|Las Vegas SunMcClatchy-Tribune Regional
Jan. 14, 2013--Name: Terry Downey
Company: Aliante Casino and Hotel
Title: President and general manager
What's new with your company?
Aliante became self-managing on Nov. 1. It was an exciting and challenging transition away from the management company that was here.
We started a new players loyalty club and rebranded three restaurants in a very short period of time. The feedback has been incredible, with more than 25,000 sign-ups the first month.
What is the best business advice you have received, and whom did it come from?
Surround yourself with great people. I can look back over my career and see that every bit of good fortune that has come my way was because I was always part of a great team.
You get that advice from college on; the problem is, very few people heed it.
What challenges do you face doing business here?
The biggest challenge is being on the very edge of town and being somewhat restricted to a small population. The fun part will be to see how we creatively overcome that with great service, products and marketing.
What's the best part about living in Las Vegas?
I have been here all my life, and I get very bored if I'm anywhere else for even a week or two. There is always something to do.
If you could change one thing about Las Vegas, what would it be?
I would make the weather year-round like it is in October.
Describe your management style.
Management by walking around. I embrace every aspect of the business every day. I make sure the team knows how important they are and that I am there to support them.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I tried to retire once already, but I really missed interacting with folks on a grand scale like this job and career allow. So I would like to think I will still enjoy this enough in 10 years to keep doing what I'm doing.
Blackberry, iPhone or Android?
iPhone. I finally gave up that great Blackberry keyboard and switched.
What do you do after work?
My hobbies are golf and bicycling. Golf is my torture, and cycling is my joy.
What are you reading right now?
I'm re-reading the "Complete Works of Sherlock Holmes."
What is your dream job, outside of your current field?
Jazz guitarist, history professor, writer. So many things, so little time. I would love to write a sitcom about the gaming industry. People have no idea what it entails.
Whom do you admire and why?
I admire people who take their work seriously. People spend so much of their life at work, why not choose something you enjoy and excel at? These are the people that make not only their own lives more enjoyable, but everyone's around them, too.
What is your biggest pet peeve?
Lines. When we took over Nov. 1, we had customers, but we didn't know who they were. In the local market, the loyalty clubs are the lifeblood of the business, and we had to sign everyone up from scratch. So we had lines for days. It made me crazy.
What is something that people might not know about you?
I have eight beautiful grandkids.
Anything else you want to tell us?
The best kept secret right now is Bistro 57 at Aliante for a great, yet reasonably-priced dining experience.
Also, how much the restaurant product has changed at Aliante. We are serving fresh food lovingly prepared by our room chefs. Nothing more out of cans or bags.
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