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Building Up

Brian Green, Vice President and Assistant General Manager, Graton Resort & Casino

Brian Green is on a roll.

The 25-year gaming veteran serves as vice president and assistant general manager at Graton Resort & Casino, a luxury property located in California’s Bay Area.

Green oversees the day-to-day operations of the casino resort, including management of over 3,300 slot machines, 131 table games, 20 poker tables, 200 hotel rooms, various food-and-beverage outlets, and 1,900 team members.

Before that, he served as director of slot operations at Graton, where he played an integral role in opening the property’s $850 million, 150,000-square-foot casino.

In 2023, he presides over a hotel expansion project that should be, literally, Green-lighted.

The new plan will add 144,000 square feet to the casino for a 45 percent increase in floor size. The casino expansion also includes a rooftop restaurant. The hotel expansion will add a second, five-story tower with 221 guest rooms and suites located adjacent to the existing tower. The hotel’s swimming pool area also will be expanded.

The expansion will also include a 3,500-seat theater, an additional water tank, a central plant addition, and a new five-level parking garage.

Various levels of the expansion are in the state approval process. Green believes the parking garage will be the first part of the expansion with a second-quarter 2023 groundbreaking.

Green has the best of many worlds for another reason. There is little competition in a heavily populated market. That’s a rare distinction, one that has nearly vanished in the gaming world.

“We are 45 minutes north of the Golden Gate Bridge,” he says, “and we are the closest full-sized casino to the Bay Area. It’s a great thing to know that there are 8 million people in our backyard. That is refreshing, and it changes the way you do things. We can drive more visits from the local market. We are fighting for the lucrative East Bay market with the properties in Sacramento, a couple hours away from us.

“We are located right off the freeway. We are in a great spot.”

The 46-year-old has flourished with principles developed along the way. “The best thing a mentor taught me is to be humble and care about the people around you,” Green indicates. “As a leader, you always want to make sure your team members have the tools to do their jobs, and you cannot be afraid to roll up your sleeves and do the job with them.”

Green’s advice to future leaders is to offer their services, especially in meetings. “When you do that, you show others that you want to learn more, that you want to care and to grow and be ready for the future,” he says.

One of the most valued lessons, however, is an idea that was self-taught.

“I love walking the floor, talking to guests or team members and listening to their stories,” he asserts. “When I do that with a team member and find out about their families, for instance, when I walk away, it just fills my heart.

“I feel the same way about our guests. They have taken the time out of their normal everyday life to enjoy themselves at our property. When they are here with us, we want them to feel special.”

The longevity and this recognition indicate he has succeeded.

Casino Connection Sports Editor Dave Bontempo is an award-winning sports writer and broadcaster who calls boxing matches all over the world. He has covered the Philadelphia Flyers in the playoffs, as well as numerous PGA, LPGA and Seniors Golf Tour events, and co-hosted the Casino Connection television program with Publisher Roger Gros.

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