MGM Names New CityCenter, Empire City, Beau Rivage Leaders

MGM Resorts International has named a trio of industry veterans to head its CityCenter resort complex in Las Vegas, the Beau Rivage in Biloxi, Mississippi, and its newest acquisition, Empire City Casino in Yonkers, New York.

Steve Zanella (l.) took up the post of president and chief operating officer of CityCenter on January 1, assuming duties that include daily operational oversight of Aria Resort and Casino and the non-gaming Vdara Hotel & Spa and providing strategic direction for both properties.

He succeeds Bobby Baldwin, who announced his retirement in October after 18 years with MGM.

Prior to joining CityCenter, Zanella was president of MGM’s Core Properties group in Las Vegas, which includes New York-New York, Luxor, Excalibur, Circus Circus Las Vegas and the new Park MGM, where he played a key role in the transformation and re-theming of the resort, formerly the Monte Carlo.

At Empire City, Uri Clinton (l.), a longtime gaming attorney specializing in the Northeast market, will serve as the first president and CEO under MGM’s ownership.

MGM announced its acquisition of the racino and harness racing complex just outside New York City in May, and expects to close on the $850 million purchase in the next few months under terms that call for MGM’s majority-held REIT partner, MGM Growth Properties, to own the land and buildings and lease their operations back to MGM.

Clinton joined MGM as a vice president and deputy general counsel in 2014 and helped lead the company through its exploration of a number of development opportunities in Connecticut and New York. He was promoted to senior vice president and legal counsel in 2016 and moved into global development for the company last year.

At Beau Rivage Resort & Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi, Travis Lunn (l.) has been named president and chief operating officer. Most recently, Lunn was general manager and senior vice president of operations at MGM Grand Las Vegas. Lunn’s gaming industry career began at the Golden Nugget Las Vegas. Prior to joining MGM Resorts, he served as vice president of operations at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas and as general manager of hotel operations at the Venetian and the Palazzo resorts.