Not again! Larson’s out at the Sahara

Mar 26, 2002 9:44 AM

Less than a month after he was named president of the Sahara hotel-casino, Mel Larson is out the door ”” again.

The veteran gaming executive and Sahara owner Bill Bennett parted ways last week, marking yet another chapter in the on-again, off-again business relationship between the two colorful characters.

Larson and Bennett go back to the early days of Circus Circus, and there have been many hirings and firings over the years. Larson jokingly told GamingToday earlier this month that Bennett had terminated him 194 times.

Now make that 195.

But the ever-upbeat Larson is taking it in stride. Reached at Action Helicopters, owned by his wife Marilyn, the ex-exec downplayed his departure. “I’ll give you one word: disagreement,’’ he said. Larson added that he wished Bennett and the Sahara well, and even left open the possibility that he and Bennett could hook up again.

Meantime, he laughed, “I’ll just keep flying helicopters.”

So who’s running the Sahara now that Larson and his predecessor, Craig Hodgkins, have left the building? “Mr. Bennett,’’ responded spokeswoman Jackie Brett.