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Leadership Transformation

David Rittvo, Vice President of Development, Caesars Entertainment

Leadership Transformation

David Rittvo is a destined industry leader who has been involved in the gaming and hospitality sector for over two decades, including having served as an intern in development at Caesars itself early in his career. Over the years in his professional capacity, Rittvo has led hospitality development projects in diverse markets including the United States, Canada, Russia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Macau, Australia, Korea and Taiwan. In addition to his project contributions, Rittvo also helped establish the Emerging Leaders of Gaming program which combined with Global Gaming Business magazine’s 40 Under 40 program in 2012.

Rittvo joined the Caesars development team in 2018, where he has been responsible for identifying, assessing and executing transactions, including new development, expansion and partnership projects. He works collaboratively across multiple functional teams to negotiate deals and with external stakeholders to create proposals, business plans and responses to RFPs, as well as prepare and present opportunities to top executives at Caesars. Rittvo also contributes to Caesars’ strategic business development plans by identifying and reporting on business development opportunities. He is now vice president of development for Caesars Entertainment.

Rittvo’s role at Caesars has transcended the company’s merger with Eldorado Resorts, where projects that he has overseen continue to move forward. Rittvo secured the coveted Danville, Virginia casino license in the spring of 2020 in a competitive bid involving multiple operators. The project is one step closer now, also having won its November 3 city referendum by an overwhelming margin of 69 percent to 31 percent.

Immediately prior to joining Caesars, Rittvo was an independent consultant, where he advised clients in real estate, casino operations, and food and beverage projects, working with large-scale casino and hospitality development firms. This expertise was cultivated during Rittvo’s eight-year role with The Innovation Group—a leading hospitality and casino consulting firm—where he served as the vice president of international development. The firm was founded by Rittvo’s father, Steve Rittvo, who exposed David to the industry from a very young age. Upon joining The Innovation Group, Rittvo first established a food and beverage consulting division as a new suite of services at the firm. He then joined the team charged with expanding the company’s presence on an international level, focusing on the Asian region, where he ultimately led projects for high-profile clients in Japan.

Before returning to gaming development permanently, Rittvo leveraged his broader hospitality experience in the world of high-end restaurants. He managed a series of chef-driven fine dining restaurants in California in the early 2000s and participated in a unique management training program in London at Planet Hollywood and the 50 St. James Casino. This early experience was a logical path for Rittvo, having earned a bachelor’s degree in hotel, motel and restaurant management at the University of Denver’s Daniels College of Business, and subsequently a master’s degree there in hospitality finance and investment.

Today, Rittvo resides in New Orleans, where he was positioned during the Harrah’s New Orleans property expansion project prior to the onset of Covid-19. He and his wife have two young children who take full advantage of Rittvo’s lifetime love of the culinary arts.

Michael Soll is president of the Innovation Group, the industry's premier consulting and advisory firm. One of gaming and hospitality's most recognizable brand specialists, Soll's experience includes senior-level management positions with such organizations as Caesars Entertainment, Hard Rock Café International and Starwood Hotels & Resorts. He can be reached at the Innovation Group's Orlando office at 407-702-6648 or at [email protected].

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