HOUSTON PRODUCTIONS ANNOUNCES THE ADDITION OF DOUG WISNESS TO THE HOUSTON PRODUCTION TEAM.
I have known Doug since the early 90’s and together we forged a relationship as a band leader and an agent with a very successful acapella group called “the coats”. Doug continued on to manage & book the coats for many years and is still actively handling and performing with the group.
Doug is joining Houston Productions to be an integral part of the NW & West Coast presence for Houston Productions. Both as an agent and as a talent buyer, Doug brings his years of management and people skills to Houston Productions to help continue our valued service and partnerships as a talent buying company.
With offices in the greater Seattle area as well as Las Vegas and Minneapolis, Houston Productions currently books over 200 shows a year in approximately 14 different states working with 30 plus tribal casinos and numerous fairs & festivals across the country.
Houston Productions is proud to have been voted casino buyer of the year in 2012, 2014 & 2016, by the International Entertainment Buyers Association (IEBA).
AWARDED IEBA CASINO BUYER OF THE YEAR
Love the entertainment at your casino? Thank your casino buyer.
And help us congratulate the top casino buyer of the year, three time winner: Kell Houston
Ever wonder how casino’s, big and small, manage to get the top name acts as well as guest-pleasing entertainment like meet and greets with hugely popular TV shows stars? It starts with the casino buyer. And how do you get to be the number one casino buyer in the industry? Just ask Kell Houston, President, Houston Productions and longtime Raving Consulting Partner, Gaming Entertainment.
His peers and members of the (International Entertainment Buyers Association) voted for Kell in 2012, 2014, 2016 (winners are not eligible the year after) as the top Casino Buyer of the Year in Nashville last month. He credits this award to, “Giving personal service to each and every client. We create partnerships. We build successful programs. For example, in Oklahoma, we have created some strong success in casinos that currently don’t have venues for shows, with celebrity appearances/meet-n-greets with stars from Game of Thrones, and Sons of Anarchy. As a company, my goal is to provide unique and ahead of the curve ideas, as well as the traditional concerts.”
His clients say it all
If you read the testimonials on his website, or chat with many of his clients, both commercial and tribal, they’ll say that Kell's value lies in is his expertise at providing the right entertainment for their casino’s brand, as well as his uncanny ability to make the right entertainment choices for their demographic.
Chris C. Archunde, Director of Marketing, Port Madison Enterprises, shared, “Kell does a great job bringing different genres of entertainment to us. He isn’t one to just ‘shop properties’ with the same artists, as some buyers do. He works closely with us to determine what we’re looking for within our budget and this has allowed us to present new and dynamic entertainers to our market.”
“I have known Kell for more than a decade and have had the opportunity to work with him on several occasions. What I enjoy about working with Kell is that he works with you to develop your overall strategy, and then does his part to deliver it. Rather than wait to see what comes your way, he goes out to find what you need, so he can put it where it works best for you, which allows you to optimize your program. This approach is unique in his field and is one of the many things that sets him apart, and has allowed him to earn the respect of everyone in the entertainment community,” shared Steven Neely, Chief Marketing Officer, Casino Del Sol.
If you don’t know Kell, you’ll recognize him as the guy who is a head taller than most men and always has a sincere smile on his face. You’ll see him at most every industry trade show, either on a panel or “working the floor.” “Kell has been our go-to-guy for our clients for almost 15 years because of his integrity and complete knowledge of gaming-specific entertainment. He is also a huge advocate of tribal gaming and cares deeply for every client he works with,” shared Dennis Conrad, President & Chief Strategist, Raving Consulting.
Hmmm … high school teacher or member of a rock band?
Luckily for the industry, Kell’s plans to be a high school music teacher were waylaid during college, after hearing bands like Blood Sweat and Tears and Chicago. He realized that he too could be a horn player in a rock band.….and so his career began in entertainment.
Growing up in a musical family, his passion for music started at age six with piano lessons. He then started the trombone in 4th grade, and played in band and orchestra all through junior high and high school. For several years he played across the country; had a couple of record deals fizzle out, and was the founding member and manager of a popular funk band, Epicentre, in the Pacific Northwest. They ended up being signed with Stevie Wonder’s company and spent about a year in Los Angeles recording with him and playing gigs around Southern California. Kell even recorded on Tower Of Power’s “Back to Oakland” album (pictured above).
