Search the Special Collections and Archives Portal

Transcript of interview with Ellis Landau by Barbara Tabach, November 28, 2017

Document

Information

Narrator
Date
2017-11-28
Description

In 1990, Las Vegas became home to Ellis Landau and his attorney wife, Yvette. They moved from Phoenix, Arizona when Ellis accepted a position as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer with Boyd Gaming. The relocation also included a desire to become active in the local community. Temple Beth Sholom was one of their first connections. For Ellis the Jewish community of a newer city like Las Vegas differed immensely from his childhood upbringing in a more ethnic Jewish community outside Philadelphia. Nevertheless, Ellis soon became active on the Temple Beth Sholom board, and is a past Treasurer and President. The couple are among the founders of the Warsaw Memorial Garden at the synagogue. In 2006, Ellis was honored as Temple Beth Sholom’s “Man of the Year.” The Landaus have been significantly involved with other local organizations such as Nathan Adelson Hospice and the Las Vegas Philharmonic. Ellis’s dedication to the Anti-defamation League, both on a local and regional level, is a beacon of inspiration to others. The Landaus are sponsors of ADL’s “No Place for Hate” program. Ellis is a graduate of Brandeis University in economics and has a Masters of Business Administration from Columbia University School of Business. His former career steps include Ramada Inc. and U-Haul Corporation.

Digital ID
OH_03345_book
Physical Identifier
OH-03345
Details
Citation

[Transcript of interview with Ellis Landau by Barbara Tabach, November 28, 2017]. Landau, Ellis Interview, 2017 November 28. OH-03334. [Transcript.] Oral History Research Center, Special Collections & Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.

Rights
This material is made available to facilitate private study, scholarship, or research. It may be protected by copyright, trademark, privacy, publicity rights, or other interests not owned by UNLV. Users are responsible for determining whether permissions are necessary from rights owners for any intended use and for obtaining all required permissions. Acknowledgement of the UNLV University Libraries is requested. For more information, please see the UNLV Special Collections policies on reproduction and use (https://www.library.unlv.edu/speccol/research_and_services/reproductions) or contact us at special.collections@unlv.edu
Standardized Rights Statement
Digital Provenance
Digitized materials: physical originals can be viewed in Special Collections and Archives reading room
Language

