The Kick-Starter: Scott Kreeger

SLS President and COO

Photo by Anthony Mair

Photo by Anthony Mair

ACHIEVEMENTS Kreeger began his casino-industry career in 1991 with what would become known as MGM/Mirage, eventually rising to the position of director of slot operations and marketing. After a decade, he moved on to work on the corporate side of things at Station Casinos, remaining with the company until mid-2013, when he was hired as the COO of Revel hotel-casino in Atlantic City. In October, SLS executives tapped Kreeger to return home and breathe life into the former Sahara. “I had a career coach for a year,” Kreeger says. “He always said what got you here isn’t necessarily what keeps you here or allows you to grow. You have to move from being skillful at the task at hand to being strategic, to get the bigger picture. Then you’ll be able to really direct a team.”

LEARNING THE ROPES Kreeger worked for Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta for nearly 12 years, and credits them with having “such a tremendous insight for how to speak to customers and stay relevant. They taught me that it all starts with the customer.”

One of the reasons SLS has struggled to gain traction with both locals and tourists is its isolated location on Las Vegas Boulevard and Sahara Avenue. But Kreeger is optimistic that the May debut of Rock in Rio across the boulevard will provide a big boost to his property. Similarly, nearby Resorts World—as well as the James Packer-Andrew Pascal project on the former Frontier site (for which Kreeger’s predecessor, Rob Oseland, left SLS)—should re-energize the north end of the Strip in the years to come. “When you’re paving the way for a dynamic future,” Kreeger says, “you’re always faced with first-mover challenges.”

WHAT LIES AHEAD Kreeger wants to build on the success of the resort’s popular restaurants and plans to court Rock in Rio visitors; he believes the property’s proximity to the monorail will supercharge it once festivalgoers start heading to the north Strip in May. He’s also pulling from his experience with the Fertittas: “We really have something to offer locals; we’re changing our loyalty program to be more in line with locals, and looking at restaurants and price points that will appeal to them. We’re looking to have more fun.”

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