BUFFALO, N.Y. (May 13, 2010) – Delaware North, a company with 95-year-old roots in the hospitality and food service industries, also has considerable expertise in venue management. For starters, the $2 billion-plus global company has been the sole owner since 1975 of Boston’s indoor arena (the Boston Garden and successor TD Garden). In addition, there are more than a dozen destination resorts, racetracks and casino properties in the Delaware North portfolio.
“Decades of property ownership and operation allow us to offer solid venue management experience to our clients,” said Dennis Szefel, Delaware North chief administrative officer. “But even if clients don’t need a full array of venue management services, we still bring that know-how to the table.”
The aforementioned know-how includes everything from securing land and permits to hiring an architect and general maintenance. The company built the FleetCenter (now TD Garden) on its own with no use of public funds. It also designed and constructed a 151-room hotel at its destination casino in Wheeling, West Virginia, and has handled construction projects at airports, sporting venues, hotels, parks and attractions.
To wit: Delaware North, considered one of the best third-party venue management
companies by Lodging Hospitality, manages the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex for NASA, and handles nearly all of the guest services in Yosemite National Park. It also has management agreements with New York state for Niagara Falls State Park and Gideon Putnam Resort.
“An interesting aspect of our business is that no two relationships are the same,” Szefel said, adding his belief that nimbleness to give a client what he or she needs or wants is one of the company’s strengths.
Szefel said adding services later poses no problem for Delaware North, but in the case of new construction, you usually can’t go back to square one. That’s one of the reasons Sportservice, Delaware North’s sports concessions arm, always offers to help plan the kitchen and retail spaces at yet-to-be built stadiums. Nearly a century of experience has taught the company how those spaces should be laid out to facilitate the best delivery of services.
“The client gets a better venue and we can do a better job,” Szefel said. “Everyone wins.”