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Best of Howard Stutz

Gaming Guru

Howard Stutz

Q&A with Stacy Stagg, assistant general manager of Sunset Station

12 August 2013

LAS VEGAS -- You can go home again.

At least if you’re Stacy Stagg.

A nearly 20-year employee of Station Casinos, Inc., Stagg helped open the Sunset Station Hotel and Casino in June 1997 as manager of the coffee shop.

After gaining experience in other management roles with the company, including as assistant general manager at the Santa Fe Station and Red Rock Resort, Stagg returned to Sunset Station this year.

“Generally, when you walk into a new role, you might be unfamiliar with the property,” said Stagg, the assistant general manager of Sunset Station. “This was like coming home. It’s nice to be able to come in here and help energize the resort.”

One of the first changes was the rebranding of the 467-room hotel’s center bar into the Gaudi Bar, which was inspired by Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi. The 140-seat space was designed to bring more excitement to the casino floor.

“It’s right in the middle of the table games,” Stagg said.

Stagg, 51, spent many years in restaurants as a food server and manager before moving to Las Vegas with her husband. She joined Station Casinos as food server at the Texas Station’s Italian restaurant before moving into management. She worked as a restaurant manager, training manager and food and beverage director, before moving into a general manager role.

Stagg has worked for four different Station Casinos resorts.

What was the toughest part of the transition from overseeing food and beverage to managing the hotel-casino?

Food and beverage is probably one of the most challenging departments at a property. You have multiple venues, multiple employees and it’s the largest department on any property. You have to run a very tight department. The biggest challenge was getting acclimated to gaming. It’s a big monster at any level. I moved to Red Rock in 2006 and that catapulted the learning curve.

What did you like about learning the gaming side of the industry?

Gaming is very technical and very regulated. The hotel side has many gray areas, but gaming is very black and white. There are many procedures to learn. The company sends its executives who came from the nongaming side to dealing school so we can have an understanding of all the games. It helped me understand craps, for example. Coming from restaurant management I think helped me understand the many procedures that go with gaming.

Is the management experience different at the various properties?

One of the great things about the company is they have many properties. They love to change and they don’t keep you in one place too long. After three or four years, they move people around. It’s always good to give something a fresh set of eyes. I spent seven years at Red Rock, which is almost unheard of. But that experience of being in a true megaresort-type property allowed me to bring what I learned to Sunset Station. I was at Santa Fe when we changed out all our restaurants, so that gave me some experience in launching new brands.
Q&A with Stacy Stagg, assistant general manager of Sunset Station is republished from