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Long-time casino exec Meyerson dies at 88

Nov 30, 2004 5:13 AM

Charlie Meyerson, 88, one of Las Vegas’ most illustrious casino hosts and one of Steve Wynn’s closest friends, has died, according to reports received by GamingToday at press time Monday.

Actually, Meyerson was a friend of Wynn’s dad in New York City before joining the Wynn gaming operation as a host at the Golden Nugget in Atlantic City. When Steve moved to Las Vegas, he enticed Meyerson to follow as his "Ambassador of Good Will."

Meyerson worked at The Mirage as head of player development before retiring to Boca Raton, Fla., five years ago.

According to GT founder Chuck Di Rocco, who died in March, Meyerson was a friend who was also good copy because of his storytelling ability.

One of Di Rocco’s favorite stories involving Charlie happened when he was a host at the Golden Nugget in Atlantic City.

"One time," Charlie related, "a very high roller had a heart attack in a fancy suite at the Golden Nugget in Atlantic City. I arrived at the suite right as the paramedics were carrying the player out on a stretcher. The player’s wife was there when I arrived and I immediately went over to give her a hug and

express my condolences on her loss.

"She accepted the gesture, but wanted to know if she could still have dinner that night at Lilly Langtry’s, one of the Nugget’s better eateries."

Steve Wynn recalled Meyerson with fondness and deep respect.

"For over 40 years — almost two-thirds of my life — Charlie Meyerson was a friend of mine. I loved Charlie Meyerson. My life is better because of him ”¦ I did things because of him that I couldn’t have done without him."

Another close friend and associate, Mark Schorr, president and CEO of Wynn Las Vegas, said Meyerson’s passing was the end of an era.

"The gaming industry has just lost one of its most lovable and colorful characters," Schorr said. "I personally lost my mentor and dear friend."

Those close to Meyerson recalled he often celebrated his birthday with another friend, Frank Sinatra, whose birthday was Dec. 12. Meyerson would have been 89 on Dec. 13.

Those same friends also recalled Meyerson liked to cite a line from the motion picture, "Good-bye, Charlie."

"You’ll hate it when I go," Meyerson often said in jest.

He was absolutely right.

He is survived by his wife Pam; sons Lawrence, Michael Randy, Scott and Jeffery Prince; daughters Donna Soloway, Donna Marie Baldwin, Michele Cohen and Pam Kripitz; nine grandchildren and four great grandchildren.

Long-time friend Gene Kilroy characterized Meyerson as one of the industry’s "great pioneers." Kilroy said private services were planned for Wednesday in New York City.