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Best of Howard Stutz

Gaming Guru

Howard Stutz
 

More than 1,500 pay tribute to Lanni at memorial

25 July 2011

SOUTH PASADENA, California -- Longtime gaming industry figure Terry Lanni was remembered in a memorial service Friday in South Pasadena, Calif., that was attended by more than 1,500 family, friends, business associates and admirers.

Lanni, 68, who died of cancer on July 14, spent 18 years as the president of Caesars World. He joined the then-MGM Grand Corp., where he built the company from one casino into a 17-resort conglomerate with properties in four states and Macau over a 13-year period.

The company is now known as MGM Resorts International.

Lanni was eulogized by his sons, Sean and Patrick, and several longtime friends, including former MGM attorney Gary Jacobs and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who was the Republican Party’s 2008 presidential candidate.

McCain recalled Lanni as a man who was "thoughtful, gracious, generous and forthright."

Lanni family members participating in the service included brothers, Michael and Richard, and sister, MaryLou, as well as nephews and nieces. His wife, Debbie, survives Lanni.

MGM Resorts spokesman Alan Feldman, who attended the service along with some two dozen company executives, said the service reflected, “many similar themes; Terry's deep and abiding love of his family, his strength of character and his unfailing friendship.”

One longtime friend, Francho Nuschese, recalled Lanni’s humor, saying he was often told, "Life is too short to drink bad wine."

Skipp Calvert, a 45-year friend, recalled Lanni’s longtime avid interest in owning racehorses. Calvert said Lanni advised him against of jumping into the same business. “Never invest in anything that eats while you're sleeping," Calvert recalled Lanni as saying.

MGM Resorts Chairman and CEO Jim Murren, who took over the posts from Lanni when he retired in November 2008, attended the services, along with company Chief Financial Officer Dan D'Arrigo, Chief Marketing Officer Bill Hornbuckle, Chief Operating Officer Corey Sanders, CityCenter CEO Bobby Baldwin, and others.

MGM Resorts board members attending the service included Roland Hernandez, Willie Davis, Anthony Mandecick, Daniel Taylor and Bill Bible.

Numerous Las Vegans attended the services including former gaming executive and longtime Lanni friend Mike Sloan, Caesars Entertainment executive Jan Jones, NV Energy executive Punam Mathur, Barbara Molasky, Susan and Irwin Molasky, Phil Peckman, Josh Griffin, and Rob Elliott.

John Wilhelm, president of the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International, the parent organization of Culinary Local 226, attended the services, as did American Gaming Association Executive Director Judy Patterson.

Henry Gluck, the former chairman of Caesars World and Lanni’s longtime colleague, was also in attendance.
More than 1,500 pay tribute to Lanni at memorial is republished from Online.CasinoCity.com.