Harrah’s Sayre goes to Las Vegas
A big hole has been left in the South Shore marketing community with the departure of Skip Sayre, the former marketing director of Harrah’s Lake Tahoe.
Sayre, who has nearly 20 years of experience marketing tourism and gaming in the community, was recently promoted to vice president of marketing for the Rio All Suite Casino Hotel in Las Vegas. Both Harrah’s and Rio are part of the Harrah’s Entertainment family of 21 casino/hotels.
“Skip did a great job here and it’s the custom and process at Harrah’s that if you do a good job, you get promoted internally,” said Gary Selesner, the general manager of Harrah’s at Stateline.
Selesner commended Sayre for his performance not only at Harrah’s but in the community.
“He did a great job in community relations. All that was taken into account in assigning him to the Rio. It’s an honorable assignment and promotion to vice president at that property.”
“It’s a loss for us,” said John Packer, Harrah’s director of communications. “In his four years at Harrah’s he did a tremendous job moving this property forward.
“Skip has always been active in this community, as was his wife, Terrie Q. (Sayre),” Packer added.
Terrie Q. is herself well known in the community as an on-air announcer with KRLT and she can be seen on various local television commercials. She also worked as the project coordinator for the Labor Day Lake Tahoe special event.
In a telephone interview on Friday, Sayre described his new post at Rio as a “brand new adventure. (Las Vegas) is a dynamic place.”
“I’m excited. It’s something that I’ve discussed with Harrah’s Entertainment in terms of what I wanted to do next,” he said. “When the opportunity at this property opened, I expressed interest. Rio – it’s a gorgeous property, one of the premier properties in Las Vegas. I wanted to work at a premier property in the gaming capital of the world.”
Despite the adventure in Las Vegas, Sayre said he will miss Lake Tahoe.
“I really enjoyed being a part of (the Lake Tahoe) community for so long,” he said. “Personally, I’ve been fortunate to have been there as long as I was. This is a career making opportunity I felt I couldn’t pass up.”
Before going to Harrah’s, Sayre worked as the executive director of the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority for three years, supervising tourism promotions for the entire South Shore. He continued to serve on the LTVA Marketing Committee after his move to Harrah’s in 1996.
His marketing experience at Lake Tahoe began at Del Webb’s Sahara Tahoe where he worked through that casino’s transition into the High Sierra and Horizon Casino Resort.
In recent years, Sayre has been on the board of directors for the Tahoe-Douglas Visitors Authority, is a former president of the Tahoe-Douglas Chamber of Commerce and is active in the Lake Tahoe Gaming Alliance through his affiliation with Harrah’s.
Sayre is the only TDVA board member who has served continuously since the organization’s creation in 1997, said Steve Teshara, executive director of the TDVA and the Lake Tahoe Gaming Alliance. During that time, Sayre was the marketing liaison for the board and was recently nominated as the chairman.
According to Teshara, the alliance has nominated Jonathan Halkyard, Harrah’s vice president of casino operations, to replace Sayre on the TDVA board. The board will consider the nomination during its Tuesday meeting before sending its selection to the Douglas County Board of Commissioners for approval.
“Jon is a fine individual and I’m confident will make a great contribution to the TDVA board,” Teshara said.
Sayre’s replacement at Harrah’s will take a longer to appoint. The casino is looking qualified applicants both within the company and outside the company.
“When we look at Skip’s time at Tahoe, the casinos and LTVA,” Teshara said, “he’s made so many contributions to this community, a unique career and service to Lake Tahoe.”
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