Harveys Resort CEO to resign | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Harveys Resort CEO to resign

Harveys Resort and Casino President and Chief Executive Officer Chuck Scharer is resigning at the end of the month, the casino announced Wednesday.

His last day is Jan. 31.

Scharer, 45, is leaving “to spend more time on personal endeavors,” the company statement read, adding he has been “proud to be associated with the phenomenal growth of Harveys.”

Scharer declined to comment about his departure.

The top executive joined Harveys in November 1982 as an internal audit manager, after serving as a consultant for company management on a variety of financial issues in 1980.

That was a particularly big year at Harveys. In August, a 1,000-pound bomb was detonated from the Stateline casino’s second-story offices after it was evacuated.

With Scharer’s upcoming departure, company management doesn’t expect a mass exodus of personnel.

“Chuck’s decision does not affect other managers,” said Owen Blicksilver, spokesman for Colony Capital Inc., Harveys’ Los Angeles-based parent corporation that specializes in private investment.

The Greenwich, Conn., native was instrumental in completing the February 1999 merger between the two companies, during which time Harveys bought the Bluffs Run Casino in Council Bluffs, Iowa. He was named chairman, president and CEO two years earlier.

“Chuck’s profound sense of accomplishment has brought a lot to this company,” said Harveys Senior Vice President of Corporate Marketing Jim Rafferty. Rafferty, who declined to give further details other than what was issued in a press release, called Scharer “a truly extraordinary business person admired by the employees in Tahoe.”

Scharer’s presence and outreach at Stateline gained attention in the local casino and business establishment.

“It’s a significant loss for the Tahoe gaming community,” Lake Tahoe Gaming Alliance Director Steve Teshara said, characterizing him as a “clear leader,” who also took charge of civic responsibilities too.

Scharer served as the area representative on the Nevada Commission on Tourism.

“I anticipate he’ll be able to remain in that position,” Teshara said.

He also was elected as a trustee of the University of Nevada, Reno Foundation in September 1999.

An adventure enthusiast, Scharer spends his leisure time with his Harley-Davidson and Italian Ducati motorcycles, according to the company. He recently toured Europe on bike.

He’s married and has an 8-year-old daughter.

“We understand Chuck’s decision. Under his leadership, Harveys has become one of the premier gaming properties in the country,” Colony Chairman Thomas Barrack Jr. stated. “He has been a terrific partner, and we hope to have the opportunity to work with him again somewhere down the line.”

Barrack will serve as the acting CEO in a panel-management-shared office until a replacement comes on board.

Harvey and Llewellyn Gross got Harveys Casino Resorts off the ground as a one-room cabin with three slot machines, two blackjack tables and a 24-hour gas station in 1944.

Before the turning of 2001, the company had pondered a merger with Pinnacle Entertainment, a gaming company based in Glendale, Calif., that owns and operates eight casinos in Nevada.

Talks of this deal stalled last month, and no new arrangement has hit the table, Colony Capital management said.

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