Casino Officials' Visit Explores the 'What Ifs'

Gale Horton Gay | 8/8/2012, 11:36 a.m.

"We provide very good salaries and very good benefits for our people up and down the sector," she said.

James added the company expects to draw most of its permanent workforce from Prince George's County. However, because gaming is relatively new in Maryland, James said, "We would have to bring in some folks [from other casinos] if only for training."

And MGM officials also brought along a reinforcer - a minority supplier who's had a long affiliation with MGM.

Rainy Hamilton of Hamilton Anderson Associates [HAA], an African-American owned architectural design and urban planning firm based in Detroit, said he was happy to let locals know how positive and profitable the relationship has been.

He said that if a business can "rock and roll," be a problem solver and achieve customer satisfaction, opportunities will unfold at MGM.

"Show you can do what you say you can," said Hamilton. "You become part of the family."

That's what happened for him. Thirteen years ago, he was subcontractor on a Detroit casino project and MGM officials were so impressed with his firm's work that he was included on other projects.

HAA has provided design services on many MGM Resorts properties including Mandalay Bay, Excalibur, Mirage and Luxor. Revenues earned through this relationship have topped $40 million with HAA's direct fees in excess of $30 million. During the development of Detroit's City Center, Hamilton's company grew from 75 to 150 architects and interior designers. Billings increased from $9 million to $19 million in 2008-2009, according to information released by MGM.

"We are very proud of the fact that we have been able to achieve substantial minority participation in our construction and our suppliers," said James.