English

Geographic Coordinate
36.17497, -115.13722
Format
image/tiff

AN INTERVIEW WITH ELLIS LANDAU An Oral History Conducted by Barbara Tabach Southern Nevada Jewish Heritage Project Oral History Research Center at UNLV University Libraries University of Nevada Las Vegas ii ©Southern Nevada Jewish Heritage Project University of Nevada Las Vegas, 2014 Produced by: The Oral History Research Center at UNLV – University Libraries Director: Claytee D. White Project Manager: Barbara Tabach Transcriber: Kristin Hicks Interviewers and editors: Barbara Tabach, Claytee D. White iii The recorded interview and transcript have been made possible through the generosity of a Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) Grant. 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 University of Nevada Las Vegas for the support given that allowed an idea 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 with permission of the narrator. The following interview is part of a series of interviews conducted under the auspices of the Southern Nevada Jewish Heritage Project. Claytee D. White Director, Oral History Research Center University Libraries University of Nevada Las Vegas iv PREFACE In 1990, Las Vegas became home to Ellis Landau and his attorney wife, Yvette. They moved from Phoenix, Arizona when Ellis accepted a position as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer with Boyd Gaming. The relocation also included a desire to become active in the local community. Temple Beth Sholom was one of their first connections. For Ellis the Jewish community of a newer city like Las Vegas differed immensely from his childhood upbringing in a more ethnic Jewish community outside Philadelphia. Nevertheless, Ellis soon became active on the Temple Beth Sholom board, and is a past Treasurer and President. The couple are among the founders of the Warsaw Memorial Garden at the synagogue. In 2006, Ellis was honored as Temple Beth Sholom’s “Man of the Year.” The Landaus have been significantly involved with other local organizations such as Nathan Adelson Hospice and the Las Vegas Philharmonic. Ellis’s dedication to the Anti-defamation League, both on a local and regional level, is a beacon of inspiration to others. The Landaus are sponsors of ADL’s “No Place for Hate” program. Ellis is a graduate of Brandeis University in economics and has a Masters of Business Administration from Columbia University School of Business. His former career steps include Ramada Inc. and U-Haul Corporation. v TABLE OF CONTENTS Interview with Ellis Landau November 28, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada Conducted by Barbara Tabach Preface………………………………………………………………………………………..…..iv Talks about family ancestry, growing up Jewish in Philadelphia in a kosher home, his bar mitzvah, attending Brandeis University in 1961, then Columbia Business School; joined Army Reserve, then worked for Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington DC, but didn’t like the work; moved to Phoenix, AZ……………………………………………………………..……...….1 – 6 Explains taking a position with U-Haul Phoenix headquarters; started his family with wife Yvette. Changes jobs to finance department of Ramada Inc. where he was from 1971-1990; U-Haul International. Met Yvette, an attorney, to whom he has been married since 1992; after a couple of years living in two cities, in 1993 they moved to Las Vegas; she became general counsel with Mandalay Bay Resort Group and he was already CFO of Boyd Gaming, from where he retired in 2006. Talks about the population growth of both Las Vegas and Phoenix, similarities and differences of the two experiences for him……………………………….......…………..…7 – 10 Describes his position of Chief Financial Officer with Boyd, a private company that goes public in 1993; his involvement taking Boyd Gaming public and in the growth and development of the company; Atlantic City Borgata project; Steve Wynn; Coast and Michael Gaughn; Blue Chip riverboat in Indiana; his decision to retire; boards he was involved with include ADL, Pinnacle Entertainment…………………………………………………………………………..…..10 – 16 Talks about Bill Boyd’s history, working for Boyd; mentions changes and surprises in the gaming industry that he has seen during his career: Sam’s Town, Fertittas, Palace Station, Howard Hughes, Mirage, Circus Circus, MGM; also, non-gaming increasing livability of the valley……….17 – 20 Focuses on participation in the local Jewish community; Man of the Year at Temple Beth Sholom (2006); from Philadelphia Jewish environment; mentions Jeff Zucker, Sandy Mallin, being on the Beth Sholom Board as Treasurer, and eventually President; David Steinberg; Rabbi Felipe Goodman; Gene Greenberg. Talks about two companies he has worked for – Ramada and Boyd Gaming. Highlight how living a Jewish life differs from his parents’s experiences…………………………………………………..…………………..………….21 – 23 vi Talks about his relationship with Anti-defamation League starting in early 2000s; people he worked with on the board including Art Marshall; Jerry Turk; Susan Fine; his wife Yvette; Mike Cherry; being regional chair of ADL 2006 - 2015; hiring of Phyllis Friedman as regional director; Abe Foxman; Jolie Brislin; Charlottesville, VA violent incident on August 17, 2017; No Place for Hate and Walk Against Hate campaigns……………………………………………………24 – 28 Thoughts about 1 October shooting at Route 91 music festival this year; ADL keeping track of crimes of hatred; stopping anti-Semitism and anti-Muslims efforts; on ADL’s national executive committee……………………………………………………………………………….