The Fremont Street Experience Member Properties
(Property descriptions and biographies as provided by the member properties as of 1995)
President/Chief Operating Officer
Binion's Horseshoe Hotel & Casino
Following a legend is never an easy job.
But for Jack Binion, 57, president and chief operating officer of Binion's
Horseshoe and Casino, the cards were dealt in his favor. If anyone could
successfully take over for the legendary Benny Binion, the Texas gambler who
arrived in Las Vegas with $2 million in his suitcase and built a gambling
empire, it's only natural that his son would be the man for the job.
The story begins simply enough in 1946, when Jack Binion arrived in Las
Vegas with his parents, younger brother and three sisters in a chauffeur-
driven Cadillac limousine. The Las Vegas gambling scene has been close to
his heart ever since.
Five years after arriving in Vegas, Benny Binion purchased the El Dorado
Club, which had three craps tables, three blackjack tables, 65 slot machines,
two roulette wheels, a fargo bank and a restaurant and bar. It was here that
Jack learned the casino business first-hand by taking a variety of jobs, ranging
from bus boy to dealer. While he may have not have known it then, Jack was
being groomed for his trip to the top of the Horseshoe. And he learned fast.
In 1963, at the age of 26, he was named president and COO. His management
style of taking calculated risks in the tradition of a seasoned gambler has paid
off with the growth and financial success the Horseshoe enjoys today. Jack
sits on the board of the Fremont Street Experience Company.
Perhaps the greatest milestone in the Horseshoe's growth came in June 1988,
when the Binions purchased the adjacent Mint Hotel for $27 million in cash.
This doubled the size of the Horseshoe casino and added a 24-story, 296-room
high rise tower.
Much of the Horseshoe's success, of course, can be attributed to the World
Series of Poker which has grown in popularity each year since it began in
1970. Today, gambling's most publicized event attracts more than 3,000
entries and pays out over $8 million in prize money, including a $1 million
first place prize to the "world champion."
The Horseshoe offers the highest limits in Las Vegas, and the house limit
stands at a flexible $25,000 with the first bet being the limit. But a gambler can
go higher with Jack Binion's approval. These limits have made the
Horseshoe popular with the "serious" gambler, as well as with those who
want to spend a few dollars for a chance at a fortune. The Horseshoe Hotel
and Casino has nearly 3,000 employees, 1,892 slot machines, 15 poker tables, 16
craps tables, 46 blackjack, baccarat, three pai gow poker tables, four Caribbean
stud poker tables, keno, a 500-seat bingo room, a race and sports book and four
Now Jack is preparing for the future by expanding outside of Las Vegas. In
July, Jack opened his first casino outside Las Vegas in Bossier City, Louisiana,
and dealers are expected to shuffle their decks in September 1994 for the
opening of his Horseshoe Casino and Hotel in Tunica, Mississippi.
While many bets in Las Vegas are a gamble, one bet is certain--Jack Binion
will continue to follow in the shoes of a legend quite nicely.
Executive Vice President & General Manager
Sam's Boyd's California Hotel & Casino
Originally from New York, John Repetti came to Las Vegas in 1975 after a tour
of duty in the United States Army. He was quick to see all the possibilities of
a management position in the casino industry. He attended an international
school of gaming before landing his first job as a dealer at Sam Boyd's
California Hotel and Casino.
In his career with the Boyd Group, and specifically the California Hotel,
Repetti has been afforded the opportunity to learn every phase of the industry
by holding several positions within the casino. In 1977, Repetti was promoted
to shift manager at the Eldorado Casino in Henderson, another Boyd Group
property. In 1978, he returned to the California Hotel as a shift manager and
in 1983 was promoted and transferred to another Boyd Group property, the
Stardust Hotel, as assistant casino manager.
Repetti was later promoted to director of casino operations and transferred
back to the California Hotel. It was his responsibility to oversee the operation
of all casino operations.
In keeping with the Boyd Group's belief in promoting and aiding in the
growth of each individual employee, Repetti was promoted to assistant
general manager and in April of 1993 promoted to the position of executive
vice president and general manager of the California Hotel.
A hectic work schedule doesn't leave much time for recreation, however
Repetti does enjoy golf and plays given any opportunity. He maintains a
strong commitment to the balance of work and raising his family. He is
married and has three children.
California Hotel, Casino and RV Park
Originally built in 1975, the California Hotel, Casino and RV Park is the
cornerstone of The Boyd Gaming Corp. The original tower of the California
Hotel consisted of 300 guest rooms. In 1984, the California Hotel underwent a
$34 million expansion, adding an additional tower of 335 guest rooms,
enlarged casino space, restaurant and sports book.
