Lurie, Ronald Philip Interview, 2016 October 17 & 2016 November 10. OH-02863. [Transcript.] Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.
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i AN INTERVIEW WITH RONALD "RON" LURIE An Oral History Conducted by Stefani Evans and Claytee D. White The Building Las Vegas Oral History Project Oral History Research Center at UNLV University Libraries University of Nevada Las Vegas ii ©The Building Las Vegas Oral History Project University of Nevada Las Vegas, 2016 Produced by: The Oral History Research Center at UNLV University Libraries Director: Claytee D. White Editor: Stefani Evans Transcribers: Kristin Hicks, Frances Smith Interviewers: Stefani Evans and Claytee D. White Project Manager: Stefani Evans iii The recorded interview and transcript have been made possible through the generosity of the UNLV University Libraries. The Oral History Research Center enables students and staff to work together with community members to generate this selection of first-person narratives. The participants in this project thank the university for the support given that allowed an idea and the opportunity to flourish. The transcript received minimal editing that includes the elimination of fragments, false starts, and repetitions in order to enhance the reader’s understanding of the material. All measures have been taken to preserve the style and language of the narrator. In several cases photographic sources accompany the individual interviews. The following interview is part of a series of interviews conducted under the auspices of the Building Las Vegas Oral History Project. Claytee D. White Director, Oral History Research Center University Libraries University Nevada, Las Vegas iv PREFACE Ron Lurie is a product of Las Vegas. Ron Lurie knows Las Vegas. The Los Angeles native arrived in Las Vegas with his parents when he was twelve years old; his father opened Market Town next to White Cross Drug Store. Lurie graduated from Las Vegas High School in 1958 and attended Nevada Southern, where he played baseball and basketball before joining the United States Army Reserves. Returning from training, he began working at a new store, Fantastic Fair. Soon the owner, builder Lloyd Whaley, asked him to manage a new Fantastic Fair. At 24 years of age, he managed the entire Fantastic Fair store, which later became Wonder World. Over time, Lurie would manage three of the four Wonder World stores. In this interview, the former mayor of the City of Las Vegas and former Las Vegas City Council member talks about running for City council because he wanted more parks and ball fields downtown and about his political career, which coincided with the years of explosive growth in the 1970s and 1980s. The current vice president and general manager of Arizona Charlie's also v discusses his careers in the grocery business and in gaming; he speaks to giving back to the community and the changing demography of the area surrounding Arizona Charlie's; he talks of the ways Steve Wynn pioneered an aura of glamour that helped to upgrade Downtown Las Vegas; he recalls the challenges of public safety, regional transportation, flood control, and the Monorail and of civic dreams of a magnetic levitation train that would connect Downtown Las Vegas to Cashman Field. He remembers his parents and his wife; he talks about his children, and he shares vignettes of, among many others, Ernie Becker IV, Bill Briare, Al Levy, Steve Miller, and Bob Stupak. Throughout, Mayor Lurie especially beams when he talks about his family, his friends, his work, Las Vegas, the Boys and Girls Clubs, and baseball. This man loves baseball. vi TABLE OF CONTENTS Interview with Ronald "Ron" Lurie October 17, 2016, and November 10, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada Conducted by Stefani Evans and Claytee D. White Preface…………………………………………………………………………………..………..iv To LV 1953, one of first grocery stores downtown Las Vegas; worked with father at Market Town. Las Vegas High School, Nevada Southern, and on-the-job training in grocery business; U.S. Army Reserves, Fantastic Fair, and Lloyd Whaley. Paul Chenin, Herb Kaufman, and Wonder World. Breakfast Exchange Club, Phil Cohen, and 1972 run Las Vegas City Council; walking precincts; taking office July 1973, new city hall building. Mayoral run 1975 v. Harry Reid and Bill Briare; Mayor Briare and Mayor pro-tem Lurie (1975). Si Redd, The Antique Dealer, Fortune Coin, video poker ca. 1977–1980……………………………………………………………………….…. 