Caesars exec moves on to
Atlantis, Dubai

Jan 27, 2004 4:21 AM

George Markantonis, senior vice president of hotel operations for Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, has accepted the offer of Kerzner International Limited (KZL) to become chief executive officer of Atlantis Hotel/Casino in the Bahamas, and The Palm in Dubai, a planned destination resort.

The $650 million in Dubai will include a 1,000-room luxury hotel and a water-theme park situated on one and one-half miles of newly developed beachfront. It will feature a water-theme park thus extending the Atlantis brand into what has been described as "one of the fastest growing tourist destinations in the world." There is no gambling permitted in Dubai.

In making the announcement, Butch Kerzner, company president, remarked, "The Palm will be the anchor of one of the most exciting travel and leisure opportunities in the world and we believe George Markantonis is ideally suited to operate this amazing project."

Prior to joining Caesars Palace, Markantonis worked for Westin Hotels and Resorts for 16 years in South Africa, Canada and the United States. He recently was honored with the prestigious "Hotelier of the Year" for 2003 from the State of Nevada.

Richard Goeglein, former president of the Aladdin Hotel/Casino in Las Vegas, and a longtime gaming executive, has been appointed to the board of directors of Pinnacle Entertainment Inc. (PNK).

The announcement of his appointment was made by Dan Lee, Pinnacle Entertainment’s chairman and CEO.

"His extensive, varied and successful casino and hospitality industry track record will be of great value to us as we pursue our ambitious growth strategy, including our Lake Charles (Louisiana) and Belterra (Indiana) properties to our portfolio," Lee said.

Goeglein was president and chief executive of Harrah’s Hotels from 1980 to 1984 and joined the acquiring Holiday Corporation as its president and chief operating officer. He later headed Dakin, Inc., and was a co-founder of GWC Gaming. More recently he was the founder and principal of Evening Star Hospitality LLC.

He will succeed Bonnie Reiss who resigned to devote more time to a variety of charities in which she is involved and to her role as a senior advisor to California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Also announced by Pinnacle Entertainment were management changes involving its Louisiana and Indiana properties. Alain Uboldi, currently regional vice president and general manager overseeing Belterra and the Boomtown Bossier City casino, has been named general manager of the Lake Charles property that is under construction. He will continue with his responsibilities in the other areas.

Mikohn Gaming Corporation (MIKN) has tapped Michael A. Sicuro to be its executive vice president and chief financial officer replacing John Garner who resigned.

Sicuro has 23 years experience working with a number of public corporations.

And Boyd Gaming Corporation (BYD) has announced the appointment of Paul Chakmak as its senior vice president ”” finance and treasurer. He will report to Ellis Landau, executive vice president and chief financial officer.

Chakmak will be leaving his current position of managing director of CIBC World Markets in Los Angeles.