When life on the road came to an end, he pursued and educated himself on the business side of the music industry. One of the companies he worked for before forming Houston Productions was instrumental in introducing Kell to tribal gaming, which was just starting to come to life. He was able to use his educational approach in a very new marketplace. Kell adds, “Today, Indian Gaming is a $30 billion a year business and my company is at the forefront. We currently work with close to 30 Tribal casinos, buying talent and helping build successful entertainment programs across the country.”
What makes the job interesting
You name the entertainer, Kell has worked with them. However, some of the more interesting projects came about because of the teamwork and the timing. For example, he shared:
“We booked ALICE COOPER at the Little River Casino Resort. The casino provided a place for him to rehearse all week for an upcoming tour, and at the end of the week had a sold out concert.
“Just as the group was breaking big, we were able to get the FLORIDA GEORGIA LINE, at Chinook Winds Casino Resort. The show was tied into a Portland radio station and we sold out in 24 hours.
“Back years ago, I had THE DIXIE CHICKS, playing at the Fremont Street Experience in Las Vegas, just as their record skyrocketed. It was like the Beatles had shown up!”
When asked what he sees for the future of casino entertainment, he replied, “Live music will always be around. That experience cannot be artificially produced. The success of the big festivals with iconic groups proves a point. The music of these people will live on, in many forms. And talent is everywhere.”
Do you have a new entertainment manager that needs some help? Do you need an entertainment buyer for a few special events? Perhaps you’re looking at putting on a major festival? Whatever you need, Kell can lend a hand. For more information on Houston Productions, contact Kell at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 702-254-0268.
Little River Casino Resort – CASINO OF THE YEAR!
On September 30, 2014 Little River Casino Resort was named as the 2014 IEBA Casino of the Year at the close of the (IEBA) conference in Nashville, Tennessee, where the awards ceremony was held.
“Woohoo! On behalf of the GREAT Little River Band of Ottawa Indians and the Little River Casino Resort and our GREAT employees, we thank you for this prestigious award,” said Wendell Long, General Manager of the Little River Casino Resort when he accepted the award from the presenter.
During the ceremony, other venues and individuals were recognized for their achievements, including Little River’s entertainment buyer, Kell Houston. Presenters included the Oak Ridge Boys, T.G. Sheppard, and Vince Gill. During the conference, the Doobie Brothers were inducted into the IEBA Hall of Fame and they also performed at the end of the ceremony.
The Little River Casino Resort prides itself on being one of the premier entertainment destinations in Michigan. Every year some of America’s favorite headliners come to our stage. Over the years we’ve booked many different acts with great success from various musical genres, comedy, and even a well- received magic show.
The Little River Casino Resort is a wholly-owned enterprise of the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians.
AWARDED IEBA CASINO BUYER OF THE YEAR
The International Entertainment Buyers Association's (IEBA) 44th Annual Conference in Nashville continues to grow and this year enjoyed another very strong attendance with over 750 registrants.
The coveted Casino Buyer of the Year Award went to respected industry veteran Kell Houston, President of Houston Productions, and the Casino of the Year Award went to Little River Casino in Manistee Michigan, one of the many Houston Production’s casino accounts. Kell also won this Award at the 2012 IEBA conference.
Houston Productions has been in business for over 30 years and is a leader in Native American Casino Talent Buying having booked over 40 Native American Casinos since the mid-1990’s. Houston Productions is also a leader in seminar facilitators and convention panelists for National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA), International Entertainment Buyers Association (IEBA), Pollstar, Northwest Indian Gaming Association (WIGA), Raving Consulting, Event Solutions, Oklahoma Gaming (OIGA), Great Plains Indian Gaming Association (GPIGA), Western Fair Association (WFA), National Association of Campus Activities (NACA), Washington Fair Association, and G2E Global Gaming Expo. Both Kell Houston and Vice President Bob Galombeck write regular entertainment articles in Indian Gaming magazine.
Kell Houston - HOUSTON PRODUCTIONS
Awarded Casino Buyer of the Year by the International Entertainment Buyers Association (IEBA) in Nashville.