Executive on the move

Sep 25, 2007 7:35 AM

Fontainebleau taps Howard Karawan as COO

Fontainebleau Resorts, LLC, a Las Vegas-based resort and casino developer, has appointed Howard C. Karawan as chief operating officer.

A veteran of the leisure and gaming industry, Karawan will oversee the operations of the company, including the $2.9 billion Fontainebleau Las Vegas being built on The Strip, Fontainebleau Miami Beach, which is currently undergoing a $500 million renovation, and potential future destination resorts.

He also will be responsible for marketing, human resources, retail and information technology initiatives.

Most recently, Karawan was president of Kerzner International’s destination resorts business, where he was recognized for his integral contribution to that company’s success, with Atlantis, Paradise Island in The Bahamas and development of Atlantis into a leading international resort brand.

His influence extended to the company’s Dubai Atlantis project planning as well as the strategic direction of its top-rated One&Only Resorts.

"While Fontainebleau Miami Beach and Fontainebleau Las Vegas will be unique and distinctive properties, both will manifest the exemplary characteristics of the Fontainebleau brand — a very identifiable sense of place, attention to detail as well as design, the delivery of sophisticated hospitality, and a sense of exhilaration," said Glenn Schaeffer, the company’s president and chief executive officer. "Howard’s success in building Atlantis into a world-class brand is a prelude for what we will achieve for Fontainebleau."

Early this year, the company began construction of Fontainebleau Las Vegas, a spectacular 63-story, 3,889-room resort, condo-hotel, casino and entertainment destination on the Las Vegas Strip, to open in fall 2009.

Epic Gaming names Michael Bonakdar as COO

Michael Bonakdar has been selected by Epic Gaming, a Las Vegas-based gaming management and development company, to assume the position of chief operating officer.

In his new position, Bonakdar is responsible for providing leadership and direction for all casinos and properties under Epic Gaming’s management.

Bonakdar has lived in Las Vegas for the past 25 years and has experienced the evolution of casinos first-hand. He has held executive positions with MGM Mirage, Park Place Entertainment, Caesars Entertainment, and Harrah’s Entertainment.

He joined Epic Gaming’s senior management team in July 2005 as senior vice president of operations. "We’re proud to have someone of Michael’s caliber working for us," said Rick Richards, president of Epic Gaming. "His extensive leadership background and knowledge of domestic, international and Indian gaming makes him ideal for the position."

Based in Las Vegas, Epic Gaming provides professional assistance in the design, development, finance, and operations of existing and new gaming ventures worldwide.

Terry Maines named slot director at Aquarius

American Casino & Entertainment Properties has appointed Terry Maines director of slot operations for the Aquarius Casino Resort.

  Maines has more than 19 years experience in the casino gaming industry.  Prior to the Aquarius Casino Resort, Maines served as corporate director of operations for Ellis Gaming — Hopland Shokawah Casino in Hopland, California and Elk Valley Rancheria in Crescent City. Maines left Ellis Gaming as the acting general manager.  

Maines has also managed a major expansion at Valley View Casino in Valley Center, California. Additionally, he held management positions during the opening of the Venetian Resort Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, and the Pala Casino in Pala, California