Boyd ready to
level old Stardust

Feb 27, 2007 6:12 AM

Boyd Gaming officials are nearly ready to implode what’s left of the Stardust, but they won’t disclose the date for fear that it would become a public spectacle.

The buildings, which have been all but gutted since the Stardust closed in November, should come down within the next two to three weeks, and ground-breaking for Boyd’s $4 billion Echelon Place development is planned for this summer.

The upscale complex is expected to be completed by the end of 2010. It will feature 5,000 luxury guest rooms and suites, five unique hotels, each offering a distinct luxury experience, as well as meeting and convention space, a retail promenade and two entertainment venues

In the meantime, Boyd Gaming has been busy building its Echelon Place management team. Last week officials announced the appointment of two senior executives.

The latest executives include Peter Finamore and Sid Vaikunta, both of whom played a key role in the breakthrough success of Borgata, Boyd’s joint venture in Atlantic City.

Finamore was named senior vice president of operations and Vaikunta the project’s senior vice president of operations and marketing.

Prior to joining Echelon, Finamore served as vice president of hospitality at Borgata. During his professional career in hospitality, Finamore also held top executive positions with both the Peninsula Group and Hilton Hotels.

Vaikunta previously held the position of vice president of marketing for Borgata where he oversaw all aspects of marketing, including public relations, advertising, casino and poker marketing, special events and nightlife marketing.

The newly appointed executives will join the current Echelon Place executive and development teams, which include David Farlin, vice president and chief information officer; Cassie Fireman, vice president of talent; Ron Frye, vice president construction; John Lin, vice president development; Bob Marra, vice president construction; Michael Mathis, vice president general counsel; Kevin Sullivan, senior vice president and chief administrative officer; and Gus Tejeda, vice president sales.

"In keeping with our desire to bring together the industry’s best talent, expertise and leadership, each of these executives brings to Echelon an extensive level of experience and a great depth of understanding of the hospitality and gaming areas," said Bob Boughner, president and chief executive officer of Echelon Resorts. "They also bring award-winning experience in the fields of operations, technology and human resources to Echelon Place, a development which we believe will help to shape the next generation of Las Vegas luxury."