1–9 Sircoma (Si Redd Coin Machine Company), eventually IGT, International Gaming Technology; Orbit Inn, Bernie Dommermuth, and first bar-installed machines; Sam's Town, Megabucks, Wheel of Fortune. Ratner Meat Company, Al Shulman, Morrie Ratner, and becoming journeyman butcher. Katsuki Manabe, Sigma Game, and Si Redd (1985–1990). 1990 Bruce Becker and Arizona Charlie's, Sunset Coin and slot route, Carl Icahn, and Goldman Sachs. Claudine and Shelby Williams, The Silver Slipper, the Holiday Inn, Big Bertha slot machines. Arizona Charlie and Arizona Charlie's, Charleston Heights Bowl, gaming machines, and building hotel, casino, and restaurant 1988 ……………………………………………………………..………………. 10–19 Neighborhood demographics, Arizona Charlie's; customer loyalty; holiday dinners Sartini Plaza, Flemings; school and health supplies E. W. Griffith Elementary School; money to Clark County School District. Son Ben and Silver State Services, chiropractic school, and Las Vegas chiropractic practice. Daughter and dental hygiene. Ron's Steak House. Management style, cleanliness, employee longevity, and independence of local ownership. Purchasing machines for Arizona Charlie's …………………………………..…………………………………………..……. 19–29 Municipal challenges: public safety, regional transportation, flood control, Monorail. Monorail and Mandalay Bay. City-County governmental strife. Breakfast Exchange Club. Steve Wynn, Carson Street, and Golden Nugget expansion; Downtown Progress Association; interests of long-time Carson Street businesses v. Golden Nuggett expansion and job creation; Wynn and quality; U.S. Army service, Herb Kaufman, getting into politics. Al Levy, Steve Miller, zoning, Sun City Summerlin, BLM, and land deals………..…………………………………………………. 29–41 The press; mayoral run, Vegas World Hotel and Casino, stock, and Bob Stupak. Growth and inter-local agreements, planning and zoning, homeowners, implementing Metro consolidation, ride-alongs, drug busts, and cash transactions. Cashman Field, Summerlin, upgrading Downtown, and Steve Wynn. The Meadows Mall………………………………………………..…………. 41–51 National League of Cities and Downtown Progress Association. Downtown Transportation Center, Las Vegas Transit, the Maglev, and high-speed rail. I-95 and fossils and artifacts at Springs vii Preserve; Clark County Shooting Complex. Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort. Flood control and Virginia Valentine; Boys and Girls Club of Southern Nevada; Valley Health System; University Medical Center; the military draft. Ron's restaurant, Bingo, the buffet, customer service…. 51–68 Employee longevity and community; worker ethnicity and 32-hour, full-time work; benefits; unionization; president-elect Donald J. Trump, Obamacare, undocumented residents, and border patrol; Chicago Cubs parade; wife's bladder cancer, Nathan Adelson Hospice, parents, and end-of-life decisions………………………………………………..……………………………. 68–77 viii 1 S: Today is Oct. 17, 2016. Stefani Evans and Claytee White are at Arizona Charlie's with Ron Lurie. Mr. Lurie will you please pronounce and spell both your first and last names for the tape. My name is Ron Lurie. L-U-R-I-E. Let's begin with you telling us about your early life, your parents, siblings, how you came to Las Vegas. We moved to Las Vegas in 1953 [from Los Angeles]. My mother's brother had one of the first grocery stores in Las Vegas, [Modern Market] downtown. My dad and my uncle were close and my dad came up here to run the grocery store. That's how we moved here. About a year after my dad worked with my uncle he left, because they didn't get along, and went over to Market Town, which was next to White Cross Drug, which was on Las Vegas Boulevard and Oakey. My dad ran that store and that is where I started my career. When I came here I went to Las Vegas High School and I played football and baseball. I was elected to be the class PTA representative, which was my calling card for politics. I attended PTA meetings. It was pretty interesting. When I finished high school [in 1958] I went out to Nevada Southern. When you mention that name some people don't know it. I first went to Arizona State and spent a year there. Then I came back here and went to Nevada Southern, didn't finish. I played basketball with Chub Drakulich, who was the coach out there. I played a little basketball. I didn't know anything about basketball but he wanted me to get in shape for baseball because I was a baseball player. I decided school wasn't for me at the time. I felt that what my dad had me doing in the grocery business I learned more with on the job training than I was going to learn out of a book. 2 A friend of mine and I we decided we were going to try something different. We went into the army. I signed up for the [United States] Army Reserves, spent six months at Camp Fort Ord in California. Then I came back to Las Vegas and