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Best of Howard Stutz

Gaming Guru

Howard Stutz

Dan Lee, after bicycle accident, resigns as Palms CEO

24 May 2014

Gaming executive Daniel Lee, who took over as CEO of The Palms Casino Resort in October, has resigned, a spokesman for the off-Strip property said Friday.

Lee, a former chairman and CEO of Pinnacle Entertainment and chief financial officer of Mirage Resorts, “resigned to pursue other business opportunities,” Palms spokesman Alex Acuna said in an email.

In an text message, Lee said he had “a bicycle accident last weekend, which caused me to have a lot of thinking.”

Lee said he resigned Monday.

“I’m OK, but I’m looking forward to spending the summer with my family at our place in Wyoming,” Lee said.

Palms President Todd Greenberg, along with the rest of the executive team, “will assume his responsibilities and continue to lead the luxury resort casino,” Acuna said.

Lee, 56, was credited with expanding regional casino operator Pinnacle into several markets, including St. Louis and areas of Louisiana.

The Palms was Lee’s first position at the CEO of a hotel-casino.

Before joining the Palms, Lee was developing a casino project in Lake Charles, La., adjacent to Pinnacle’s L’Auberge Lake Charles. Lee sold the western Louisiana project to Ameristar Casinos, which in turn was bought by Pinnacle.

The project has since been sold to Landry’s, which owns the Golden Nugget brands. The project is expected to open later this year as the Golden Nugget Lake Charles.

Lee retained ownership of Creative Casinos, the development company that was working on the Lake Charles site.

Lee had replaced Joseph Magliarditi as Palms CEO.

Magliarditi was named president of the Palms eight days after the Maloof family reorganized its ownership stake in the 1,300-room off-Strip hotel-casino. George Maloof, Palms’ founder, owns 2 percent of the casino after restructuring $400 million in debt.

Investment firms TPG Capital and Leonard Green and Partners are majority owners of the Palms.

The Palms opened in 2001 and catered to two different markets under Maloof’s ownership. The Palms attracted a nightlife crowd to the property’s restaurants and lounges. It also tapped into the locals market through its slot machine program.