The first recreational vehicle park in downtown Las Vegas was put into
operation at the California Hotel in 1985.
On December 15, 1993, the Boyd Gaming Corporation purchased the Main
Street Station Property across Main Street from the California Hotel. The
Main Street Station, also known as Main Street Tower, is operated by the
California Hotel. Additionally 146 guest rooms and suites are currently under
construction and will be added to the California Hotel's west tower.
The California Hotel provides its guests with an extensive list of services.
The main casino floor includes two restaurants, a 24 hour coffee shop, a snack
bar, over 1,000 slot machines, six crap tables, two roulette wheels, mini-
baccarat, a keno lounge and Cal Slot Club Center. The mezzanine level
further fulfills the guest's needs with a Sports Book, Dave's Aloha Bar, the
Ohana and Maile Rooms, slots, video keno, video poker, "21" tables, cashier's
cage, a well stocked gift shop, Aloha Specialty Shop/Restaurant, and Ethel M
specialty candy store.
John D. Gaughan
President/Member of Board of Directors
Jackie Gaughan's Plaza and El Cortez Hotel
John D. Gaughan, affectionately called "Jackie" by all Las Vegans, was born in
Omaha, Neb. on Oct. 24, 1920. A 43-year resident of Las Vegas, Jackie has led a
busy enterprising career with much of his time devoted to civic betterment
He and Bertie are the parents of two grown sons, John and Michael. Michael,
a resident of Las Vegas, owns and operates the Barbary Coast and Gold Coast
Hotels and Casinos. John F. Gaughan also is actively involved in casino
Jackie's active hobbies are swimming, boating, fishing, hunting, golfing and
reading. He is owner and president of the El Cortez Hotel and sits on the
board of the Fremont Street Experience Company.
He is a graduate of Creighton University where he majored in accounting.
Jackie holds a bachelor of science and commerce degree. He was selected by
Creighton University's Administration as one of ten of the school's alumni to
receive the Annual Alumni Merit Award.
Jackie's varied downtown financial interests include the El Cortez, Las Vegas
Club, Showboat, Plaza Hotel, Western Hotel & Bingo Parlor, Gold Spike and
the Ambassador East. He is consistently an effective voice maintaining the
economic growth of downtown Las Vegas. He is currently serving on the
board of directors of the Nevada Dance Theatre and Boys & Girls Club of
Jackie Gaughan's Plaza Hotel/Casino
The Plaza Hotel/Casino offers the only complete destination resort in the
"heart of uptown Las Vegas," with more than 1,000 newly renovated,
exquisite and spacious rooms and suites designed with comfort in mind.
The Plaza offers more than three acres of action-packed casino excitement
with all the popular games, more than 1,600 loose slots, a dynamic race and
sports book and video arcade.
Extraordinary dining can be found in the beautifully redesigned restaurants
and snack bars. Glittering show productions appear in the Plaza Theater and
nightly entertainment performs in the Omaha Lounge.
The Plaza's refreshing outdoor sports deck features a glimmering pool, one-
quarter-mile jogging track and four tennis courts.
The largest convention facilities in "uptown Las Vegas" are at the Plaza,
offering versatile meeting and function space.
Also found at the Plaza Hotel/Casino is a charming wedding chapel,
shopping arcade, gift shop, barber shop and beauty salon.
The way to say "fun in Las Vegas" is Jackie Gaughan's Plaza Hotel/Casino.
El Cortez Hotel and Casino
The El Cortez Hotel and Casino was built in 1941 and purchased by its current
owner, John D. Gaughan, in 1963.
Well known for its free contests, especially the Social Security Contest, the El
Cortez has 306 rooms, 1,550 employees, 1,800 slot machines, three craps tables,
10 blackjack tables, one Let It Ride table, one baccarat table and two roulette
The property features a popular race and sports book, the Emerald Room
Coffee Shop, Roberta's Cafe, an ice cream parlor and a gift shop. Visitors to
the El Cortez can enjoy the yearly keno contest and a Four Seasons Player Pass
for slot players.
Jerome H. Turk
Chairman, CEO, Principal Owner
Fitzgerald's Gaming Corp.
Jerome H. Turk is chairman, chief executive officer and principal owner of
Fitzgerald's Gaming Corp. The corporation owns and operates Fitzgerald's
Las Vegas Casino/Hotel, a 655-room casino/hotel located in downtown Las
Vegas, and Fitzgerald's Tunica, a 96,000 square foot casino and entertainment
complex located in North Tunica County, Miss.