spent six years in the Army Reserve. I was working for my dad during that time in the grocery store and then they opened a store called Fantastic Fair, which was on Valley View [Boulevard] and Sahara [Avenue]. I went to work up there in the grocery store that my dad was running and I spent a little time there. The fella that owned Fantastic Fair wanted me to become general manager of the entire store. Fantastic Fair was similar to maybe a Walmart or a Sam’s Club, but each individual department was leased out. The fella that owned it was named Lloyd Whaley and he was a builder and he built a lot of homes in greater Las Vegas. That was the Bonanza and Eastern area. He was also a big builder in Long Beach, California and he was a cattle rancher. He asked me if I wanted to have the opportunity to be the general manager of Fantastic Fair. At the time I told him okay. S: How old were you? I was about 24 years old. I ran that entire store and all the departments were leased out, women's apparel, hardware, pharmacy, drugs, automotive, sporting goods, shoes. I ran all of that and I enjoyed it. At that time Fantastic Fair sold to a company called AMA Superstore. So we became AMA Superstore. It was a company out of Dallas. At that time they were having financial trouble. They filed bankruptcy, and a fella named Paul Chenin from New York with Herb Kaufman bought AMA Superstore. They already owned Wonder World. Wonder World was over on Decatur [Boulevard] and Vegas Drive. They bought AMA Superstore and they kept me as general manager. We changed the name of AMA Superstore to Wonder World. I moved over to the Decatur store. In 1968 we built the 3 Wonder World store across from the Boulevard Mall. There is a school there now. I went over there and I ran that store and then we built another store on Eastern and Owens. We had four Wonder World stores. That was kind of my career with Wonder World. In the meantime, I got married in 1965. In 1967 I had my daughter Ronda and then in 1969 I had my son Ben. I started my family. Working at Wonder World I had met a lot of politicians that would come by because Herb was very connected with different people, whether it was the sheriff or county commissioner or the assessor. They would all come by Wonder World and we would have lunch and just talk. I got interested in politics. This was in 1972. I went to Herb one day and said, "I live in the city and I think I would like to run for City Council." He probably thought it was a good idea but he really didn't think I had a chance because I was not well known in the political circles. I said, "It is something I want to do because I am a little upset with the city. Number one, because I used to coach some Pop Warner football and I coached some soccer, but all the fields were committed to either adult slow-pitch baseball or adult fast-pitch baseball or Pop Warner football and a lot of these kids coming up couldn't play in some of these other sports. There was no availability for parks." I said to some of my friends, "How do you fix this to get more parks for these kids?" They said, "You run for City Council." I said, "Really? Okay." I went down to city hall. At that time Edwina Cole was the city clerk. A new city hall was being built at the time, so they were located over at [Reed] Whipple Center, right down the street. I went in and met Edwina and I said, "I am thinking of running for City Council. What are the qualifications?" She gave me a copy of the city charter and she said, "You have to be 21. You have to live in the city, and you pay $50." I said, "Well, that is pretty easy." I read the city charter and I can tell you that probably nobody reads the city charter. I read the city 4 charter and I learned a little bit about city government and I went to a couple of my friends and said, "I am going to file, will you help me?" They said, "Sure." At the time I belonged to the Breakfast Exchange Club. One member, he was in the sign business. I said, "Jerry, can you help me make some signs?" He said, "Sure." Another fella was in the advertising business. I said, "Ray, do you think you can help me with some ads?" He said, "Sure." I filed. People were upset that I filed. Harry Levy was the city councilman in the '60s. His son Al was running too so a lot of insiders wanted him to follow in his dad's footsteps and they tried to get me to drop out of the race. I said, "I am not going to drop out." The same thing happened to my dad. He wanted to run in the '60s and Harry was running so they actually kept him out of the race. I said, "I am not going to get out." Al was Jewish, I was Jewish. Now we have two Jewish people running for City Council. That made