Vegas Crest Casino
January 18, 2011
Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc. today announced the appointment of the senior
management team for its new casino and hotel in Baton Rouge, La., led by Michael
"Mickey" Parenton as Vice President and General Manager. Parenton will have
responsibility for all aspects of the start-up and ongoing operations of the
planned $357 million casino entertainment property, located in the heart of
south Baton Rouge. In addition, Rafael Verde has been named Vice President and
Assistant General Manager of Pinnacle's Baton Rouge casino and hotel set to open
in December 2011, pending all necessary regulatory approvals.
With more than 18 years of casino and relationship marketing and leadership experience, Mickey Parenton will direct the Baton Rouge casino and hotel. Parenton most recently served as Vice President of Special Projects where he was responsible for the development and execution of projects and programs aimed at improving Pinnacle's operational excellence. Prior to joining Pinnacle, Parenton held numerous executive positions with Harrah's Entertainment, now Caesars Entertainment, including Regional Vice President of Casino Marketing for the Gulf Coast Region, Regional Vice President of Casino Marketing for the Southeast Division, and Senior Vice President of Casino Operations and Vice President of Casino Marketing at Grand Casino in Biloxi, Ms.
Parenton is a life-long Louisiana resident and a graduate of Jesuit High School in New Orleans, La., and Northeast Louisiana University, now University of Louisiana at Monroe. He is very active in the local community and holds civic leadership roles with the New Orleans Sports Foundation, New Orleans Wine and Food Experience, Fore!Kids Foundation and Payton's Play It Forward Foundation.
Rafael Verde joins the Baton Rouge casino and hotel after a three-year appointment as Vice President and General Manager of Casino Magic Argentina, a former Pinnacle Entertainment property. In that role, Verde was responsible for Pinnacle's main Casino Magic Neuquen property, as well as its smaller regional casinos in the province.
Verde brings 17 years of casino management experience to his new position and has been with Pinnacle Entertainment since 1999. Prior to his management role in Argentina, Verde served as Assistant General Manager of Pinnacle's Boomtown Casino in Harvey, La. From 2004 to 2006, he was Senior Director of Finance and Administration for L'Auberge du Lac Casino Resort in Lake Charles, La., during its pre-opening and grand opening period.
Verde was born in Venezuela and moved to Louisiana in 1989 to attend Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge on a baseball scholarship. He received his bachelor's degree in accounting in 1993. In 2002, he received his MBA from the University of New Orleans.
Pinnacle also announced the appointment of David Blitch as Senior Director of Resort Operations, Kevin Whalen as Director of Special Projects and Kizzy Carter as Director of Human Resources.
David Blitch will coordinate all resort operations including hotel operations, food and beverage, facility operations and valet for the Baton Rouge casino and hotel. Blitch oversaw the food and beverage department for the Hilton New Orleans Riverside hotel starting in 1998 and was promoted to Resident Manager in 2008.
Kevin Whalen will be responsible for the coordination and execution of various aspects of the property's ongoing development in order to ensure a smooth opening of the property in December 2011. Before joining Pinnacle, Whalen was Director of Slots for the Horseshoe Tunica Hotel & Casino in Tunica, Ms., where he was responsible for the slots, casino bars, and housekeeping departments.
Kizzy Carter has more than 10 years of experience in human resources. In 2005, she joined the human resources department at L'Auberge du Lac Casino Resort, where she most recently served as the Human Resources Manager.
In 2010, Pinnacle named Kim Bailey Ginn as Senior Marketing Director of the Baton Rouge casino and hotel. Ginn will be responsible for the development of an integrated marketing program for the new property, including advertising programs, special events and public relations.
Anthony Sanfilippo, Pinnacle Entertainment's President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "Our Baton Rouge senior management team brings together proven industry and extensive local market success to our new casino and hotel. We are delighted to have such accomplished executives leading our efforts for what will be a truly unique and premier southern Louisiana destination, offering a fully-integrated casino entertainment experience. We welcome Mickey, Rafael, Kim, David, Kevin and Kizzy to their roles at Pinnacle."
Mickey Parenton, Vice President and General Manager of Pinnacle Entertainment's Baton Rouge property, commented, "Louisiana is my home and I am pleased to continue a great working relationship in the Baton Rouge community." Parenton said the casino and hotel will create more than 1,000 new permanent jobs for Baton Rouge. "I look forward to working with Anthony, our new Baton Rouge senior management team and the entire Pinnacle team as we add another quality entertainment casino and hotel to Pinnacle's portfolio."
Pinnacle's Baton Rouge casino and hotel will feature a 12-story hotel with approximately 200 guestrooms, a rooftop pool and a casino with 1,500 slot machines, 51 table games and a poker room. The property is currently under development and is scheduled to open in December 2011, pending all necessary regulatory approvals.
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