Mr. Turk began his association with the gaming industry as an investment
banker with Oppenheimer & Co., Inc., members of the New York Stock
Exchange, when in 1983 Mr. Turk conceived, structured and led the financing
for the Claridge Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, N.J.
Subsequent to this transaction, he was involved in a number of additional
financing assignments relating to the gaming industry. In 1988, while a
partner and managing director of Oppenheimer, he left Oppenheimer and
moved to Nevada to devote his full efforts to building a company within the
Mr. Turk has served as vice chairman of Las Vegas' Downtown Progress
Association, as well as chairman of its redevelopment committee. He has
also been an outside director with the Claridge Hotel and Casino Corp. in
Atlantic City and Players International, Inc., owners of Players River Casino
in Metropolis, Ill., and Players River Casino in Lake Charles, La.
Mr. Turk received a bachelor of arts degree from Adelphi University in 1966
and a juris doctorate from Brooklyn Law School in 1969. He is a member of
the bar and a certified public accountant in the State of New York, and a
member of the board of the Fremont Street Experience Company.
Fitzgerald's Casino/Hotel Las Vegas
The glittering lights of downtown Las Vegas beckon millions of visitors
annually, and no where do the lights shine brighter than on Fitzgerald's
Casino/Hotel. The "Luck of the Irish" is throughout the casino, starting with
Mr. O'Lucky greeting all who enter the Rainbow's End Casino. Pots of gold
and rainbows enhance the Irish luck motif and, as the Fremont Street
Experience completes its construction, so will Fitzgerald's as it changes its
exterior to an authentic Irish pub.
Fitzgeralds' interior will also be redone adding restaurants, as well as
remodeling all aspects of its casino. Fitzgerald's will bring a band of happy
leprechauns bestowing their magic in the casino, bringing the "Luck of the Irish" to everyone who visits Fitzgerald's.
Fitzgerald's also offers its guests more than 650 comfortable rooms,
restaurants featuring a wide variety of dining fare from gourmet to buffet, all
the best Las Vegas action including table games, video poker, slots and keno,
along with all the biggest progressive jackpots--Megabucks and
Quartermania. Fitzgerald's Casino/Hotel. .may the "Luck of the Irish" be
Thomas E. Martin
President and CEO
Four Queens Hotel/Casino
Thomas E. Martin has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the
Four Queens Hotel and Casino and of the Elsinore Corp. since May 1995. A
member of the Board of Directors of Elsinore Corp. since February 1990, Mr.
Martin previously was Elsinore's President and Chief Operating Officer.
Before joining the Four Queens, Mr. Martin was Executive Vice president and
President of the Restaurant Division of Ramada, Inc. He has been involved in
the hospitality industry since 1973 and the gaming industry since 1979.
The Four Queens Hotel/Casino
The Four Queens Hotel/Casino has more than 700 rooms, 1,050 slot
machines, three restaurants, meeting facilities and numerous table games
including blackjack, craps and Pai-Gow and Caribbean Stud poker. The Four
Queens is home to Hugo's Cellar, the world's largest blackjack table and the
world's largest reel slot machine, the Queens Machine. The Four Queens
Hotel/Casino ... "The Class of Downtown."
Executive Vice President/General Manager
Sam Boyd's Fremont Hotel & Casino
Executive vice president and general manager of Sam Boyd's Fremont Hotel
& Casino, Steve Thompson has been with the Boyd Gaming Corporation
since 1983. Thompson was director of operations at Sam's Town Gold River
Hotel & Gambling Hall in Laughlin, Nevada in 1984. After the Boyd Gaming
Corp. purchased the Fremont Hotel in downtown Las Vegas in November
1985 he transferred there and was promoted to assistant general manager.
After overseeing the property's remodeling, he was promoted to general
In 1988, Thompson was promoted to vice president of the Boyd Gaming
Corporation and in 1989 was named executive vice president of Sam Boyd's
Fremont Hotel & Casino.
Thompson holds associates degrees in management and marketing from
Clark County Community College. He has been a member of the board of
directors of the Downtown Progress Association since 1985 and was vice
chairman of the board for two years before serving as its chairman. He has
been a member and officer of the board of Las Vegas Events.
A member of the Citizen Advisory Committee for Redevelopment, he also
sits on the board of the Fremont Street Experience Company.
Sam Boyd's Fremont Hotel & Casino
"The Heartbeat of Downtown"
Completed in 1956, Sam Boyd's Fremont Hotel & Casino is a downtown Las
Vegas landmark. Purchased by the Boyd Gaming Corporation in 1985,
expenditures of more than $30 million have restored its original luster.