it a little difficult in the Jewish community. I finally got my signs and we bought 4' x 8' sheets of particle board and we cut them in half. Now we had 200 and we silk-screened them and we went out a couple of nights and we put them up around town. I didn't have any money to do much advertising or mailers. One of the fellas that had the liquor stores and slots at Wonder World he said, "I think you have a good shot. I will go to the bank and I'll sign a note for you for $5,000 so you have some money so you can run a decent campaign." I said, "Okay." I got $5,000. C: From whom? A fella named Phil Cohen. He has passed away. He was a good friend and he had a lot of confidence in me. I got a call from the newspaper and they wanted to talk to me about my platform. I asked them if they could hold a minute. I called my friend Greg and said, "I have the newspaper on the phone and they want to know what my platform is. What is a 5 platform?" He said, "They probably want to talk to you about issues." I said, "Okay." I got back on the phone with the reporter, I think it was Ed Koch or it could have been somebody else. I said, "Ed, I'll call you back in a couple of days because we are just trying to put together our platform and issues." He said, "Okay." I called Greg back and said, "The only way we are really going to find out what the issues are—because we have a short window here—is let's go walk the precinct." He said, "That is a good idea." We went down to Charleston [Boulevard] and Eastern [Avenue], that neighborhood just south of Charleston. We walked two streets. When I got done with those two streets I knew every issue there was. S: What were they? Public safety, fire, police, transportation, air quality, streets, highways, zoning and planning, and pornography. Pornography was a big issue because right on Charleston and Eastern they had just opened a book store and movie theater. The people in that neighborhood were livid about that, because it was around schools and around kids. I had my issues. C: Who lived in that area? What kind of population? They were middle class. It was an older neighborhood, not a lot of African-Americans, not a lot of Hispanics, mostly white. That area was one of the first areas developed, from Charleston over to Sahara and Eastern and all the way over to Las Vegas Blvd. It was one of the nicer areas. When you got up further, Sixth Street, Seventh Street, those areas had nicer houses. We knew what the issues were. Besides the recreation that I was the champion for the kids, I knew what else we had to do. It came down to the primary and Al had his team that he put together. I would go with one friend of mine to a function and he 6 would bring 20 girls with sashes that said Al's Gals and they are passing out brochures. I am just going around shaking hands. I made sure that I got to a number of the precincts in the city, I think we walked about 46 or so. We didn't know it at the time but you could get a voter's list that showed who was registered. We didn't know. We just went to every house and we got a lot of people to register. We got a lot of comments. We got into the primary and I won the primary and Al came in second. Now we had to go out and raise some money. I did raise some money. I had a school that had a government class and a friend of mine gave me his government class as an assignment to help write letters and address envelopes and put stamps on them. In the meantime I was still walking and I was still getting good press on the issues. Al, at the time, he was in the real estate business, he had a big real estate office. About 50-60 percent of the items that come before the City Council at the time were planning and zoning. My comment to Al at the time was, "You are going to have to abstain 50 percent of the time because it is a conflict of interest if you vote on these zoning items because you are in the real estate business." It worked. I won the election and took office in July, 1973. That is the day we moved into the new city hall. I served with Oran Gragson, George Franklin, and Hal Morelli. Paul Christensen got elected the same time I did. Paul served on the City Council and then he went to the County Commission. Paul passed away a few years ago. He was a very close friend. I got on the City Council and it was very difficult the first two years because Paul and I were outsiders. A lot of the votes were three to two. I ran for mayor in 1975. There was Harry Reid, Ron Lurie, and Bill Briare, we all ran for mayor at the time. I thought I was ready to be mayor because I had two good years on the City Council but I wasn't ready. I came in third, Bill Briare, Harry and myself. I always 