TMG Promotes Opportunities for Small Businesses in Baton Rouge

Last week, TMG Consulting assisted the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport in hosting its 10th Annual Small Business Opportunities Workshop at L’Auberge Casino. More than 150 participants attended to learn about upcoming projects at the Airport, meet with other City Agencies, and resource agencies available to assist small businesses.

logoBtr02Airport staff from every department was available to discuss future opportunities for a variety of business types, from printers and promotional materials, to IT support and supply, and

Participants learned the ins and outs of the Airport’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program for minority and woman owned businesses as well as the Small Business Enterprise (SBE) program for all small businesses. Through these two programs, the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport works to expand access to small businesses by unbundling large contracts into smaller scopes so that small businesses can bid as the general contractor, or setting disadvantaged business participation goals on projects to encourage prime firms to utilize the services of local, DBE firms.

DBEThe event is a great networking tool for DBE’s to meet with Airport staff, understand the needs of the airport and brainstorm how their business can serve these needs, but it also puts DBE firms face-to-face with the Prime firms that are interested in bidding on the larger contracts bid by the Airport. The Airport’s DBE Consultant, Bonnie Garrigan of TMG Consulting, encourages DBE’s to make relationships with prime firms before the bids are out. “You have to make it easy for prime firms. Introduce yourself, let them know what you can offer them, and when the opportunity exists, they will remember you because they already know you.” Ms. Garrigan offered several strategies to DBE firms to be ready to partner with prime contractors on Airport work, “Attend pre-bid conferences. Understand the project and if possible, prepare a mini quote before the pre-bid to provide to all the prime firms in attendance. Show them you are ready.”

Comments were very positive from the participants, many of whom have attended the event year after year and learn something new each time. Business Opportunities at the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport are advertised on the City Purchasing webpage and in the Advocate.

Is the Decline in Oil Prices Really a Threat to the Hybrid Car Industry?

Coinciding with the dramatic decrease in oil prices in the later part of 2014, various media reports have revisited the consumer’s economic benefit from owning a hybrid automobile versus a fuel dependent one.

save-moneyA recent article in Bloomberg Businessweek compared the price of driving three cars that are comparable in size—a hybrid car (Toyota Prius), a gasoline-powered car (Chevy Cruze), and an electric car (Nissan Leaf). The comparison shows that over time (a period of 30 years) the total expense to operate and drive the hybrid and gasoline powered vehicles were basically the same. According to the article, the electric car was far more cost efficient to own and operate than either the hybrid or gasoline automobiles.

The article admits its own shortcomings in comparing the cost-savings of these three vehicles. These include assuming oil prices remain stable and as low as they currently are over a thirty-year period, and the failure to include the initial cost of a residential charging station an electric vehicle owner may incur. But a primary issue with this article is its reluctance to address the non-monetary value consumers place on reducing their environmental impact by purchasing electric cars.

The recent Detroit auto show, as reported in a Reuters article, gave the industry a platform to discuss the implications of falling gas prices on consumer vehicle preferences. Low gas prices have driven increases in demand for less fuel-efficient vehicles such as heavy trucks, SUVs, and luxury cars of the high-performance variant. Rather than rejoicing a return of interest to gas-hungry cars, the industry is focused on developing and selling electric and hybrid cars. This is due to the U.S.’s requirement that all vehicles sold in 2025 average 54.5 miles per gallon or greater (potentially subject to adjustment based on real-time shifts in the data models). The future policy regulations require automakers to increase research and development spending on vehicles with increased fuel efficiency, while the current marketplace suggests that a waning in consumer interest in fuel-inefficient vehicles is unlikely to occur anytime soon.

obama-cafe-standards-0711-deBoth consumers and manufacturers should continue to assess the non-monetary benefits that electric and fuel-efficient cars bring. Beyond oil-independence and a reduced impact on the environment, the prevalence of these vehicles in the marketplace may induce other benefits such as an increasingly more accessible price for consumers.

