Arizona Charlie's renovations focused on loyal bettors
September 19, 2017 3:01 AM
by Mark Mayer
Add Arizona Charlie’s Decatur to the growing list of race and sportsbook expansions. But here it’s a little bit different.
“Nine weeks long and hard,” said Cindy Hughlett who took over last season as race and sports manager when Kitt Langvad retired after 28 years in that position. Kitt was the gold standard and a mentor to Cindy.
“She taught me the ropes and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else,” said Hughlett, who became a sports junkie after spending time at the horse races at Santa Anita.
Much like this book, it evolved from a primitive form to state of the art.
“My focus is that this is a family,” she said. “There is such a trust around here. Most places you’re just a number and they don’t really care about you. Here we do, and this book is now a hot spot. This is the place they want to be.”
While new books have been the in-thing with major upgrades at Westgate, Wynn, Palace Station, Rampart and the Golden Nugget, here it is vastly different. All those fine establishments improved an already established and classy product. Here you wouldn’t believe it’s the same place that once existed.
“We raised the ceiling because we need a lot better ventilation,” Hughlett explained. “We needed digital boards and I think that’s our biggest asset.”
The book is also considerably brighter and far more comfortable than the old site. It seats about 100 and every one is a perfect spot for viewing. The big screen TV’s are in place and there are seven betting stations with far more area to work with.
“All of my people are focused on customer relations,” Hughlett said. “We are all living life in the penthouse now.”
AC Decatur runs a Monday night promo for football season where tickets are drawn for a chance to win $500.
“The second chance drawings are our way of giving back to our guests,” Hughlett said. “Plus having hot dogs, wings, nachos and chili is a great deal. I want people to check us out.”
This locale carries the same lines as Arizona Charlie’s East (Boulder Highway) with the hub at the Stratosphere where Ed Malinowski oversees the operation for all three sites. It is at the Strat that the lines are set and policy is made.
“We are so happy to see how nice this book has turned out here,” Malinowski said. “We are undergoing a change in ownership and excited about what lies in the future.”
Hughlett had described her locale in the past as “not being the prettiest, but having the best people.”
Call them pretty now.