7 tell Harry that it is a good thing I ran to take votes away from you otherwise you wouldn't be a United States senator today because you might have been mayor and then you might have been in local politics. We joke around a little bit about that. [Colloquy not transcribed.] S: Were you and Paul Christensen outsiders because you were new or was that a party thing? We were new. The City Council is nonpartisan, but mostly all Democrats have been on the –City Council. I can't remember a Republican that is on the City Council. Beers is on there now and he might be. We were all Democrats but it didn't make any difference because it is nonpartisan but you still needed your party, you still needed those votes. When I ran for mayor and lost in the primary, I was still in the middle of my term so I was still on the City Council. There was Paul and I and then Bill Briare got elected, Myron Levitt, and Bob Nolan. At that time Bill Briare wanted to be on the convention authority. We have all these committees. He said, "Why don't you become Mayor pro-tem?" I said, "Okay." That is when I became Mayor pro-tem in 1975 and Bill, we gave him the Convention Authority. He was an ambassador, he liked to travel, and he liked to sell the city, those types of things. When he would go on a trip then I would run the office and the city. I signed the documents, I conducted the meetings, and I did the ceremonial things that needed to be done. He would come back from a trip and say, "Okay, what did you guys do so I know what to do on the agenda?" We joked about that. In the meantime the City Council is a part time job so I still had a job. I was still working at Wonder World and then in 1976 I got a call from a lady I knew that worked at the Golden Nugget and she was a friend of a fella named Si Redd that was in the gaming 8 business. She said, "Si is looking for someone to manage his company down here in Las Vegas." I said, "I don't know that much about gaming." She said, "I told him that but he would like to talk to you." I met him and we talked and he said, "I would like you to come and run my company." Si Redd was President of Bally's and he had left Bally's and he had a company called The Antique Gambler. He said, "I want you to run that." I said, "You know what. I need a change. It might be good." I went to Herb and said, "I am going to leave here and I am going to go into the gaming business." I went to work for Si to run the Antique Gambler. Antique Gambler was a small store where we sold antique machines. The reason the store was successful was because in California there was a fella whose house was burglarized and the police came and did a report and he had about 10 antique machines. They confiscated them and they were going to destroy them because you weren't allowed to have them. He got a stay from the court and got a law passed in California that if you had an antique slot machine that was pre-1941 you could keep it as long as it wasn't used for gambling purposes. When that law was passed, in Nevada you could already own a machine, you could own any machine. Texas passed a law that you could own a machine if it was pre-1941 and if you bought one you had to notify the county sheriff within 30 days you bought the machine. All these states started passing these laws. Si hired a couple of guys to go around the United States to Veterans' Halls and Eagles and areas where they used to have these old machines. They were in the basements and they would buy them for a couple of hundred dollars. We would bring them back and restore them and sell them for $1200 to $2000. It was a pretty good business. Then people started bringing us machines that we hadn't seen before. These old roller tops and Mills and Jennings. People hadn't seen them because 9 people hid them. They were in barns and in basements but now they wanted to sell them. People started writing books about the machines. In the meantime Si bought a company called Fortune Coin. Fortune Coin was a company that was developing video 21 machines because Si's mind was so fabulous and he was so focused on the coin business. He said, "If we build these 21 machines with the same odds that you have on the regular table, he was trying to get the women to sit down at the tables because mostly men played 21." We developed these games and we also developed video poker. I would take you to the show room and say, "Look we have these beautiful 21 machines. They have the same odds. You get your money back." They would look over and see the poker game and they would say, "What about that poker game?" We said, "Well, we have these 21." They would say, "I would rather have a poker game." Now we are