How Mohegan Sun Earned the ‘Industry Innovator’ Title

Mohegan Sun Arena pivoted to host multiple bubble-site residencies for major sporting events in recent months, such as College Basketball’s “Bubbleville,” that featured 26 games, many of which were nationally televised, across 10 days in late November and early December. (Mohegan Sun Facebook)

The Mohegan Tribe-owned casino in Connecticut has innovated in the face of the pandemic — rolling out a “hotel-in-a-hotel” known as Aspire, introducing automated minibars and a food app ordering system, and transforming its Arena into a hub for bubble-style sporting events including for college basketball. 

Aspire

With casino & resort competition on the increase in recent years, Mohegan Sun recently made a major design upgrade to its iconic 36-level Sky Tower hotel. A full VIP treatment was rolled out through a Aspire

Located on the highest levels of Sky Tower, Aspire guests receive their own private valet and check-in, as well as a unique arrival gift that joins sweeping views of the New England countryside and five-star accommodations. Aspire guests also can take advantage of their very own butler and access to the exclusive luxury food and beverage experience on the 33rd floor, aptly titled, Thirty Three.

Automated Minibar 

Mohegan Sun hotel rooms now also feature an advanced and fully automated minibar by Bartech, which allows guests to purchase food and other items with ease, while allowing Mohegan Sun’s hotel front office to easily track sales.

Workforce Development 

When it comes to workforce development, Mohegan Sun has been an industry leader. Mohegan Sun’s Student Vocational Inclusion Program, which gains improvements and new talent every year, provides internships across various focuses for young people with physical, developmental and intellectual disabilities.  

Local schools in Montville, Norwich, Waterford and more, are partners in the program that has now been running strong for nearly 10 years. Mohegan Sun’s Wardrobe department, culinary team, Environmental Services (EVS), among other areas, have all had positive impacts from the program.  As a testament to that success, many internships result in permanent and meaningful roles at Mohegan Sun.

Mohegan Sun Arena

While Mohegan Sun’s showrooms have not been open to the public during the global pandemic, earlier in 2020, an innovative food app ordering system (Noble) was implemented in Mohegan Sun Arena where guests can order concessions directly from their seat. This service will return in the future, when entertainment programming on a wider level is able to safety return.

Mohegan Sun, like so many businesses and destinations, also had to evolve and adapt quickly over the course of the global pandemic and become smart, creative and most importantly, safe. 

After a temporary closure that occurred in the spring, Mohegan Sun re-opened with well over $1 million spent on a health & safety plan that involved non-invasive thermal temperature scans, UV light technology throughout air handler systems, plexiglass dividers at transactional locations, rigorous cleaning protocols, mask requirements and much more. 

The Mohegan Tribal Health Department also operates on-site and proved vital in all phases of Mohegan Sun’s health & safety measures. 

They also played a key role in Mohegan Sun Arena becoming home to multiple bubble-site residencies for major sporting events in recent months, such as College Basketball’s “Bubbleville,” that featured 26 games, many of which were nationally televised, across 10 days in late November and early December.

Industry Innovator

All this and more garnered Mohegan Sun the “Industry Innovator” recognition by the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut’s annual awards, also known as the “ECTys.” The ECTys aim to recognize excellence in both business and the community. 

The “Industry Innovator” award showcases businesses of any size that have shown strong ability to adapt to the marketplace by introducing or embracing new concepts or technologies to better serve customers. This award also takes into account businesses that provide unique opportunities for its workforce development.

“Being recognized with this particular ECTy Award is truly an honor for Mohegan Sun,” said Jeff Hamilton, President & General Manager of Mohegan Sun. “Our goal is to always adapt and evolve to any business environment, stay on the cutting edge of customer service and develop rising stars within our company. Two key areas where this has been a major success is through key upgrades at our hotel and through our Disability Vocational Program.”

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