Accommodations include 452 guest rooms, five restaurants, five bars, and a
full service casino. The Fremont maintains its fame as the "best value
Golden Gate Hotel & Casino
Mark Brandenburg, age 40, is managing partner of the Golden Gate Hotel &
Casino and a member of the board of the Fremont Street Experience
Company. A native of Las Vegas, he received his bachelor of arts degree from
Stanford University in 1976, and his juris doctorate from Hastings College of
Law, University of California, in 1979. In 1990, after several years of law
practice, Mr. Brandenburg and his brother, Craig I. Ghelfi, acquired an interest
in the Golden Gate Casino, with a plan to renovate the building to its
Golden Gate Hotel and Casino
The Golden Gate Hotel and Casino, located at One Fremont Street, is Las
Vegas' oldest hotel. Established in 1906, the Golden Gate was recently
remodeled in the style of the early 1900's. A new restaurant, the Bay City
Diner, captures the look and feel of early 1930 San Francisco. The Golden
Gate introduced shrimp cocktail to the Las Vegas casino scene in 1959, and its
San Francisco Shrimp Bar & Deli has been newly remodeled in tribute to this
shrimp cocktail tradition. The Golden Gate plans further renovation and
expansion consistent with its status in the history and tradition of Las Vegas.
Barry A. Shier
President/CEO, Golden Nugget Las Vegas
Executive Vice President
Marketing and Hotel Operations
Mirage Resorts, Inc.
Barry Shier was named as president of the Golden Nugget and Casino in Las
Vegas in March 1991. The presidency of the downtown property came in
addition to his role as executive vice president of marketing and hotel
operations for the parent company, Mirage Resorts, Inc., which owns and
operates The Mirage, Golden Nugget Las Vegas, Golden Nugget Laughlin
(Nev.) and Treasure Island.
Mr. Shier joined the company in 1984 as executive vice president of hotel
operations. At that time, his responsibilities included hotel operations at the
company's two properties in Las Vegas and Atlantic City. Following the sale
of the Golden Nugget Atlantic City to Bally Manufacturing Corp. In 1987, Mr.
Shier's responsibilities were expanded to include coordination of marketing
activities for the parent company. In this capacity, Mr. Shier was intimately
involved in the expansion of the Golden Nugget in 1987, and the design and
development of The Mirage.
Mr. Shier attended William Peterson College where he graduated with a
bachelor of arts in business administration and management. In 1977, he
joined the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel where he served in various capacities
culminating with his appointment as executive assistant and resident
manager of the historic New York City property.
In 1983, Mr. Shier became a partner of the hotel industry consulting firm of
Eugene R. Scanlan Enterprises Inc. with whom he served until joining
(Golden Nugget Inc.), Mirage Resorts, Inc.
Mr. Shier is a board member of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors
Authority and the Downtown Progress Association. He is also a member of
the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce and sits on the board of the Fremont
Street Experience Company.
Mr. Shier is a native of New Jersey. He is married and has two sons, Brian
and Jared. The Shier family resides in Las Vegas.
The Golden Nugget, a Mobile Travel Guide Four Star recipient, offers 1,900
tastefully decorated guest rooms and suites.
A complete resort facility, the Golden Nugget features five diverse
restaurants, a complete health spa/fitness center and beauty salon and a lush
outdoor tropical pool. The lobby is a refreshing change, featuring beveled
glass, mirrors, brass and imported marble floors. Complemented by a world
class casino where the action never stops, the Golden Nugget also offers live
entertainment nightly in the Theater Ballroom and the casino lounge.
Las Vegas Club Hotel & Casino
Mel Exber is a 47-year resident of Las Vegas. He is a long-time business
partner with Jackie Gaughan and has been the president and general manager
of the Las Vegas Club Hotel & Casino since 1961. He is the vice president of
the El Cortez Hotel & Casino and a member of the board of the Fremont
Street Experience Company. His accomplishments include being past-
president of both the Nevada Resort Association and the Downtown Progress
Association. Sports are his avid love as evidenced by his famous collection of
autographed sports memorabilia which lines the walls of the Las Vegas Club.
The Las Vegas Club Hotel & Casino
The Las Vegas Club Hotel & Casino is a 34-year-old landmark on Fremont
Street, and is large enough to have all the action you want, and small enough
to give you a friendly smile and great service. The comfortable 22,000 square
foot casino features all the popular games including craps, roulette, Caribbean
Stud Poker, live Keno, and "The most liberal 21 rules in the world." There
are more than 600 loose slots including video keno and poker. Mel Exber's
race and sports book is a haven for serious sports bettors. The sparkling 15-
story tower hosts 224 Southwest theme rooms and suites.
Information provided by the Fremont Street Experience
- Las Vegas (1995)