Submitted by:

Nicholas Farrae
Senior Analyst, Economics and Gaming

 

The views, interpretations, or strategies expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the position of TMG Consulting. This site is meant for educational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. TMG Consulting makes no representation as to accuracy, completeness, or suitability of any information on this site and will not be liable for damages arising from its display or use.

Construction Begins on New Orleans Rampart Streetcar Expansion

On the heels of the St. Charles streetcar line being named a national historic landmark, the Regional Transit Authority (RTA) here in New Orleans has begun construction on a new Rampart streetcar line. The line will travel in shared lanes (similar to the Carrollton line) from Canal Street to Elysian Fields along Rampart Street and St. Claude Avenue. Tracks will be laid in the leftmost lane in each direction. TMG is excited to see this portion of the streetcar expansion come to fruition.

Rampart-Expansion-Map

Just as with the increased economic development after the announcement of the Loyola Streetcar Line, the Rampart/St. Claude line could invigorate investment along the corridor even before the line’s completion in 2017. The corridor currently hosts an eclectic commercial offering of bars, galleries, music venues, and food co-ops.  Advocacy and buy-in from the area’s residents was a major factor in implementing the RTA’s vision, and the entire city stands to benefit.

The Rampart/St. Claude streetcar corridor is bounded by 7 neighborhoods: the Central Business District, the French Quarter, Iberville, Treme, Marigny, and the 7th and 8th Wards. During the planning phase, the RTA actively engaged each of these neighborhoods as well as more than a dozen neighborhood and community organizations representing the surrounding area.

TMG is proud to have played a part in the planning, oversight, and execution of this major capital program.

The views, interpretations, or strategies expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the position of TMG Consulting. This site is meant for educational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. TMG Consulting makes no representation as to accuracy, completeness, or suitability of any information on this site and will not be liable for damages arising from its display or use.

Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport On Track to Exceed DBE Goals

Airport Reports Significant Increase in DBE Commitments

DBETMG Consulting assists the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport (BRMA) in drafting and administering its Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) and Small Business Enterprise (SBE) programs.  The Airport’s DBE Program is mandated by the federal government under FAA grant assurances and aims to ensure that government grant funds are distributed equitably.

TMG is proud to report that projects awarded in FFY 2014 have a combined commitment of 17.11% to DBE firms.  A total of six (6) DBE subcontracts were awarded on four (4) projects during FFY 2014, for a value of $973,865 to DBE firms. During FFY 2013, BRMA committed 8.7% to DBE firms. BRMA’s overall DBE goal for FFYs 2013-2015 is 7.1%, so BRMA is on track to greatly exceed their original target.

logoBtr02TMG Consulting provides assistance to BRMA by setting DBE project goals, conducting compliance reviews of bids, monitoring ongoing DBE participation on projects, assisting interested Prime Contractors in finding qualified DBE’s and providing assistance to DBE’s interested in contracting at BRMA. TMG looks forward to working with these contractors to ensure maximum participation and realization of project benchmarks.

For more information on TMG’s DBE program management services, please visit our products page here.

If you have any questions, please call:

(504) 569-9239

Rachael Bauer ext. 24 or Bonnie Garrigan ext. 29

Contributed by:

Rachael C. Bauer, MURP
Associate, TMG Consulting

Japanese Legislators Reconvene to Discuss Casino Bill

Today marks the convocation of the special autumn session of Japan’s parliament (the National Diet). During the previous session which ended last June, a bill was introduced by a cross-party coalition of lawmakers representing both the ruling LDP party as well as opposition parties. Passing this preliminary “enabling bill” is seen as the first step toward the establishment of casinos in Japan, and it would lay the legislative groundwork on a conceptual level. Once passed, a second piece of legislation would be required, outlining the specifics of casino implementation, administration, and regulation in Japan.

Toru Mihara, an Osaka professor who advises pro-casino lawmakers, has said that he sees the bill’s passage as likely occurring by November, barring the introduction of pressing legislation that would distract the Diet from the casino bill. Similarly rosy forecasts of swift action by the Diet have been made many times in the past. The clock is ticking as Tokyo commences preparation for hosting the 2020 Olympics, and many are beginning to wonder whether or not Japanese IRs will be able to open in time for this major international tourism event.

