Caesars names president |

Caesars names president

Susan Wood

A veteran to the world of gaming, Mark Rittorno has joined Caesars Tahoe as the new president amid major changes announced Friday by parent company Park Place Entertainment.

The former Flamingo Las Vegas president replaces former General Manager Mike Caryl from Reno, who left in July after barely a year with the Stateline casino. Jim Roets, Caesars’ regional vice president of casino operations, stepped in for the interim.

Park Place Chief Operating Officer Wally Barr said he’s delighted Rittorno decided to make the move north.

“We needed somebody with a great deal of background in hospitality as well as the gaming side,” Barr said during a conference call with reporters.

“It’s a great opportunity for him (that) came together quickly,” Barr said. “He enjoys outdoor activities and his time in northern Nevada.”

“I’m delighted to have the opportunity to work in the Lake Tahoe area, particularly at Caesars Tahoe, which is located in one of the most beautiful settings imaginable,” Rittorno said in a statement. “I look forward to working with the property’s team of associates to continue to enhance the resort’s reputation as one of the world’s premiere resort/gaming destinations.”

Rittorno, who didn’t return telephone calls Friday, will be on the Stateline property on a part-time basis during the transition in the next few weeks. He’ll report to work on a full-time basis by the week of Oct. 29.

Barr said there are no other changes in management planned at Caesars Tahoe, but he expects Rittorno will review his departments when he comes on board.

As for Rittorno’s commitment to staying at Caesars, Barr replied that his new head man at Stateline is buying a home.

“I think there’s no bigger commitment,” Barr said.

In his 20 years of experience, Rittorno also worked in senior management at other Park Place properties – Bally’s Las Vegas, Paris Las Vegas, the Las Vegas Hilton, Reno Hilton and the Flamingo Reno.

Park Place also announced Friday that the casino giant is selling the Flamingo to RFC Reno, LLC, a subsidiary of Capital One. The transaction is anticipated to close within 30 days.

The Flamingo Reno will close Oct. 23 for remodeling, resulting in the termination of about 1,000 employees, Barr indicated. With 100 to 200 positions open at Caesars Tahoe, the Flamingo Las Vegas and other properties, “we’ll try to absorb as many as we can,” he said.

Barr emphasized Park Place Entertainment’s commitment to the Lake Tahoe property, despite internal changes and an ongoing battle for tourism dollars.

“Northern Nevada, for both Caesars Tahoe and the Reno properties, is going to be more challenging to get tourists. But you’re not as dependent on air travel as other markets,” Barr said.

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