taking orders for poker games. We couldn't produce them fast enough. The next step was to build a warehouse and a manufacturing plant. Out on Harmon we built a 120,000 square foot. Building. We hired some people from Hewlett Packard from Silicon Valley that knew how to build things in mass. Video poker, in my opinion, revolutionized the gaming industry. That is what people wanted to play. You are interacting with the game, you are making a decision, and the game is not making a decision for you. S: What year are we talking about? We are talking 1977 to about 1980, in that time frame. We had to build it. At that time I became sales manager for Fortune Coin. Then we changed the name of the company to Sircoma which stood for Si Redd Coin Machine Company, which nobody liked that name. Eventually he hired a fella from Merrill Lynch and we took the company public and that name became IGT, International Gaming Technology. I was in on the ground floor with 10 IGT. You have to remember that I am still on the City Council, I am Mayor pro-tem, and I am selling slot machines. I was almost 40 years old. That was my introduction to the gaming business. I spent Saturday and Sunday with Si. I left my family and we spent eight hours every Saturday and Sunday walking every casino downtown, going into casinos on the Strip, looking for places to put more machines. Si was always the type that you had to get more machines in. We saw these bars where people were watching TV or they are just sitting there drinking. He says, "We should develop a machine for the bar." I said, "Si, that's a great idea." I didn't think it would ever be done. He got a hold of his engineer and told him he wanted him to design a machine for the bar. My job was to sell those machines. There was a little place downtown called the Orbit Inn, Bernie Dommermuth owned the Orbit Inn. C: Where was it located? It was right across from the El Cortez. Si had loaned Bernie some money. Si said to him, "You have a little bar in there. I am going to put eight machines in your bar." Bernie says, "Okay." The first machine we made the coins came out down under the bar top counter. S: Under the bar? Under the bar. We went into one bar and we saw this lady bending over to pick up her coins and I said, "That is not good." He called the engineer and told him he had to develop a hopper with an escalator so that the coins would come up and drop on the bar. We developed an escalator and we made these machines so the coins would come up on the top of the bar. That worked good but there was a light in there that people figured out if you shined something in there it might roll the hopper. They would cheat the machine. S: What does that mean, "roll the hopper?" 11 The hopper would move without winners on it, any coins. We put those machines in Bernie's bar. I swear, I never seen anybody playing them but they were doing $80 to $100 a day, so Si was sending people in to shill them. At that time Sam and Bill Boyd were building Sam's Town. I got hold of Bill and their slot manager and I said, "We have this new game. You are building a new bar. We will put the machines in on a 50/50, you take 50 percent, and we’ll take 50 percent. Why don't you come and take a look at them?" He came over and looked at them and said okay. My first bar was Sam's Town. We put the machines in. The bar manager he was upset because he figured he was not going to make any tips because people were going to take their money, and if beer is fifty cents the change is going to go into the machine. He wasn't happy. The slot manager is happy because he is getting more machines on the floor. We put in the bar machines in, I think I had 20 on the bar. Two months after they are in I go in to check. The bar manager and bartender calls me over and says, "We were kind of wrong. You see the service station there for cocktails. Do you think if we took that out we could put three more machines in?" S: So what was happening with the bar tips? They were making more money because people hit jackpots and they would pay the bartender. They had more people at the bar. They used to have 15-20 percent of the people at the bar now they are had 60 percent people at the bar. They were playing but they were also spending, buying more drinks or they are getting free drinks and they are tipping. The bartenders are really happy and the slot guy he was happy. We ended up putting in a whole video room where we had video keno, video 21, video slots and we had video poker. We had a whole room. 12 S: And this is all at Sam's Town? Yes. I used Sam's Town as my sales tool. If you wanted to see a bar I would say, "Okay. Get in my car and I'll take you over