The Story of GSH Casino Parties Part 5 (2017)

We had officially worn out our welcome with our neighbors and had to find a real office. A nice perk in the casino party industry is the practice of clients’ leaving leftovers that they would otherwise throw out.  I made use of these to keep the neighbors from killing us; I often left them beer and bags of coffee. Through our local chamber of commerce, we found Inger Britt, a commercial realtor, to help us with our search for appropriate properties.  Because we had no idea what we wanted, her patient help was greatly appreciated.  We viewed a handful of places in Elk Grove, Arlington Heights, and Bensenville before finally finding one that looked promising.  It had a conference room, offices, a dedicated warehouse space, and a dock.  Like almost everything in life, it had some negatives, with the biggest one being the shape of the warehouse.  As Mike and I contemplated how we could make it work, I walked out the front door.  I looked around at the office park and read the names on the other units.  I then turned and saw what could be our door.  It read “Suite G.”  If I were looking for a sign, there it was, literally staring me in the face.  In the event you don’t know me well, all my friends call me “G!”  It was decided!  We were moving to Bensenville.

Let me start by sharing with you how the commercial lease process worked.  I had to sign a letter of intent, stating that I was going to move into the space.  Next, I received a 48-page lease agreement to read through.  I was playing in the big leagues now and our landlord was one of the big boys, that is, traded on the NYSE.  Being the guy that I am, I decided to hire a lawyer to read through the lease agreement. Some $500 later and a few glances by the lawyer at the document, he informed me, “if you pay your bills, you will be fine.”  I had always paid my bills, but I had just signed a three-year lease that I had to personally guarantee.

While moving is always a pain, moving to an office is far worse.  It was just Mike and I and we had to move not only an office but an entire garage full of casino tables.  Luckily, we had been loading together for years the casino tables that were in the garage.  More challenging was getting all the office furniture, equipment, and supplies out of the third-floor apartment unit with no elevator.  We had to navigate three flights of stairs up and down with desks, computers, TV’s and other items.  I had lived in this apartment prior to its becoming our office.  Some items we no longer needed (pans, decorations, and even some liquor) we left in the hallway with a sign that read, “Free, Help yourself.”   This was our parting gift to our understanding neighbors.

We moved into our new office at 605 Country Club Drive, Suite G, Bensenville, Illinois, in July 2017 and were now officially “out of the garage.”  Other business owners had emphasized how important it was to get out of the garage and into a real office.  I would quickly learn how important it was.  Despite only two events on the books for August, I had just put up a personal guarantee and paid a two-month security deposit on our new office.  I believed in my ability  and Mike and knew that this was what we had to do to take the next step.  September business wasn’t much better with only a total of six events on the books.  However, we were starting to gain some traction in the fourth quarter, our busy season.  In the casino party business corporate holiday parties are the busiest time of year.  What a fourth quarter it was! We hosted 60 casino parties in the fourth quarter of 2017.  Keep in mind that we only hosted 77 in all of 2016!  In December we were doing 4 or 5 events every Friday and Saturday night.  It was a beautiful thing.  We had happy clients, happy dealers, and happy owner-operators; everyone was winning. We were working five days a week booking events and another two to four nights working the casino parties.  It was fun but, alas, not sustainable.  We needed to grow the team, and we needed help, but who?  We decided to look at our dealer pool and see who arrived early and who stayed late?


Read The Story GSH Casino Parties Part 6

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