by visiting www.HorseshoeCincinnati.com.
About 1,700 employees will be hired at the casino, with information about that process and interviews being conducted this fall.