A coalition of LDP and opposition party legislators is working to legalize Japanese casino development.

How Big is the Market?

The consensus among bullish analysts has been that with one integrated resort (IR) in Tokyo and another in Osaka, plus up to ten smaller casinos in other Japanese localities, gross gaming revenue could reach $40 billion annually. This would place the Japanese gaming market far ahead of both Las Vegas and Singapore, and it would approach the size of the world’s largest gaming market, Macau, where revenue was $45.2 billion in 2013. By contrast, a Morgan Stanley report published earlier this year has suggested that Japan might not be as profitable a market as many are expecting. Their analysis has projected Japanese annual GGR to be about one half of the consensus’ estimate, amounting to $21-$22 billion.

Locations Under Consideration for a Japanese IR

More than 20 locations in Japan are vying to be chosen as locations for IRs. There are campaigns underway to attract casinos as far north as Hokkaido and Akita, further south in Tokyo’s neighboring Chiba and Kanagawa Prefectures, in Osaka to the west, as far south as Nagasaki and Miyazaki, and in the southernmost islands of Okinawa. One of the frontrunner sites for an IR is a partially man-made island in Osaka Bay known as Yumeshima. As of this month, seven developers have held meetings with the Osaka prefectural governor, who is recommending this location. Although Tokyo’s governor has been notably lukewarm to the idea of an IR in the nation’s capital, many see Tokyo’s waterfront location of Odaiba as a leading candidate for a casino resort. Another Tokyo location under consideration by developers is the current site of the Tsukiji Fish Market which will relocate nearby in 2016. Tsukiji is one of the largest contiguous parcels of land ever offered for redevelopment in Tokyo, and its prime location is ideal for an IR.

02_Odaiba

The waterfront Odaiba development in Tokyo is one of the leading sites where a Japanese IR might be located.

Contenders for Japanese Licenses

MGM Resorts International has already unveiled images of its plans for an MGM Osaka casino resort, and it has been rumored that they have also been scouting out the Tsukiji site in Tokyo. MGM has held discussions with Universal Studios Japan, and they have pledged to invest $5-$10 billion in the Japanese market, with a 51% requirement for their stake in a Japanese partnership. Las Vegas Sands is said to be eyeing a Tokyo location, and Sheldon Adelson has stated that he would spend “whatever it takes” to gain a foothold in Japan, citing numbers between $7 and $10 billion. Melco Crown is reported to have met with Osaka authorities this past July, while Wynn Resorts is thought to be exploring sites in Tokyo. Caesars Entertainment CEO Gary Loveman has stated that his company would have no problem financing an investment in Japan of at least $5 billion. Another potential foreign IR developer is Genting of Malaysia, while domestic bidders for licenses include pachinko companies Dynam and Konami, Keikyu Railways, and a joint venture of Fuji Media, Kajima Construction, and Mitsui Real Estate.

Contributed by:

Anthony Mumphrey III
Principal, TMG Consulting
anthony@tmgconsulting.net
(504) 569-9239, Ex.22

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Disclaimer
The views, interpretations, or strategies expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the position of TMG Consulting. This site is meant for educational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. TMG Consulting makes no representation as to accuracy, completeness, or suitability of any information on this site and will not be liable for damages arising from its display or use.

TMG Increases Engagement for DBEs and SBEs at Airport Event

On July 30th, 2014, TMG Consulting organized the 9th Annual Business Opportunities Workshop for the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport. This year featured a small business trade show, where small and disadvantaged businesses, along with resources agencies, tabled to showcase their talents. Attendance at this event topped over 120 small and disadvantaged business, prime contractors, resource agencies, and airport staff! The purpose of the Business Opportunities Workshop is multi-faceted:

  • to educate firms about the Airport’s Disadvantaged Enterprise (DBE) program and Small Business Enterprise (SBE) program;
  • to inform attendees about upcoming work opportunities at the Airport;
  • to facilitate networking among prime and potential subcontractor firms in order to create connections now, learn what businesses have to offer and prepare a qualified team when the next Baton Rouge Airport bid is released.
  • and to provide resources to help small businesses grow.

