I had eaten, connected with people, ate more food, and stopped at Sarah Jessica Parker's new shoe store before I noticed that 2 hours had passed, and I still had not seen this casino that had been mentioned on the news several times as I was getting ready in my hotel room. I went to Washington DC in December, and forgot to tell my body that winter in DC was nothing like the last 13 winters we survived in Atlanta. We were both happy when our driver finally arrived to the new MGM National Harbor Site. My driver was an immigrant and loved his job. He mentioned how much more he loved it because his wages and bonuses had increased because of the new MGM Resort property at National Harbor. I had just switched out my handbag to a much smaller purse, because a VIP night awaited me and I didnt want to carry a monstrosity of a bag. I only had a few dollars left and thought I can't tip him 3 bucks. I told him I really wanted to give him a tip and as any good business person would do he gave me an alternative payment method. That my friends are innovation, commerce, and electronic payment systems at work.
Now back to the main reason I am writing this post. He shared with me that he completed high school but no other formal education and his job as a driver allowed him to feed his family and have a quality of life he believed we are all entitled too. I think he loves America as much as I do.
We ended our very pleasant conversation as he handed me back my check card. I entered the room and was amazed by the beauty and grandeur of it all. Then I smelled food which is my second favorite pastime, so I followed my nose, but the artwork, the people, and the service were things that didn't go unnoticed as I found my way to the Asian restaurant that had the best food, until I reached the steakhouse, the seafood restaurant, and then the best burger I'd ever eaten.
Finally my feet were killing me, nothing a new pair of SJP's wouldn’t have fixed, but it was time to go back to my hotel room. I was stuffed full of amazing creations, by some of the world's greatest chefs, and that DC cold air was winning a fight I didn't know I was in. One last stop before I call my Uber. You got it ...the actual casino. Hmmm.. It’s nice, clean, orderly, and buzzing with people. Ok great now I need ice for my feet and put on a fur coat I don't have. It was truly a great experience minus the plane ride and the cold DC winter.
I did wonder a few days later what would happen, what would the impact be on the Atlanta region and the this Bible Belt state if a casino of this magnitude was in this market. However, it’s not for me to decide.
On Thursday February 23rd, 2017 the DeKalb Chamber celebrated its 79th Annual Meeting with more than 350 plus business members, community leaders and friends. Our keynote address was delivered by Bill Hornbuckle the President of MGM Resorts International. A topic in Georgia that everyone wants to know more about. Senate Bill 79 sponsored by Senator Brandon Beach is something you all should read and pay attention to. You will find it in many of my previous blogs, on Gold Dome Updates. A promising presentation by Hornbuckle and a timely topic Georgia businesses should keep their eye on. It was also presented in committee on February 23rd to legislators at the capitol. We waited and today was the day for this Destination Resort bill. My employer has not taken a position and nor have I. We will leave that up to those elected to serve, and they have decided. But what do you think? Do you think we have heard the last of SB79? Take the survey below.
The opinions in my blog are my own, this is my platform to share my experiences and I hope you respect my right to free speech as much as I respect yours.
Katerina "Kat" Taylor
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