Can you give us an inside look into Valley Forge Casino Resort and your role as General Manager?
I’ve worked in the casino and hospitality business for over 20 years — I came to Valley Forge after spending about 10 years at Boyd Gaming. I grew up in New Jersey (diehard Giants fan) but my career has taken me all over. Now I’m happy to be here in King of Prussia.
Boyd acquired the property a few years ago after seeing the enormous potential of the area. There’s so much development happening right now and we felt there were so many opportunities to reimagine the property.
How has operating in the region contributed to Valley Forge Casino Resort’s success?
Valley Forge Casino Resort is one of the top-performing casinos in the state. At the end of the day, it’s all about location. King of Prussia is one of the best places in the Commonwealth to operate. With the amount of assets that we have — we’re not just a casino, we’re also a resort with 100,000 square feet of meeting space. We often talk about the area being “sticky” — when people come here, we want to be able to keep them here. So when we are selling Valley Forge, we are really talking about King of Prussia and the many reasons why people should book their meetings here.
There are so many huge assets right at your fingertips, from King of Prussia Town Center to KOP Mall. We highlight them all the time when we’re booking business — they always get people excited about being in the area.
How has COVID impacted the gaming space and what did Valley Forge Casino Resort’s response look like?
The impact has really pushed casinos forward with things like iGaming, online betting and things of that nature. But really, the impact is all about the people; it’s about our team members and making sure we’re communicating and that they’re taken care of. Obviously a major focus as we reopened was making sure that we did so safely for everyone involved.
What have been some highlights for the casino since you’ve been here and what’s to come?
Really, for us, it’s been all about welcoming everyone back — employees and patrons alike — and reopening everything that makes this place special. We recently opened our new restaurant, Copper Whisk, which has been incredibly exciting. This week we’re putting the Stardust sign on top of the building, which has been a long time coming. The Stardust brand was one of the catalysts for Boyd Gaming over 40 years ago, so having that name on one of our towers means a lot.
Right now we’re in the design phases of what I like to call “The reimagining of Valley Forge.” We’re engaged in room remodels for our Stardust tower and overall better connecting the property as a whole. There are so many cool spaces here and we’re trying to make it as seamless as possible for our customers to experience those assets as a cohesive whole.
What makes KOP a good fit for your employees and company culture and how does it factor into your recruitment efforts?
So many things. King of Prussia is safe, clean, relaxed and fun. Its central location makes it so that there is so much to do in the surrounding areas.
What kind of impact do you anticipate KOP Rail making on the region?
As you look at the sales business as we continue to book meetings and conventions, being able to directly connect Philly to KOP via rail is a game-changer for us. Having another mode of transportation, especially one that cuts down on fuel dependency and carbon emissions, is going to be huge for guests and team members. Speaking of team members, the rail is going to immediately open the door to a whole new source of job seekers who wouldn’t have been connected to our area previously.
What are some of you favorite things to do in King of Prussia?
We’re super close to Valley Forge National Historical Park, which I love visiting. I enjoy The Town Center immensely — major shout out to one of my favorite restaurants, Davio’s. The number of incredible restaurants and general after-work things to do has exploded in the area. That and the fact that it’s so easy to get around — which my dog also appreciates [laughs].
What advice would you give to someone thinking about moving their company to KOP?
It’s important to take a look at the investments that are already going on — for instance, we continue to re-invest millions of dollars in this property. And there’s a reason for that. We have 28 properties across the US and we believe in this location and the seemingly endless opportunities for growth. I’d recommend for anyone looking to move their business here to simply open their eyes.
The floor is yours. Tell us anything you’d like to share about Valley Forge Casino Resort.
We are so committed to this region and being a part of the community. One major thing that I wanted to mention is how focused we are on becoming a Green property. Environmental and social governance is an important piece of who we are and minimizing our carbon footprint over the next several years is at the top of the list for what we want to do and who we want to be as a community leader.
About Valley Forge Casino
The Valley Forge Casino Resort is the region’s only full-amenity gaming resort with live table games and all the latest and greatest slot machines. Valley Forge Casino Resort boasts 7 restaurants, 4 bars and lounges, 4 ballrooms, 2 hotels, 100,000 square feet of meeting room space and a full- service casino with 850 slots and 50 table games.
1160 First Avenue King of Prussia, PA 19406 | www.vfcasino.com