Small businesses are an integral aspect of the Baton Rouge Airport’s long-term vision and the airport has a history of actively engaging the DBE and small business communities on Airport contracts. The Airport DBE Program is mandated by the federal government under FAA grant assurances and aims to ensure that government grant funds are distributed equitably.

TMG Consulting has assisted the Baton Rouge Airport to draft and administer both DBE and SBE programs and regularly sets DBE project goals, conducts compliance reviews of bid, and monitors ongoing DBE participation on projects. Events such as these are hosted to help communicate the wide range of opportunities at an Airport for businesses and to demystify the DBE program for all contractors.

 

Contributed by:

Bonnie Garrigan
Manager of Economic Analysis
bonniegarrigan@tmg-consulting.net or 504.569.9239 ext.29

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 Disclaimer
The views, interpretations, or strategies expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the position of TMG Consulting. This site is meant for educational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. TMG Consulting makes no representation as to accuracy, completeness, or suitability of any information on this site and will not be liable for damages arising from its display or use.

 

 

March of Dimes Honors TMG Associate Eric Melancon

Amanda Vonderhaar, Nicole Rios, Eric Melancon and Robin Johnson (Left to Right) were among the 29 honorees presented at the 28th March of Dimes "Spotlight on Success" Gala at the Generations Hall in New Orleans on Friday, June 13, 2014. (Photo credit by Peter G. Forest) (Times-Picayune)

Amanda Vonderhaar, Nicole Rios, Eric Melancon and Robin Johnson (Left to Right) were among the 29 honorees presented at the 28th March of Dimes “Spotlight on Success” Gala at the Generations Hall in New Orleans on Friday, June 13, 2014. (Photo credit by Peter G. Forest) (Times-Picayune)

Each year, the New Orleans chapter of the March of Dimes honors between 20 and 30 young professionals and civic activists in the Greater New Orleans Area. Eric Melancon, an Associate at TMG Consulting, was among this year’s honorees.

This Spotlight on Success Gala is an annual fundraising event, silent auction, and awareness campaign for the March of Dimes whose mission is to reduce the rate of premature births, birth defects, and other significant health issues faced by newborn babies.

Honorees and the Local Chapter’s March of Dimes Board Members work together to solicit sponsorships and auction item donations from businesses and organizations in the local area. TMG Consulting was among the many proud sponsors of this year’s event.

This year’s Gala, held on June 13, 2014, raised a record-breaking $170,000 for the March of Dimes, and hosted over 1,000 attendees, the most the annual event has ever brought in. Photos of the many attendees and auction items for this year’s event can be found on the March of Dimes NOLA Facebook Page.

 

Airport Strategy – Invest in Assets that Reduce Costs

Most public agencies are dependent on revenues from taxes or fees, with constant pressure to deliver service for the minimum absolutely necessary.  While airports are usually self-supporting and funded with rents and fees, there is always pressure to economize.

A simple example is relocating concessions from before a security check point to after.  Because of Transportation Security Administration restrictions, concessions revenue at locations before security check points have fallen dramatically since 2002.  Most airports have now readjusted and reallocated concessions to post-security locations.

Armstrong Airport in New Orleans is seeking to reinvent itself with a much larger concept, to create a facility that reduces its costs by increasing revenues and limiting the burden on its rate payers, the commercial air carriers leasing terminal space.  By re-configuring concessions and right-sizing its new terminal, Armstrong seeks to reduce its operating costs while increasing sales, thus producing more revenue with a public asset and delivering the same or better service, i.e. more flights to more places, with the same cost.

Contributed by:

Ross Chapman
Principal
rfc@tmg-consulting.net or 504.569.9239

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 Disclaimer
The views, interpretations, or strategies expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the position of TMG Consulting. This site is meant for educational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. TMG Consulting makes no representation as to accuracy, completeness, or suitability of any information on this site and will not be liable for damages arising from its display or use.

