For Art Deco Trust festival director Glen Pickering and general manager Sally Jackson, the odds that the Royal Flush Casino Night was going to turn up trumps were always good.

Putting together such an event, which has been a blockbuster in terms of popularity, was never a gamble.

It was always a safe bet - a colourful ace up their sleeves.

"This is the second time we have run the event and we had to extend the numbers out to 120 - and it still sold out quickly," Ms Jackson said.


Numbers had also been extended for the grand opening event of the Hawke's Bay Toyota Winter Deco Weekend on Friday as well as the Friday and Saturday burlesque events but they too had quickly filled up.

Ms Jackson said despite the mid-winter scheduling the event had attracted a huge response.

Devoted Art Deco supporters Craig Hay and Neil Barber, who own and manage The Masonic, were more than happy to make the sparkling Gatsby Room available for the Royal Flush Casino Night, and it had been decorated accordingly.

Roulette tables and dapper croupiers had been brought in.

Ms Jackson said one thing which had become evident was that events like the casino night had attracted a growing number of younger people who as the years went by continued to become more actively involved in Art Deco festivals.

The winter event will be Mr Pickering's first full-on taste of the special magic which has helped put Napier and Hawke's Bay on the international tourism map.

"I have worked out my schedule and I will be going to everything," he said with a smile.

He said it was clear from the response this year that, like the summer event, the winter outing would continue to grow and he would be taking in what appealed to people and what potential tweaking of events could be carried out. "You have to be so flexible because everyone is so different - the most important thing is looking after that human element."