Eileen Moore

One of only two women who serve as president of Strip casinos, she isn’t your typical gaming executive

Kin Lui

She’s perhaps the most likable executive you’ll ever meet. Eileen Moore is president of not one, but three Strip properties (The Linq, Flamingo and The Cromwell). Having worked for Fairmont in San Francisco and Waldorf Astoria in New York City, one of Las Vegas’ busiest denizens is damn good at her job. The working mom has created a “lean in” culture at Caesars Entertainment globally.

Shall I call you Madame President?

Casino Boss Lady is what some folks like to call me.

How does one become that?

I started working in this business when I was 15 years old. My father worked for hotels and my mother worked for United Airlines. As a child, I got the travel bug and knew that I would grow up and be in this industry. I begged my parents to go to hotel school. They told me, “No, there’s no women in charge. It’s long hours and low pay.” Now we laugh because my dream was to run one hotel, and now I run three on the Strip.

And by “hotel school,” you mean getting your start at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration.

I was in the business even before attending Cornell. When I was a teenager at West Point Military Academy, I was a hostess in the restaurant and I was promoted to supervisor within my first year. I guess I liked being a boss early on.

What defines service for you?

Huvafen Fushi in the Maldives. [The staff] puts you completely in a state of relaxation and peacefulness just through their genuineness, authenticity and hospitality, and their anticipation of your needs. … [They] really cater to you to make sure that they have everything on that small island that you would ever want.

You were there after going to Dubai with the Young Presidents Organization?

Yes, through our global conference.

And I hear you partied with the sheik?

It was amazing. We went to his beach palace. We also went on his yacht, the Dubai, which is the third largest yacht in the world. We were unable to take any cell phones or any photographs. It was an amazing once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Did you try to bring that ethos back to Vegas?

I definitely did. I think it’s inspirational to say, “Hey, maybe not everything that they do on a 15-room bungalow setup can be done,” but, again, I run the only boutique hotel on the Strip with 188 rooms. There are things I could do here at The Cromwell that we wouldn’t necessarily do at Flamingo or The Linq.

One of the things I’m proud of is I have one of the most diverse teams in gaming. We cut across every demographic that you can think [of], every generation and any category. The best part about the properties that I run is [that] I have something for everyone. I run the oldest property on the Strip. Flamingo just turned 70. We were started in 1946 by the notorious gangster Bugsy Siegel. We’re the longest operating and one of the last original casinos that’s left on the Strip, [which] was built around us. It’s a classic, and we attract baby boomers, international travelers, people from all over and every age group.

Then we have The Linq, which is absolutely geared toward millennials, and that’s exactly the demographic that we’re pulling in. Then [there’s] The Cromwell, which is really a millennial and Gen X playground between Giada’s and what we do at Drai’s.

How did you become one of only two women Strip presidents?

I’m very fortunate to work for Caesars, which is a meritocracy. People putting up the strongest results get promoted. It doesn’t matter what they look like or where they came from. Although I started in our corporate office, I went on to be the No. 2 in operations with our New Orleans property. I opened our first hotel ever there, which made the Condé Nast Top 100 Hotels in the World [list] the year that we opened.

From there I went on to run a casino outside of Louisville, Kentucky, The Horseshoe in southern Indiana. Then [I] grew the region to run the two casinos in Illinois, Harrah’s Metropolis and Harrah’s Joliet. That isn’t necessarily the track record of people who are running Strip properties, but because I put up great results and drove great teams and developed people who got promoted, the company saw it fit to put me in charge of a billion-plus dollars in development and really rethink this entire side of the Strip. The bet has paid off through our performance.

What do you envision for the decade?

I’ll tell you what I’m most excited about. It’s going to take the next five years for sure. That’s going to be the big unveiling of the Flamingo. … That’s really the last piece of the puzzle. Our future development is how we return the Flamingo brand to its iconic and legendary status.

We’re starting this year with a room renovation, which will get us about a third of our rooms. We’re renovating all of our 100,000 square feet of convention space. We’ve completed more than $25 million in infrastructure upgrades. Then we’ll embark on a food and beverage master plan that redesigns the entryway into the casino and the entire first floor of the Flamingo. It’s a very exciting time for us.

What intrigues you?

The ever-changing nature of this business and being able to market to all these different demographics. I like to think about what should the casino of the future look like? What kinds of games are going to appeal to customers of tomorrow? We’re doing a virtual reality game test right now at The Linq that’s super interesting. That is what’s going to really attract customers in the future and keep them interested in gaming.

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