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Millennium leads
Rampart turnaround

Apr 1, 2003 7:33 AM

The Rampart Casino at the Resort at Summerlin kicks off its first anniversary celebration at noon, Wednesday (April 2), with cake and champagne, plus other month-long festivities.

If ever there were a home-grown success story, it’s the Rampart. The Summerlin casino, under the management of Las Vegas-based Millennium Management, has become one of the most successful casinos in the city after a rocky start when it originally opened as The Regent.

"It’s been a great year for us," said Bill Paulos, one of Millennium’s principals. "The Rampart was a terrific opportunity for Millennium Management. It’s a beautiful property with so much potential."

Indeed, the resort-style hotel and casino is one of the most attractive in Southern Nevada. Perched on a knoll in picturesque Summerlin, the Resort at Summerlin sprawls over well-tended grounds amid towering trees, meandering streams and quaffed landscaping. Guest rooms are among the most upscale in its price category, and its roster of restaurants is of gourmet quality.

Paulos said Millennium Management, which also includes as co-principals William C. Wortman and Guy Hillyer, signed a 10-year agreement with a Canadian real estate company, Hotspur Resorts, to operate the casino. In its first year, the casino has enjoyed a 100 percent increase in revenue.

After becoming licensed by Nevada regulators, Millennium began to rebuild, renovate and redesign the casino floor.

Changes include installing "coinless" ticket-in, ticket-out machines, fine-tuning the mix of video and reel slot and poker machines to attract a local clientele, and opening three new restaurants — Rampart Buffet, Promenade Café and the upscale Carmel Room — to go along with Master Chef Gustav Mauler’s highly-regarded Spiedini and Oxo restaurants.

Millennium also spent $2 million for new gaming equipment and updated all of the casino’s tracking and business software.

Currently, the Rampart has 1,100 slot and video poker machines, 24 table games and a very popular race and sports book headed by Erick St. Claire.

In addition to the physical upgrades, Millennium refocused the marketing efforts to attract the strong locals market, particularly in the upscale Summerlin area.

"Previously, there was a lack of commitment to that market and that led to the misconception that the Rampart was operated for the hotel guests and a leisure crowd," said Bill Wortman. "Las Vegans are very savvy when it comes to local gaming and we provided what they wanted — popular machines, a generous player reward program, convenience and good dining values."

The efforts have paid off with handsome revenue increases and customer traffic. But it wasn’t an easy project. Due to frequent management changes and, finally, bankruptcy, the business community and casino employees were not convinced that the operation could be saved.

"One of our biggest challenges was building credibility," Paulos said. "We had to convince the remaining management, casino floor employees and all of the back-of-the-house staff that we were committed to this project and that we had a plan to make it a success."

And now that the casino is a success, its customers get to celebrate!

In addition to Wednesday’s cake and champagne, guests will receive a free anniversary T-shirt. Also, every Wednesday and Saturday, the Rampart Buffet will be half-priced throughout April.

On Wednesday, April 16 and April 30, guests have the chance to participate in drawings for the $65,000 Spring Into Riches Giveaway. Cash drawings will be held throughout the day between noon and 8 p.m. on both days. Entries can be earned by playing slot and video poker machines and table games. Additional entries can be earned by participating cashing a paycheck at the property.

Rampart Rewards members who earn 25 points any Monday in April will receive a free, five-piece silverware set. Members will also earn two-times points Monday through Thursday throughout the month.

Complete rules are posted inside the Rampart Casino at the Resort at Summerlin. For more information, contact (702) 507-5700.

In addition to the Rampart, Millennium Management manages its sister property, The Cannery Casino & Hotel in North Las Vegas, Nev., which opened in January. The company also participated in the development, opening and management of the Greektown Casino in Detroit.