Japan’s Gaming Prospects Heat Up

For years now, many have eagerly speculated that Japan will pass legislation allowing casinos to be opened within the nation. This year, more than in previous years, it looks like Japan may pass such legislation. With things heating up in the Asian gaming market, e.g., in South Korea and The Philippines, and with the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo creeping up, there seems to be more than a hint of urgency to green-light casino development in Japan.

Despite having several forms of legal gaming, such as pachinko, lottery, and race betting, Vegas-style games are not currently permitted in Japan. The opposition to casinos in Japan has cited problem gambling and opportunities for increased organized crime activity as concerns. However, promises of multi-billion dollar foreign investments and the allure of a mechanism for economic recovery may outweigh those concerns this time around. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has voiced his support for legalizing casinos as a potential means by which to revive the economy, forming part of his “Abenomics” strategy.

This summer, unless snagged by procedural issues, Parliament is expected to pass legislation  for four casino resort licenses. Diet member Takeshi Iwaya of the Liberal Democratic Party leads the push for resort gaming in Japan and has multi-party support. At least one casino is expected for Tokyo, and another in Osaka. We believe that Japan could become one of the most lucrative gaming markets in the world (behind Macau). With the passage of this legislation, Japan will likely become the stage for one of the fiercest battles for casino licenses the world has ever witnessed.


Contributed by:

Anthony Mumphrey, III, Principal
anthony@tmg-consulting.net or 504.569.9239 x 22

and

Nicholas Farrae
Senior Analyst, Economics & Gaming
nicholasfarrae@tmg-consulting.net or 504.569.9239 x 31

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 Disclaimer
The views, interpretations, or strategies expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the position of TMG Consulting. This site is meant for educational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. TMG Consulting makes no representation as to accuracy, completeness, or suitability of any information on this site and will not be liable for damages arising from its display or use.

iGaming Goes Live in Three States

Since our last entry on iGaming, Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware have become the first states with (legal) live online gaming websites within their boundaries.

In 2011, the U.S. Justice Department reversed its ruling on internet gambling. Today, legal internet gaming is gradually rolling out across the U.S. How much revenue iGaming will generate and exactly how smoothly iGaming websites will operate remains unseen.[1]

Nevada

Nevada became the first state in the U.S. to operate legal iGaming.[2] Currently, only online poker is allowed in Nevada, and the Nevada Gaming Commission has no plans to expand beyond this in the foreseeable future.[3] Two websites, UltimatePoker.com and W888.com hold licenses in the state with the express purpose for online gaming, launching their websites in April 2013 and September 2013 respectively.[4] The websites are only allowed to be accessed by players physically within the state of Nevada. Participants are subjected to an extensive identity verification screening that ensures that that they are of gambling age.

But how much is Nevada making off of this new source of revenue? Nevada’s gaming commission has indicated it will only report iGaming revenues in a separate category of monthly reporting once there are three online poker sites operating in the state.[5] With just two websites up and running, there are no official reports of online poker revenue to date.[6]

Chapter 463 of Nevada Revised Statue[7], not only authorizes iGaming within the state, but positions Nevada for interstate gaming, allowing Nevada to negotiate online gaming agreements with other states.[8]

Delaware

Delaware passed legislation on June 27th, 2012 authorizing online gaming within the state. In October 2013, Delaware rolled out the first “real money stakes” internet gambling games to selected users, and in November 2013, online gambling was made widely available to Delaware residents[9]. Users physically in Delaware are able to play not only online poker, but also blackjack, roulette, and slot games.[10] While online gaming is not expected to generate much improvements in tax revenue, the expectation is that younger gamers will be drawn to Delaware’s brick-and-mortar casinos.[11] After launching online gaming, gamers in Delaware who tried to play poker experienced connectivity issues due to location-based software issues.[12]

New Jersey

New Jersey became the third state to offer iGaming on November 26, 2013, after the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement green-lighted six casinos licensed to operate statewide internet gaming. The six casinos approved are the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, the Tropicana Casino and Resort, Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort, Bally’s Atlantic City, and Caesars Atlantic City.[13] Registered gamers who are physically within the state of New Jersey can play blackjack, slots, and poker online.[14]

