Not long after a blank slab of concrete was being laid for the construction of a new Baton Rouge casino in May 2010, Kim Ginn found herself staring at her own blank slate, tasked with building the brand of L’Auberge Casino & Hotel in Baton Rouge from the ground up.
Ginn, the vice president of marketing for the newest L’Auberge location, was the first person hired for the property in 2011. She was responsible for the success of introducing the brand to the Capital Region community.
“I had never opened a property before,” Ginn says. “A new operation is challenging because you are learning a new market, learning the guests; and in a new market, everything is a first.”
Ginn had a 20-year track record of marketing success in the gaming industry when she joined the Baton Rouge L’Auberge team. She had been senior director of marketing at Pinnacle Entertainment for its original L’Auberge Casino & Hotel location in Louisiana. Prior to that, she spent 12 years as marketing director for the Belle of Baton Rouge.
“Gaming has provided me with the opportunity to touch every aspect of marketing but stay in a city and a community that is home to us,” she says.
Her knack for marketing came from her father, who worked in sales and marketing for a truck company when Ginn was growing up. She often tagged along with her dad to the office on Saturdays, helping him with his work and, unknowingly, laying the foundation for her future in business.
Having found the perfect mix of business and creativity in her job at L’Auberge, Ginn attributes her success to two strong female mentors: Virginia McDow, who served as the chief marketing officer at the Belle of Baton Rouge (then Argosy Casino) during Ginn’s time there, and the former head of marketing at Pinnacle, Ginny Shanks.
She also credits L’Auberge Baton Rouge’s current vice president and general manager, Mickey Parenton, with inspiring her professionally.
“Sometimes you emulate your boss, so I was very fortunate to have really great, strong role models to emulate,” she says.
Looking back over the past 19 months since the opening of the L’Auberge Baton Rouge property, Ginn says the opening was one of the hardest things she has ever done, but also the most rewarding.
“I am proud with how we have introduced L’Auberge Baton Rouge to the community and the brand we’ve built and the experience we give our guests,” Ginn says.
In addition to her full-time responsibilities at L’Auberge, Ginn manages to serve on three boards in the Baton Rouge Community, including the alumni board for LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communication and the boards of directors for both the Baton Rouge Area Sports Foundation and HOPE ministries. She also finds time to volunteer at St. Aloysius Church.
Despite all of her accomplishments in the marketing industry and her involvement in the community, Ginn still says her biggest milestone is her family. Notwithstanding her demanding job, she insists her children and her husband are the key to helping her juggle it all.
Now, with the successful launch of the casino and hotel behind her, Ginn is already looking forward to L’Auberge’s planned expansion.
“We are still in our infancy,” Ginn says. “There is so much more still to come for Baton Rouge, both downtown and in the surrounding areas.”