Bringing acts to Eagle Mountain is a team effort
What does it take to get Pat Benatar, Steve Martin, Randy Travis and Los Tigres del Norte to perform at Eagle Mountain Casino? For Matthew Mingrone, the marketing director, it takes a unified effort.
“It’s a team effort,” said Mingrone who has worked at the casino for almost three years. Eagle Mountain is his fifth Indian casino. “I’m part of a team. We’re all at the same level.”
He also thanked his company and his general manager for their support.
Mingrone is in charge of marketing the casino, including special events, advertising, public relations and the entertainment.
From suggestions, to contracting, to the logistics, Mingrone is part of a team of close to 30 people who help to promote the casino.
Every year the casino hosts 17 to 18 acts which works out to one to two acts per month, with four to six Hispanic events a year.
The Event Center, where the concerts and events are held, can hold approximately 1,600 people.
Most of the shows are sellouts, a sign that Mingrone and his team are making the correct choices.
“We saw the Kellie Pickler concert. Have seen cage fights. The venue is surprisingly accommodating. And the drive is better than Fresno and Bakersfield,” answered Chris Leon to a question on The Recorder’s Facebook page.
The events have ranged in the past from music, to Mixed Martial Arts fights, to comedians. However, he likes to switch them up.
“I do try to change it up from comedian to music to comedian,” said Mingrone, who added that if the opportunities arose it would not stop them from booking a comedian two months in a row.
For entertainment suggestions, he listens to the casino customers to find out their preferences.
“I go to the customers and ask ‘what would you like to see?’” said Mingrone.
Past acts have included Creedence Clearwater Revival, the Beach Boys, America and War.
“It sold out like that,” said Mingrone as he snapped his fingers.
Though most of the acts have been non picky, he has had a few instances of pickiness.
“One act only ate vegan and yet after the concert they were eating burger and fries,” said Mingrone.
However, most acts are very easy going. He pointed out that the country music stars are more open to autographs and interviews.
The hardest part of his position is affording acts.
“It comes down to the high price of entertainers. There’s been times we’ve had to say no because their price is to high,” said Mingrone.
As to the booking of the acts, the casino is in a prime spot.
“We sit in a very good spot. We catch entertainers from Las Vegas, Los Angeles and northern California,” said Mingrone.
The whole entertainment process starts with their booking agent.
“We are lucky enough to have a very good booking agent that contracts out. He books other casinos in Nevada and California so he has better buying power,” said Mingrone. “He is a separate, third-party vendor, but he works with us.”
After an entertainer is considered, he negotiates a price, sends an offer with details like the pay amount and the length of show, usually an hour and a half. He points out that once the offer is signed by both parties it is considered “booked.” Then comes the physical rider and the team which takes care of the star’s catering, and logistics including hotel and flight or drive.
Once that is worked out, the casino requests the star’s marketing material for the advertisements and their sign which are designed and printed in house.
Some of the locals are very happy with the marketing department’s work.
“I’ve been up there to see many Spanish and English concerts and have enjoyed each and everyone! We do need more room between the chairs though. They are too close that we don’t have any elbow space! Otherwise all the staff is very friendly at seating us,” wrote Rosa Anaya Menchaca via Facebook.
Another attendee agreed.
“Recently attended Pat Benatar who I thought was really great. I won the tickets off Facebook from Eagle Mountain. If I was to buy tickets to go to a concert I would buy them on the floor. General admission is cool if you win them, but I wouldn’t want to sit there if I was paying. But it was clean and the staff was very nice,” wrote Kerry Alves.