Although Steven Tight is relatively new to the gaming industry, he brings a wealth of hospitality knowledge to the table. He began a new career in the industry in 2011 with his current position as the president of international development for Caesars Entertainment Corporation. Based in Hong Kong, Tight is responsible for expanding the Caesars brand into international markets.
While he has been very successful in his role with Caesars, Tight got his start in the theme park industry. He explains why his skill set translates so well across industries:
“The business model is surprisingly similar,” he says, “a capital-intensive industry with a major anchor attraction, and very similar supporting activities (hotels, F&B, retail, entertainment, etc.).”
He also draws another “similarity” between the two industries. “One is for little kids, and the other is for big kids!”
Tight’s extensive experience in the theme park industry was predominantly in roles with the Walt Disney Company, where he dedicated 17 years of his career. During his time at Disney, Tight held several executive-level positions, including vice president of finance at Disneyland Paris and managing director of Hong Kong Disneyland. One of his major accomplishments at Disney was the opening of Hong Kong Disneyland, as he led the negotiations with the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government to bring the park to fruition.
With European and Asian experience under his belt, Tight took his knowledge to the real estate development industry.
Tight was the CEO of two real estate development agencies in Dubai for five years after his time at Disney. During this time, he led the $2 billion Aqua Dunya project, which consisted of two theme parks, three hotels, a golf course, retail, food and beverage, entertainment, time shares and residential real estate. In the last year of this time there, he oversaw a $100 million floating mega-yacht hotel project before joining Caesars’ team.
Tight returned to Hong Kong in 2011, when he began his current position with Caesars. It is evident that he has been hard at work, as Caesars recently announced news of its first integrated resort in Asia, which is expected to open in 2017 in Incheon, South Korea.
When it comes to evaluating gaming opportunities and locations, Tight says, “It certainly helps to have a strong international brand with great brand equity,” adding, “it opens doors when initiating dialog with local governments and potential partners.”
With regard to the future of gaming, Tight thinks the place to be is Asia.
“With fast-growing levels of disposable income for emerging markets, the strong affinity for gaming and continued liberalization of gaming legislation in new markets, I think there are significant opportunities for Caesars in this part of the world,” says Tight.
And it seems Steven Tight knows just what to do with a development opportunity.