to Sam's Town. It was the easiest sell I had, selling those bar games. Then we developed Megabucks, Wheel of Fortune, and all those games. I decided in 1985, my dad's cousin had a meat company here, called Ratner Meat Company and he wanted to retire and he wanted to get out of the business. When I was in the grocery business with my dad there was a meat strike and my dad said, "I don't like the meat business. You go into the meat department and you work with Al Shulman, he was running the meat department, and maybe you'll learn the meat business." I said, "Okay." I became a journeyman butcher. Back in those days the truck would pull up and you would have the hind quarters and the fronts and you would have to unload them and break them. My first year as an apprentice I did all the grunt work with these guys but I learned the meat business. We had a service counter so if you came in and wanted a special cut, T-bones or fillets or Porterhouse, I would bring you out a loin and you would tell me how thick you wanted it. I would go back and cut it and trim it and bring it out and wrap it up for you. You don't see that very often here anymore. I did that. My dad said why don't you get with Morrie and maybe you could take over that business. S: Morrie? Morrie Ratner. I left Si, mistake number one. Mistake number two was getting involved with my dad's cousin. I stayed there about six months and then said, "I'm out of here." We didn't get along. The accounts that I wanted to do he said, "No, that's my account. You can't do that one." I said, "You know what? I don't need this." 13 My assistant who was with me at the Antique Gambler, she had left and went to a company called Sigma Game. She called me and said, "This is a Japanese company and Mr. [Katsuki] Manabe is looking for a sales manager. You have anybody in mind?" I said, "What time can I see him?" I went over and met Mr. Manabe, great gentleman from Japan and he had a horse race machine, ten-station horse race machine. He wanted us to be the distributor for it. Si had told him, "Don't even bother getting it approved. People won't ever play that game." He got licensed and now he is looking for someone to put that machine out. We got together and I went to work for him. I was his sales manager putting out those horse racing machines. Si was mad, number one because it was a Japanese company. He put on his machines "Made in America." He was upset that Manabe got licensed and I was working for him. This was 1985. I stayed there until 1990. And then in 1988 my friend Bruce Becker, who owned Arizona Charlie's at the time, they broke ground for Arizona Charlie's. I was the mayor then so I had done the ground breaking and the ribbon cutting. Bruce called me one day and said, "I am looking for a manager for my slot route." I said, "Let me think about who it might be." Bruce and I were friends. We went around together, played racquetball. I said, "I am really tired of sales. I need to do something else and at that time I was also contemplating not running for re-election. I had been on City Council for 18 years and I was getting a little tired and I wanted to do something else. I like to travel, I like to play golf, and I like to go fishing, spend some time with my kids. I said, "Bruce, why don't I take the job. I know the slot business." At the time Sunset Coin, we had machines out at the Seven Eleven stores, in restaurants, bars. There was a company that went out of business 14 because the Gaming Commission took their license away, so all these locations were available. We went out and got a bunch of those locations. I went to work for Bruce in 1990 and I have been here ever since. I started in 1990. Bruce had some bankruptcy problems and Carl Icahn bought the bonds. I went to work for Carl Icahn. Carl Icahn decided he wanted out. He sold to Goldman Sachs. Right now Goldman Sachs owns Arizona Charlie's, Stratosphere, and Aquarius. We have four properties. I have been here going on 26 years. I am like the mayor of Arizona Charlie's. We have been to weddings, funerals, birthdays, anniversaries with our customers. I have had opportunities to leave at times, to go to bigger properties on the Strip. I just really like a smaller property. I like the locals. Maybe I'll work another four or five years and maybe retire. I lost my wife five years ago, so this is like my family. I enjoy the people. We'll get back to the City Council as that is the main focus. S: Not any more. It was going to be. C: This is about building Las Vegas so everything counts. The gaming is a big part. There is one story that I like to tell about the Silver Slipper and Shelby Williams, who owned the Silver Slipper.