As of early December 2013, Atlantic City’s casinos are struggling with their verification systems. The general manager at the Tropicana Atlantic City, Steve Callender, said “about 75 percent of people who have tried to play on the resort’s online gaming website — TropicanaCasino.com — have been denied because the system could not verify they were in New Jersey.” This is due primarily to three reasons: technical problems, users not physically present in New Jersey trying to access these sites, and some major banks, PayPal, and American Express having policy to not process online gaming transactions.[15] According to Moody’s, iGaming in New Jersey stands to generate $250 million to $500 million within its first year.[16] Being an early mover in iGaming, New Jersey hopes to gain an edge over casinos in nearby states, such as Pennsylvania, that have caused Atlantic City’s land-based operations to struggle in recent years.

What’s Next?

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, six states are working to authorize iGaming within their borders. California, Illinois, and Pennsylvania each have iGaming resolutions pending within the state legislative bodies. Colorado, Hawaii, Iowa, and Mississippi had iGaming laws which failed to pass in 2013.[17] With three states already conducting iGaming operations, it’s only a matter of time before the first interstate online poker games make their debut.

Contributed by:

Nicholas Farrae

Senior Analyst, Economics & Gaming

nicholasfarrae@tmg-consulting.net or 504.569.9239 x 31

 

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 Disclaimer
The views, interpretations, or strategies expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the position of TMG Consulting. This site is meant for educational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. TMG Consulting makes no representation as to accuracy, completeness, or suitability of any information on this site and will not be liable for damages arising from its display or use.

[1] “So What is New Jersey’s Online Gambling Market Really Worth?” OP Report. Web. Online Poker Report. 23 April 2013.

[2] “Know When to Fold.” The Economist. Web. The Economist Newspaper Limited. 14 Sep. 2013.

[3] “Nevada Examines iGaming Changes.” Casino Connection AC. Web. Casino Connection Atlantic City. 31 Oct. 2013.

[4] “Nevada Poker Sites.” US Poker.com. Web. USPoker.com 2013

[5] “Poker Revenues Rise in June.” Las Vegas Review-Journal. Web. Stephens Media LLC. 2 Aug. 2013.

[6] “Nevada and New Jersey Jockey for Online Gambling Revenue.” The Pew Charitable Trusts. Web. The Pew Charitable Trusts. 11 Feb. 2013.

[7] “Chapter 463—Licensing and Control of Gaming.” State of Nevada. Web. State of Nevada. 2013.

[8] “In Nevada, Online Gambling Poised to go Interstate.” Marketplace Business. Web. American Public Media. 22 Feb. 2013.

[9] “Caesars, Partner 888 to Launch Online Poker in Nevada.” Reuters. Thomsonreuters.com. 17 Sep. 2013

[10] “Delaware Ups Ante with Online Gambling.” Delaware Online. Web. Gannett. 31 Oct. 2013.

[11] “Online Gambling to be Allowed in Delaware.” NPR. Web. NPR. 4 Nov. 2013.

[12] “Delaware Internet Gambling Facing IP Issues, Lack of Poker Traffic.” Pocket Fives. Web. PocketFives.com. 10 Nov. 2013.

[13] “Atlantic City, NJ – NJ OKs Statewide Internet Gambling For 6 Casinos.” Vos Iz Neias. Web. VINNews.com. 25 Nov. 2013.

[14] “Christie Signs Bill Legalizing Online Gambling.” Philly.com. Web. Philly.com. 2 Feb. 2013.

[15] “Online Gambling Issues persist into Second Week of Web Betting on N.J.” New Jersery On-Line LLC. Web. Advance Digital. 5 Dec. 2013.

[16] “Online Gambling is Good for New Jersey’s Credit Rating.” The Washington Post. Web. The Washington Post. 2 Dec. 2013.

[17] “2012 Legislation Regarding Internet Gambling or Lotteries.” National Conference of State Legislatures. Web. National Conference of State Legislatures. 7 Feb. 2013