The president of the Isle of Capri is leaving after 15 years. Timothy Hinkley guided Isle of Capri Casinos from a couple of riverboats in Biloxi to one of the top 10 publicly held casino companies in the country.
"I think 17 good years is enough," he said as he prepares to leave the coast and his job as company president.
He will be succeeded July 30 at company headquarters in St. Louis by Virginia McDowell, former executive vice president for Trump Entertainment Resorts. James Perry, former Trump Entertainment COO, was recently elected to the Isle of Capri board of directors.
"It was a lot of fun" creating the company philosophy, name and brand of Isle of Capri in Biloxi, Hinkley said.
With color and some palm trees, the Isle turned a pair of Victorian-looking Mark Twain riverboats into a Caribbean paradise inside the casino boats.
After two years in Iowa with the company, Hinkley guided Isle of Capri into existence. It was the first casino to open in the South, on Aug. 1, 1992, and its certificate number was 00001.
Hinkley, 50, said people were ready for a new kind of entertainment.
Thousands came on opening day and stood in line for hours. Nobody realized the market potential of the coast then, and Hinkley said, "It’s continuing to surprise people."
As Isle of Capri grew from one casino in Biloxi to 13 casinos today, Hinkley was promoted to head of operations, and as president he oversaw the restoration of the Biloxi casino after Hurricane Katrina.
He thinks as the coast comes back, non-gambling tourist attractions should be included.
"Any kind of diversity is going to be a positive," he said.
Hinkley is moving back to Michigan but hopes to winter on the coast.
Isle of Capri Casinos Inc. operates 13 casinos in 11 locations. The Isle also has ownership interests in casinos in England and the Bahamas.
In 2006, the Isle of Capri sold its properties in Vicksburg and Boosier City, La., to privately owned Legends Gaming LLC for $240 million cash.
The Isle of Capri announced in January that it is planning to build a new $180 million land-based structure in Biloxi.
Majestic Star taps Ed Fasulo
Majestic Star Casino has hired Ed Fasulo as vice president and general manager of its new property soon to open in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Fasulo most recently served as executive vice president of Venture Catalyst’s gaming group. He has also held positions as senior vice president and general manager of Ameristar Casino in Council Bluffs, Iowa, general manager of the Fiesta in Las Vegas and executive vice president and COO of the Four Queens in Las Vegas.
Richard FitzPatrick resigns Trop post
Richard M. FitzPatrick, the chief financial officer for Columbia Sussex and Tropicana Casinos, has resigned his post to pursue other interests. The company said it has initiated an executive search to replace FitzPatrick, who joined the company in 2006 to spearhead the acquisition and financing of Columbia Sussex’s recent purchase of Aztar Corporation.
Columbia Sussex and Tropicana owner and CEO William J. Yung said that FitzPatrick played an important role in the largest acquisition in his company’s history.
"Rich was a source of invaluable assistance on the financial side and we wish him well in his future endeavors," Yung said.
FitzPatrick previously served as CFO for public and private real estate investment firms including Prime Group Realty Trust and Omega Healthcare Investors.