The Story of GSH Casino Parties (Part 2)
Even though my first casino party was a success, I needed to change my thought process. Poker-only casino parties was not going to be enough. The good news was that although I wasn’t planning to officially launch until January 2014, I had already completed one casino party. The new challenge was to purchase additional casino tables to rent such as blackjack , craps, and roulette. After searching the Internet to look for casino tables to purchase and getting recommendations from others, I finally decided on a company in California to make the tables. As a high-end casino party company, we needed to have top-of-the-line casino rental equipment. For a premium price, I ordered five blackjack tables, two roulette tables, and a craps table. Those eight (8) tables added to the five (5) poker tables that I already had would put me at thirteen (13) rent-able casino tables. Wait a minute; I was going to have 13 tables in inventory. Am I trying to doom this business from the start by starting with an unlucky 13? Nevertheless, I crossed my fingers and waited for my tables to arrive.
What an exciting day when those casino gaming tables arrived. We forgot to mention to the delivery driver that we did not have a dock so he had to park his 53-foot truck in the middle of the street, which blocked traffic. After 45 minutes of maneuvering the crates out of the truck the tables were ready to be revealed. The moment before the unveiling was quite a time of mixed emotions. I was excited, nervous, anxious, and happy all at the same time. I had invested a lot of money in these tables based on recommendations, research, and truthfully, some nice-looking pictures on the Internet. As we took a crowbar to the first crate, five (5) beautiful blackjack tables that I had purchased with my own hard earned money appeared. To be honest, the feeling I had at that exact moment was relief. Next to be disclosed were the craps and the roulette tables, and I was back to that anxious feeling. The beautiful maroon felt roulette tables with a zero, a double zero, and the GSH logo were revealed next. We saved the best for last as the “beast” craps table was unveiled. A marvelous craps table with a two-sided layout and gorgeous hardwood hooks and long-piece rails was the icing on the cake. We were so excited that we set it up and tossed the dice for an hour.
Fall of 2013 was upon us and GSH Casino Parties was set for an official launch on January 1st, 2014! I had shared my plan to start out on my own with a couple of people who were my good friends and were willing to help. Tommy & Lonny were great friends and outstanding casino party dealers and wanted to see me get my casino party company off the ground. We booked out first casino party for Blue Plate Catering on Jan 15th, 2014. This was the initial GSH Casino Parties’ event using our custom tables, chips, and dealing staff. It was a five-table event with 2 blackjack, 1 craps, 1 roulette, and 1 poker table. The ratio of guests to casino gaming tables was not ideal because it was Blue Plate’s first-ever event and other activities were planned for their employees. This would change when they re-booked in 2016 with the GSH Casino Party as the main source of entertainment and 17 casino gaming tables!
We were off and running. Or, honestly, we were off and crawling. I was confident that I could execute high-quality casino events—from the first phone call, to planning the logistics, to providing guests a memorable entertainment experience. What I didn’t plan very well was how anyone other than the people I knew would find GSH Casino Parties. I quickly learned that it wasn’t going to be as simple as I thought—that people who came to events would take abusiness card, give me a call, and plan their own casino-themed birthday parties and events. Those contacting me that way were few and far between, so I needed to figure out how to market this niche business. My first year I completed 15 successful casino parties. On the one hand that was a solid accomplishment. I personally figured out the logistics and staffed, ran, and completed 15 successful casino events on my own. However, my long-term goal was to create the biggest casino events company in the Midwest, and 15 events a year wasn’t going to do it. I knew I needed to make a big move. I needed a General Manager but who?