Brian Eby’s gaming career has been solid as a rock. And now it’s time to roll.
The 46-year-old Albuquerque, New Mexico, native, the senior vice president of gaming operations for Detroit-based Rock Gaming, will be at the forefront of major developments in 2016. The company’s portfolio of gaming and entertainment offerings includes Horseshoe Cleveland, The Ritz-Carlton Cleveland, Horseshoe Cincinnati, Horseshoe Baltimore and Greektown Casino-Hotel in Detroit.
Thoroughbred racetracks ThistleDown Racino in North Randall, Ohio and Turfway Park in Florence, Kentucky, are also part of Rock Gaming’s lineup. The company also partners in Caesars Interactive Entertainment Inc., the largest online, mobile and social gaming company focused on casino entertainment.
And in 2016, it will renovate and innovate.
“This is going to be a monumental year for Rock Gaming as we unveil a new brand at our properties in Ohio,” Eby says. “We also will be completing a $60 million renovation at our casino in downtown Detroit and a $70 million renovation at our racino in northeast Ohio. This is an exciting time for us.”
What a time to be a major executive. In November, Rock Gaming said management of the Horseshoe in Cleveland and Cincinnati, along with ThistleDown Racino properties, will transition from Caesars Entertainment by mid-2016. At that point, Rock Gaming will independently own and operate them. The properties will be rebranded with a new loyalty program.
After the transition, the Horseshoe properties in Cleveland and Cincinnati, along with the ThistleDown Racino, won’t be part of the Caesars Total Rewards loyalty program. Rock Gaming will roll guests’ current Total Rewards tier status, tier credits and reward credits over to the new loyalty program. Guests will also keep those credits and be able to use them at all Caesars properties outside of Ohio.
This transition could become one of Eby’s signature achievements in a rich career spanning two decades in gaming and hospitality. Eby has served in land-based, riverboat and Native American gaming facilities spanning six jurisdictions. He transferred to Rock Gaming in September 2015 from sister property Greektown Casino-Hotel, where he was chief executive officer and general manager.
One of his career highlights was tripling a property’s EBITDA over a three-year period. His team parlayed a niche in a flat market into a new focus to improve guest gaming experiences.
But Eby measures his professional journey via mentoring, not milestones.
“The most gratifying accomplishment in my career has been working with and mentoring talented industry professionals,” he says. “I very much enjoy investing time helping team members develop skills and leadership abilities that will benefit them in their careers and in life. It is truly rewarding to watch those I have mentored achieve their goals, knowing that I played a small role.”
What did Eby’s mentors tell him over the years?
“Never confuse effort with achievement,” he indicates. “Everyone in the gaming industry works long hours, but it is the meaningful work that makes a difference and leads to success.”