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Gaming Guru

Howard Stutz

Uniform provider an important part of resort industry

26 August 2014

LAS VEGAS -- How important are the uniforms and outfits worn by casino industry cocktail servers, dealers, valets and other front-of-the-house resort personnel?

Often, it’s a multi-million-dollar marketing decision.

It’s not unusual to see some of the Strip’s top gaming executives visiting the Henderson offices and showroom of uniform provider Cintas.

The company’s offices on Valle Verde Drive serve as a factory, warehouse and studio for Cintas’ gaming products.

In 2013, Cintas split the casino business away from its hospitality operation and moved its gaming headquarters from Chicago to Henderson. Today 100 percent of the company’s gaming product lines flow through what the company calls its “Las Vegas Design Studio.”

In the past fiscal year, the company said revenue from the gaming business grew 16 percent.

Recently, Cintas designed the new uniforms worn by employees of The Cromwell, the renovated Strip casino once known as Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall.

Cintas has also provided uniform work recently for the Hard Rock, Mandalay Bay, Aria, MGM Grand, and several properties owned by Station Casinos, including the company’s Northern California Indian casino.

“In one way or another, we’ve touched every gaming property,” said Karla Perez Larragoite, Cintas’ national director of gaming.

During a tour of the showroom and factory, Cintas designers showed off several unique creations, including a heavy dress made out of metal worn by cocktail servers in Red Rock Resort’s high-end lounge.

The women who wear specially-designed outfits often come into the Cintas’ offices — or Cintas personnel will meet the employee at the hotel — to ensure the clothing item fits properly.

“The cocktail designs are some of the most important because you want something that will catch your eye,” Larragoite said.

Cintas provides gaming apparel to most of the major hotel-casinos in Las Vegas — including locals resorts — as well as casinos in regional markets and the Indian gaming locations.

Cintas can design the outfits for all the employees a customer might encounter on a visit to a hotel-casino, including the uniforms worn by the back-of-the-house personnel.

“It really starts from the moment you enter the property,” said Joanna Cordero, an apparel designer for Cintas who works for the gaming division.

“Even with the uniforms for people you don’t even see at all or never even thought they exist,” Cordero said. “Their uniforms are just as important. All the employees and their uniforms play a role on the property.”

Larragoite said designers work closely with each hotel-casino property to understand their brand.

“The uniform is an extension of any casino brand,” she said.

The company’s goal is to provide employees with not just fashionable and themed uniforms, but ones that are comfortable to wear and functional.

Cintas designers work to translate a casino brand and position the concept through a uniform.

“We had some of the top gaming executives in town visit us here,” Cordero said. “Their brand is very important to them and they want to be able to convey that message through the design.”

Cordero and Larragoite said many casinos restyle their uniforms roughly every five years.

Themes, often times, don’t change.

For example, the Roman Goddess sever uniforms that cocktail waitresses at Caesars Palace have worn since the 1960s. The styles have been modernized over the years.

“Some uniform designs are time-honored,” Cordero said. “We don’t make many changes.”

According to the company’s corporate website, Cintas has 430 sales and manufacturing facilities throughout the U.S. and more than 5 million people wear uniforms provided by the company.

In fiscal 2013, Cintas overall revenue was $4.32 billion.
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