The GSH Casino Parties Story Part 8 (2020)

We came into 2020 on a high note.  In January we hosted 39 Casino Parties, the second-most ever in a month.  We followed up with 27 Casino Parties in February.   It would take the rest of 2020 to match that number of events. COVID-19 had gripped the world; lockdowns were ordered, and our business was shut down overnight.  I have been through some challenges in my life, but nothing prepared me or anyone else for a global pandemic.  Much of March and April were spent rescheduling and refunding clients for their previously booked Casino Parties.  The government stepped in to try to support small businesses with the Payment Protection Program but that only amounted to about a month of our expenses.  We were forced to pivot or become extinct overnight.  We decided to focus on GSH Apparel and began distributing masks to clients during the pandemic.  When your life is turned upside down, the first feeling is shock, then fear, and then it is time to make a big decision—Are you going to give up or fight to survive with every bone in your body?  We chose the latter.

I am proud to say that everyone at The GSH Group kept their job.  We worked four times as hard to make 30% of our usual revenue.  Here is what is important: You don’t give up on people that are like family.  The smart business decision would have been to lay everyone off and shut the doors until vaccines were available.  The moral thing, however,  was to do everything possible to take care of the people that make GSH Casino Parties what it is.  Are you wondering how we managed to survive?  As I mentioned previously, we spent most of April and May selling masks.  In the summer months, we were able to host some outdoor, live Casino Parties.  We also offered table rentals and slot machine rentals with no dealers.  We put a lot of time and money into sanitizing equipment and chips and having our staff complete dealer health screenings.  We also partnered with a NACPO member to host virtual Casino Parties.  To put everything into perspective, we rented 445 tables in the first 60 days of 2020.  In the remaining 305 days, we rented only 175.

I want to take a moment to thank our wonderful clients and friends who supported us during 2020.  You know you are doing something right when clients call and ask, “We want to support you financially during this time; how do we do it?”  We also received some generous donations from friends, family, and clients that we used to continue paying employee wages.

As it is often noted: If you don’t learn from the past, you are doomed to repeat it.  However, you can’t live life looking in the rearview mirror.  With vaccines rolling out across Illinois we are hopeful for 2021.  With any luck, we will be back into hosting corporate parties and fundraisers in the second half of 2021.



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