MGM Shuffles Around Casino Leaders in a Game of Musical Chairs

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Travis Lunn was named Wednesday the new president for Atlantic City’s Borgata, per an announcement by the casino’s owner, MGM Resorts International. At the same time, Brandon Dardeau was promoted to take over Lunn’s former position of president and chief operating officer (COO) of southeast operations for MGM.

Borgata Gets a New Boss

In Lunn’s previous position as president and COO of the southeast region for MGM Resorts, he managed Beau Rivage Resort & Casino in Biloxi, MS, and Gold Strike Casino Resort in that state’s city of Tunica.

Before that, he was the GM at MGM Grand Las Vegas, and also served as a senior vice president of operations with the operator.

Prior to joining MGM Resorts, Lunn held the positions of vice president of Operations at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas, as well as GM of hotel operation for The Venetian & The Palazzo resorts.

Lunn takes over for Melonie Johnson, who will now become the president and COO at National Harbor. She held the titles at the MGM property before making the move to the Borgata almost two years ago.

Lunn Has the Bar Set High

Borgata has consistently been the most profitable of Atlantic City’s nine casinos and made more than $1 billion in gambling revenue during the first 11 months of 2021. This includes both in-person slot and table winnings, sports betting, and online gambling.

“It’s an honor to be joining this incredibly talented team,” Lunn said in a statement, and continued:

“Borgata is a world-class resort destination with a brand recognized nationwide for its spectacular accommodations, culinary program, and entertainment offerings. I can’t wait to jump in and connect with all of the employees, guests, and local community members.”

Atlantic City Borgata president Travis Lunn

Dardeau Ready for New Challenges

Dardeau will be responsible for daily operations for the two Mississippi casinos once he takes over. He will also be in charge of strategic direction and leadership.

Dardeau is a 20-year veteran in the gaming and hospitality industry. He most recently held the position of GM and Senior VP Marketing & Operations at Gold Strike. He started his career at MGM Resorts International in May 2000 as a Casino Marketing Coordinator for MGM Grand Las Vegas. He quickly rose to the top and was transferred to Beau Rivage in July 2001.

Dardeau has held many leadership roles in slot operations and marketing. He also helped to develop the Gulf Coast charter program and launch the loyalty program M life Rewards in 2010.

He said in a separate statement, “I am pleased to transition back full time to the Mississippi Gulf Coast to lead both Beau Rivage and Gold Strike teams, where we will continue to create world-class destination experiences for our customers. This year’s priorities will include a multi-million dollar room remodel at Beau Rivage, capital investments into our restaurants and gaming floors, and ensuring our employee experience remain the best in the market.”

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