The casino entertainment industry is about more than just luck but, much like gaming, success can come from taking chances.
Casino entertainment veteran Christian Printup starts his new job as vice president of entertainment at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut, Sept. 4 after seven and a half years at Seneca Resorts in upstate New York where he served as executive director of entertainment and special events.
“The thing I love about Foxwoods, and what really attracted me to it, and made me really kind of seal the deal in taking the new job is how forward thinking they are,” said Printup. “They think big and they dream, they have big vision and I love that. So you can expect Foxwoods to continue to grow.”
Printup, who was named casino entertainment executive of the year in 2019 by the American Gaming Association, steps into a very active, multi-venue property, with the total Foxwoods complex taking up 9 million square feet over six casino properties, more than 2,000 hotel rooms and 30 restaurants. The casino is just miles from Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, which includes the venerable 10,000-seat Mohegan Sun Arena, a regular tour stop in the region.
“I’ve always been motivated by a challenge, and Foxwoods definitely represents the next level in casino experience and casino entertainment,” says Printup. He says it was a difficult decision to leave Seneca Resorts, which allowed him the opportunity to go back to his hometown market after making a mark in the casino business at Tachi Palace casino in central California in the early 2000s.
Active performance venues at Foxwoods include the 4,000-capacity Premier Theater, the Great Theater Showroom (1,400), and a new multipurpose Ring Maker Expo space. Upcoming shows include Daughtry, Ludacris, Gabriel Iglesias, Sara Evans, Megadeth, Brian Setzer, and Kesha.
“Now in my 23rd year working in and around the casino entertainment space, to see the evolution of casino entertainment over the years has been fun and interesting,” said Printup, who was taking a few weeks off between gigs to visit family in California before relocating to Connecticut. “It’s a fast moving space, and I’m excited for what the future holds in terms of what entertainment in casinos looks like, especially from a tech perspective. New technologies are creating so many new possibilities.”
Printup is part of VenuesNow Conference’s “Bigger Than The Drop” casino entertainment discussion, taking place Sept. 28 at the Indian Wells Resort & Spa in Palm Springs. The panel, moderated by casino talent buying veteran Billy Brill, also includes Deana Baker, senior entertainment manager at Choctaw Casino Resort in Durant, Oklahoma; Wasserman Music’s Natalka Dudynsk, Agua Caliente Casino (Palm Springs) senior director of entertainment Monica Reeves and UTA’s Darius Sabet.
“The response has been amazing since they announced this panel,” said Brill, who books talent at Agua Caliente among many others. “We have some of the best talent buyers and casino executives out there, and we’re proud to be part of VenuesNow and I look forward to seeing everybody there.”
“I’m really looking forward to the panel,” adds Printup. “Casinos are doing exceptional things with entertainment, and really leading the way in many markets all across the country. I couldn’t ask for a more knowledgeable, experienced & professional group to share thoughts and ideas with.”
Last week, it was announced that Kathy Carter, CEO and of the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games, will give a keynote speech at VenuesNow Conference, which takes place Sept. 27-28, where she will weigh in on the planning process for the games and how LA28 is leveraging the best of Los Angeles’ venues, operators and executives to reinvent the model for global-scale sporting events.