Students in the casino resort operations management class at The University of Southern Mississippi were pleasantly surprised when Gulfport Mayor George Schloegel joined them for lunch during their March 4 field trip at the Island View Casino Resort in Gulfport.
Rick Carter, co-owner of the Island View Casino Resort, invited Mayor Schloegel as a surprise for the students. During lunch, Schloegel stressed the importance of the gaming industry’s contribution to the economy and economic development efforts of the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
“Mississippi gained approximately 18,000 jobs from the gaming industry,” said Schloegel. “The gaming industry reinvests in non-gaming facilities that create additional jobs for the local economy and represents lower taxes and better education opportunities for our children.”
Led by Island View Casino Resort CEO Lindsey Inman, the resort’s senior executive team spent their workday sharing their expertise about innovative marketing, cost control initiatives and the advantages of working for a standalone property versus a corporate-owned property.
“Having the students on property is a reminder of the great resource Southern Miss is to our community, both in terms of recruitment and research capabilities,” said Inman. “Property visits help the students transfer information from theoretical to practical and give our leadership team a clear understanding of student career interests.”
The students observed a demonstration of the creative and animation process of the casino’s latest player reward kiosk game. “The Island View strongly advocates individual and team innovative thinking,” said tourism management instructor Evelyn Green. “Such corporate values can be only be observed firsthand, not from textbooks.”
In addition to meeting the mayor and casino executives, the students toured the resort’s print shop, Emeril’s Fish House restaurant, the high-roller suites and the back-of-the-house operations.
For more information about the Tourism Management degree program at Southern Miss Gulf Coast, visit www.usm.edu/gulfcoast/business.
Gulfport Mayor George Schloegel (left) meets with University of Southern Mississippi tourism management students Alison Cox of Hattiesburg (center) and Emily Adams of Gulfport (right). The tourism management class met with the mayor for lunch during a property tour of the Island View Casino Resort. (Southern Miss University Communications photo by Evelyn Green)
About The University of Southern Mississippi
The University of Southern Mississippi, founded in 1910, is a comprehensive doctoral and research-extensive university fulfilling its mission of being a leading university in engaging and empowering individuals to transform lives and communities. In a tradition of leadership for student development, Southern Miss is educating a 21st century work force providing intellectual capital, cultural enrichment and innovation to Mississippi and the world. Southern Miss is located in Hattiesburg, Miss., with an additional campus and teaching and research sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast; further information is found at www.usm.edu/gulfcoast .