New executive team at $4B Resorts World Las Vegas includes Strip casino veterans

September 12, 2019 8:11 PM
  • Howard Stutz, CDC Gaming Reports
September 12, 2019 8:11 PM
  • Howard Stutz, CDC Gaming Reports

Resorts World Las Vegas, more than a year away from its planned opening, announced five new members of the $4 billion Strip property’s executive management team Thursday. The new hires all bring experience garnered at the competition.

Story continues below

Resorts World Las Vegas President Scott Sibella, who was president of the MGM Grand Las Vegas for eight years, said the team has experience at Strip resorts operated by MGM Resorts International, Wynn Resorts and Las Vegas Sands Corp.

“Every executive was hand-selected for their extensive leadership experience in the hospitality and gaming industry,” Sibella said in a statement. “Each has many years of demonstrated proficiency and excellence in their respective disciplines to ensure the successful completion of our highly anticipated resort.”

Resorts World Las Vegas, which is being developed by Malaysia-based Genting Berhad, is expected to open in December 2020. The Asian-themed property, being built on the 87-acre site which once housed the Rat Pack-era Stardust, is the Strip’s first ground-up development of an all-new mega-resort since the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas opened in 2010.

The hirings give the executive team more than a year to plan for the opening

The newly appointed Resorts World Las Vegas executives include:

Chris Nordling, named chief financial officer. He previously served in a variety of senior leadership roles for 20 years at MGM Resorts, including CFO of The Mirage and Bellagio. Following MGM’s $6.5 billion acquisition of Mirage Resorts, Nordling He was part of the financial team that helped merge Mirage into the then MGM Grand, forming one company. He also served as CFO of the $9 billion CityCenter complex.

Max Tappeiner, appointed senior vice president of operations, will oversee the property’s divisions, including hotel, security, facilities, sales, marketing and revenue management. Tappeiner previously spent 12 years with Mandarin Oriental, successfully opening two hotels in New York and Las Vegas as part of MGM CityCenter development.

Bart Mahoney, hired as vice president of food and beverage, brings more than 25 years of experience in food and beverage operations in Las Vegas and internationally for Wynn and MGM Resorts. He has built global partnerships with celebrity chefs and culinary professionals. He will be responsible for Resort World’s restaurant line-up.

Michael Peltyn, who will become senior vice president of human resources, will lead Resorts World’s hiring effort. He previously worked in employment leadership at Bellagio, Aria and Vdara for MGM Resorts. He was responsible for more than 8,000 employees at CityCenter.

Bill McArthur, named chief information officer, has more than 20 years of IT leadership, including positions at the Venetian and Palazzo for Las Vegas Sands and with Scientific Games.

McArthur successfully executed a multi-year transformation of the IT organization from a transaction-based organization to a proactive and credible resource.

Sibella, who joined Resorts World in May, left MGM in February as part of the company’s cost-cutting and efficiency effort. He was one of several high-profile executives who departed MGM then, including Chief Financial Officer Dan D’Arrigo and Senior Vice President Alan Feldman.

Resorts World will include 3,400 rooms in its first phase. The project will have two 59-story towers.

Boyd Gaming Corp. imploded the Stardust in 2007 to make way for Echelon, a $4.8 billion multiple-hotel complex that would have covered 87 acres – encompassing the Stardust site plus additional land acquired by the company.

The recession killed that project early in construction, and it sat as an eyesore until Genting bought the site in March 2013 for $350 million. The company announced the deal in a well-attended press conference that included Genting’s leadership, several elected officials, and a number of Las Vegas business leaders. Nevada gaming regulators awarded Genting a preliminary finding of suitability in May 2014.

A year later, Genting held an elaborate and colorful ground-breaking ceremony on the site, with the shovel turners surrounded by Chinese lion dancers. In the background stood Echelon’s uncovered steel tower. That tower has now been incorporated into Resorts World.

Howard Stutz is the executive editor of CDC Gaming Reports. He can be reached at Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.