The San Manuel Gaming and Hospitality Authority (SMGHA) announced on Wednesday that Cynthia Kiser Murphey has joined the San Manuel team as General Manager for The Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas.
SMGHA Nevada, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the SMGHA, is in a definitive agreement to acquire the Palms from Red Rock Resorts, Inc. The transaction is expected to close later in 2021, subject to the receipt of all necessary gaming regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.
Following the close of the transaction, Murphey, as General Manager, will be responsible for the operations of The Palms under SMGHA Nevada, LLC. The casino resort, which has been closed for over a year, is located just west of I-15 near the Las Vegas Strip. In addition to being a casino, the property includes approximately 700 hotel rooms and suites, multiple casual and upscale dining options, meeting and convention space, a 2,500-seat theater, pool and spa, and Palms Place condominiums.
Since 2020, Murphey has served as Chief Executive Officer to a large benefits fund. In 2008, she was named President and Chief Operating Officer of New York-New York Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. In this role, she oversaw operational activities for the 2,024-room on-strip property. Prior to her role at New York-New York, she held multiple leadership positions at MGM Resorts International from 1992-2008, including serving as Senior Vice President of MGM MIRAGE Human Resources.
Murphey holds a bachelor’s degree in Hotel & Restaurant Management and a master’s degree in Hotel Administration, both from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where she was also part-time faculty and adjunct professor. She is involved in a number of charitable and professional organizations and was previously named one of 25 "People to Watch" by Global Gaming Business magazine.
SMGHA Chairperson Latisha Casas, said: “In Southern California, our Tribe is well known for being a successful casino operator and recognized as a community leader and an employer of choice. We live by values passed down by our ancestors; our values define us. It was important to our board that we find a leader for The Palms; Someone who shares our values personifies our commitment to diversity and exhibits a leadership style that puts people first. Upon meeting Cynthia, it was clear that she has all three and more. With decades of experience in the gaming industry, she has excelled both in operations and human resources, creating dynamic teams that deliver memorable guest experiences, something that will be important to Las Vegas locals and our loyal guests from San Manuel Casino.”
Murphey commented: “I am humbled to be chosen to lead this exciting endeavor, as the SMGHA becomes the first Native American owner and operator of a Las Vegas casino. The Palms is an iconic property with a rich connection to the community. I look forward to strengthening those ties while working with the team to create a wholly unique experience for Team Members and customers that reflects the SMGHA’s values and culture.”