Reshuffle deals Harrah’s new G.M. |

Reshuffle deals Harrah’s new G.M.

A management shuffle at Harrah’s Entertainment, Inc. will leave Harrah’s Lake Tahoe with a new general manager.

Pat Dennehy, who came to the lake in 1997 from Joliet, Ill., has been transferred to Harrah’s New Orleans where he will take on the new position of general manager for that property. A replacement for Dennehy, who has been with the Harrah’s company for 20 years, has not yet been named.

“We are pleased to have Pat join our New Orleans operation,” said Gary Loveman, Harrah’s Entertainment’s Chief Operating Officer. “His management skills and understanding of the high-end market will be an asset to our already strong management team in place there.”

Dennehy will assist Jay Sevigny, president of the Harrah’s New Orleans. Sevigny has also been appointed president of the Rio Suites Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. He replaces John Lipkowitz who recently resigned from the company to pursue other business opportunities.

Under Dennehy’s watch, Harrah’s Lake Tahoe has seen major growth, including a record year in gaming revenue, Dennehy said. High-limit gambling has also increased, directly befitting employees with an increase in tip income.

Dennehy attributes the Tahoe casino’s successes to Harrah’s Entertainment’s customer loyalty programs.

“During my time at Lake Tahoe, this property has been fortunate to utilize the company’s brand (loyalty) innovations,” he said.

Dennehy also began $26 million in improvements including the renovation of the 18th floor restaurants and hotel luxury suites. The improved Friday’s Station and Forest Buffet will reopen later this year.

He expects the “strong team” at Harrah’s to take advantage of the capital improvement projects with future business growth.

“I really love Lake Tahoe,” he said. “It’s been a great experience for me and my family. I’m not a skier but I’ve learned to appreciate that industry.

“People are what makes a great place to be and brings in customers,” he said of the community.

“I’ve even enjoyed working, even from a competitor’s standpoint, with (the managers of Lake Tahoe’s other casinos). It’s good for the market.”

Dennehy can expect some new challenges at Harrah’s New Orleans, which has struggled to find its market niche.

The property opened last year after being bogged down in a reorganization bankruptcy. In October 1998, the project emerged from bankruptcy protection with Harrah’s owning a 44 percent minority share with JCC Holding Company.

“(New Orleans is) a challenging operation,” Dennehy said. “They have a team that’s just going through an opening and getting into the market.”

Harrah’s Entertainment, Inc., operates 19 casinos in the United States under the Harrah’s, Showboat and Rio brand names.

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