The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace is more than a luxury retail emporium. It’s a shopping spectacle that also happens to have an impressive array of restaurants, a 50,000-gallon aquarium, talking Greek statues that detail the fall of Atlantis, and an indoor sky that changes color. Still, it’s not exactly easy to quantify the impact Maureen Crampton has made on the Las Vegas shopping experience. As the director of marketing and business development of The Forum Shops, she is a force behind the scene, crafting it for everyone from the well-heeled to window shoppers to gawkers and grazers alike.
In a town known for continuous change, where executives flit from new resort to new resort, it’s rare to find someone who has been dedicated to one space for nearly her entire career. Crampton began when The Forum Shops did, in 1992, as director of marketing, and she has helped build it into one of the most sought-after shopping destinations on the Strip. Over her near-30-year career, she has overseen two massive expansions (one featured one of the world’s only spiral escalators) and brought in many Las Vegas firsts, including flagship stores for Versace, Louis Vuitton, Armani, and Jimmy Choo. She’ll collaborate with teams to work on everything from the interior design of common-area seating to coordination of advertising and public relations between the property and the shops, luring in new-to-market boutiques that want to make Las Vegas their home and ensuring that the shops themselves all work together in harmony. “The science behind a winning tenant mix is vital and requires dedication,” she explains. “We want to make certain we have a good balance that appeals to a broad audience. In that way, we also look for brands that complement one another.”
That work results in a kind of feng shui and a good flow through the space, which, at 683,000 square feet with a mazelike layout, can feel overwhelming without the right touches to guide you. “Guests love the ambience and attention to detail. The shopping center has created a true sense of both comfort and excitement at the same time,” Crampton says.
Over the years, demographics such as the average shopper’s age or place of origin may change, but certain constants remain: They are a brand-conscious, educated, and informed clientele, and it’s part of Crampton’s job to ensure they all find what they are looking for. Some 22 million people pass through the vast shopping center annually, with 80 percent of them tourists hailing from countries all over the world, including Japan, China, the UK, and Brazil. Throughout the mall, more than 25 languages are spoken to meet global guests’ needs. “Our customers still enjoy the thrill of a purchase,” Crampton notes, and “they want to be able to qualify their visit to Las Vegas with some type of ‘trophy’—something that they can take away and return to their hometown or country that speaks to their vacation experience.”