Empire Resorts names Hanlon chairman, CEO

May 31, 2005 3:09 AM

Dave Hanlon, 60, whose past experiences as an executive with major gaming companies has made him well-known within the industry, has emerged as the new president and CEO of troubled Empire Resorts Inc. (NYNY).

Empire Resorts operates a racino at Monticello Raceway in the New York Catskills and has plans to merge acquired hotel and golf properties into its business in the third fiscal quarter.

The Hanlon appointment comes at a time when the previous CEO Robert Berman was under increasing criticism from analysts regarding the poor performance of the video lottery machines at Monticello, reportedly the lowest producers of daily win in all of New York state and Berman’s efforts to place the company in a position to develop a casino at the Concord Resort before having arranged for the further development of Monticello.

The company’s shares traded at a historical high of $15 a share in May of last year but plummeted to a level of slightly more than $3 a share in recent months. Following the change in management, the company’s shares have risen by about 30%.

Hanlon joined the company’s board of directors in July of 2003 and was named vice chairman of the board at that time. The board chairman, David Matheson, has relinquished that post but will remain a member of the board of directors while company president, Morad Tahbaz, has left to pursue other business interests.

Joining Hanlon in the operation of the company is Ronald Radcliffe who now serves as CFO and treasurer. The Hanlon-Radcliffe were previously together when they held similar positions at the Rio Suites Hotel & Casino before that property was acquired by Harrah’s Entertainment Inc. (HET).

After spending several years in the pinstripes of Caesars World Inc., Hanlon held executive positions with other gaming companies, including Resorts International, before becoming chief executive officer at International Game Technology Inc. (IGT). He subsequently left to pursue other interests.