Gomes counts on ‘sex’ for success

May 30, 2011 8:11 PM

Dennis Gomes, the gaming executive who once caused industry giants Steve Wynn and Donald Trump to enter into a court fight over his services, has learned, among many other things, that sex sells.

And, if that is what is needed to transform his Resorts Casino Hotel from being one of Atlantic City’s consistent losers into a money-maker, then Katy-bar-the-door.

Earlier this year, Gomes, co-owner of the Boardwalk’s first licensed casino, raised eyebrows by insisting the property’s cocktail waitresses had to have bodies that were suitable for the new flapper costumes he required them to wear. The costumes were consistent with the casino’s new theme reminiscent of the post World War I flapper days.

Not unexpectedly, some waitresses filed a lawsuit.

Come July, Gomes will introduce a show called "Naked Circus." The performers may not be completely naked, but it’s expected the show will feature a lot of bare skin.

"It’ll be as naked as the law allows," Gomes was quoted as saying. A spokesman added the girls in the show will wear G-strings and pasties.

They’ll actually be competing for attention with the cocktail servers in their new outfits. The skimpy flapper dresses, worn with fishnet stockings, are described as being so low-cut in the back as to suggest there might be periodic exposures. This is not expected to happen on the casino floor.

However, observers noted that on billboard signs advertising the old but revitalized property the exposures have been eye-popping.

Gomes, who began his gaming career as an employee of the Nevada Gaming Control Board, has seen the effectiveness of the "sex sells" concept in Las Vegas. He operated the Tropicana Hotel Casino Resort in Atlantic City prior to its falling into bankruptcy.

Now that he and his partner, New York real estate magnate Morris Bailey, have put their money into a failing property, their dedication is to showing a profit in a property that has had a succession of losing owners, including Merv Griffin and South African casino operator Sol Kerzner.

Maybe "Naked Circus" will be Gomes’ key to profitability.