odd George, currently Vice President and General Manager at Lumiere Place in downtown St. Louis, has been named Vice President and General Manager of the company's new River City Casino in south St. Louis County, which is scheduled to open in spring 2010 pending regulatory approvals.
A native of upstate New York, George began his gaming career as an auditor with the New York State Gaming and Wagering Board. From 1995 to 2000, he worked in the finance department at the Turning Stone Casino near Syracuse, New York. In 2000, George joined Pinnacle in the accounting department of Belterra Casino Resort in Vevay, Indiana, and was an integral part of the management team that significantly improved the resort's operating results.
From 2003 to 2006, George served as General Manager of Pinnacle's Boomtown Bossier City property in Bossier City, Louisiana, which performed well in a challenging operating market during his tenure. He moved to St. Louis in 2006 to head the opening team for Lumiere Place. With his experience in the St. Louis market and his success in opening the Lumiere Place complex, he is ideally suited to lead the River City management team.
Kim Townsend, currently head of Pinnacle Atlantic City, has been named Vice President and General Manager of Lumiere Place, which includes the Lumiere Place Casino, Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis and HoteLumiere. The Atlantic City project remains on indefinite hold, reflecting both the constrained financial markets and the weak Atlantic City environment.
Townsend, a native of Ocean City, New Jersey, began her career at the Golden Nugget Atlantic City in 1979, and held several marketing positions with the Trump Atlantic City casinos. She later rejoined Mirage Resorts, where she held various roles in marketing and development during the opening of the Mirage, Treasure Island and Beau Rivage casino-resorts. In 1997, she joined Las Vegas Sands as Vice President of Marketing, where she was instrumental in the opening of the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino. She joined Pinnacle in 2002, and was named Senior Vice President of Marketing prior to relocating to Atlantic City in 2006. Townsend is relocating to St. Louis, but also will continue to oversee Pinnacle's Atlantic City investments.
Jeff Babinski, Senior Director of Casino Operations at Lumiere Place, has been promoted to General Manager of Boomtown Reno, the company's casino-hotel in Verdi, Nevada. He reports to David Williams, Regional Vice President, who also oversees operations at the Company's Boomtown New Orleans casino in Harvey, Louisiana. Born in Rock Island, Illinois, Babinski served as a sergeant in the U.S. Army before launching his gaming career at the Diamond Lady Riverboat Casino in Bettendorf, Iowa in 1991.
He advanced through a series of operating roles at the President Riverboat Casino and Par-A-Dice Riverboat Casino before joining Players Island Casino in St. Louis in 1996 as Director of Surveillance. In 2000, Babinski joined Pinnacle's Belterra Casino Resort in Vevay, Indiana, where he managed surveillance, security, slot operations and table games before joining the opening team at Lumiere Place in 2007.
"We're excited to have Todd George, Kim Townsend and Jeff Babinski promoted from within Pinnacle to their new positions, effective immediately," said Daniel R. Lee, Pinnacle Entertainment's Chairman and CEO.
"Todd has done an outstanding job opening and operating Lumiere Place, and his skills will help to ensure that its sister property, River City, gets off to a successful start in 2010. Kim's decades of experience in marketing and opening casinos across the country, from Atlantic City to Las Vegas to the Gulf Coast, will be invaluable in continuing the positive trends at Lumiere Place begun by Todd and his team. Jeff Babinski, with his strong background in casino operations, is well-suited to take on the challenging Reno market and help maximize our substantial real estate holdings there with the support of Regional Vice President David Williams."