….29 – 30 Talks about the Warsaw Memorial Garden; rose garden at Temple Beth Sholom named for Ellis and Yvette Landau; Las Vegas Philharmonic board and Jeri Crawford; Nathan Adelson Hospice Board of Directors; more about Temple Beth Sholom supporters…………………………31 – 36 vii 1 I'll ask you to spell your name for us, please. My name is Ellis Landau; E-L-L-I-S, L-A-N-D-A-U. This is Barbara Tabach. It is November 28th, 2017. We're sitting in my office at UNLV Library for the Southern Nevada Jewish Heritage project. I really appreciate you coming in. It's really a joy to meet you. So many people have said you've got to get Ellis Landau's oral history as part of this project, and, as I read some of the things online about you, I can see we have a lot of area to cover. What I usually like to do…first with everybody…is to get a sense of what you know about your Jewish ancestry – where the roots go back to, what you know about the family getting to United States before we even get to the Las Vegas side of your story. I grew up in Philadelphia. On my mother's side, she [Ruth Fischer Landau] was actually born in Philadelphia, as was her mother. Her mother was born in 1888, so they're among the earlier immigrants into the United States from Eastern Europe. I don't know exactly where she was from. My grandfather, my mother's father, came over, as I was told, as a young man; again from Eastern Europe and I do not know exactly where, but came over in the earlier wave of immigration. They got married in 1912, so I think he came over around 1900, I assume, when he was still a young man, and they settled in Philadelphia. I don't know too much about their backgrounds in Europe, but I know they settled there. He was in the clothing business. He started manufacturing, I believe, pants or some form of clothing and then later went into overcoats—that’s when I knew him and knew of his business. He died when I was a child, but he was an overcoat manufacturer. That business was later sold. 2 My father's parents came over from Europe in 1908. His [Manfred Landau] mother was German and lived in Hamburg, Germany. The family was from Hamburg, Germany. His father was farther east in an area that I think is now Lithuania, and he was born almost in transit. The family had left their town in Lithuania. They went to Hamburg. He was born at the end of 1907 and then early '08 they arrived in the United States. They settled in one of these developments in South Jersey set aside for Jewish immigrants from Europe and they lived there for a few years. They tried things that they were not very good at, like farming, and that didn't fit within the family's skill set. They moved to Philadelphia, I think, in 1912 or '14 and they went into the clothing business. They sold linings to manufacturers. They were middlemen between the mills that manufactured the linings and the manufacturers of clothing that needed linings for the inside of jackets and coats and so forth. That was a family business that they had for years. My father was the youngest son, second youngest child, and did not go into the business; the others did. He went to law school and he practiced law. My mother was born in 1913 in Philadelphia. They met. The families were both in the same line of work essentially. They were married in 1936 and had two children. My brother was born in '39 and I was born in '44. They lived a very Jewish life in an area like Philadelphia, as you would expect with a large Jewish community. It was fairly insular. They grew up near each other in an area of Philadelphia that was all Jewish. In '39, a few years after they had gotten married, they moved to an area of Philadelphia that was an all-Jewish area and that's where we grew up, very close to the largest conservative synagogue in Philadelphia and one of the largest ones anywhere. The family was active. My uncle was the president of the synagogue. My father was active in synagogue. My aunts were active. The Landau family was big there. 3 What I knew when I lived there, it was around Jewish life. My elementary school was all Jewish. Everyone went to Hebrew school and did the usual activities as a Jewish kid. When I was ten years old, we moved from the city line out into the suburbs into an area that was a mixed area. I actually went to a Jewish day school for one year in the sixth grade. Philadelphia had an A/B system and my summers were in the middle of the grade and the Jewish day school advanced me. Typically they didn't advance kids; you went down half a grade instead of up half a grade. The Jewish day school is the one that advanced me and I was capable of doing that. I went to a Jewish day school for a year, but I think my parents wanted me to have a more structured environment than what they had, so I ended up going into the public schools in suburban Philadelphia in seventh grade and I was no longer in a totally Jewish environment, which didn't matter much to me. I didn't really care even though in my parents' life, all their friends were Jewish. Everything they did and talked about and their whole life was around people in their same religion. They were not nearly as secular as people are today or as I turned out to be. I went to a public junior high school. I remember the first day I got there they read the Bible. They read the Bible in school in those days. Then everybody put their head down and they started to say, "Our Father, who art in heaven." They were saying the Lord's Prayer. I looked around and I had never heard of it. I didn't know anything about it. I quickly learned. You were in more of a broader environment. In our music class we learned to sing Christmas carols and all that, which is fine. I found that to be good. It got me away from a purely Jewish environment in Linfield in the school and the synagogue into a more secular environment. While there I continued with Hebrew school and I had my bar mitzvah; I didn't go into education much past that. But we had a Jewish home and a kosher home and observed everything. 4 So you kept kosher. Well, my parents did and I did. When we ate out, I would eat non-kosher meats and things like that. I actually got into shellfish. I still don't eat pork, my one carryover from my Jewish kosher life, so I stay away from that as, for me, a symbol of my Jewish dietary rules, but not in any way complete. Of all the six hundred and thirteen commandments...Nobody does them all. I do that. I was in a more secular environment, but junior high school and high school I had Jewish kids in it. I did not necessarily gravitate to that group. It was a very mixed environment. I was not involved in a JCC or I was not involved in youth activities. I didn't join the USY or any of those types of things. I didn't go to Jewish camps and those things. I had a Jewish identity in a broad secular environment and that's continued throughout my life. I went to college at Brandeis, not because it was a Jewish school, but because it was a good school. It had been founded in '48 and I went to college in 1961. It was still a new school then. Right, a new school, mostly Jewish students, again, not anything that I gravitated to for that reason but that's what it was. It was a comfortable place because the Jewish holidays were closed and things like that. They didn't have to make a lot of exceptions for Jewish kids; they were all mostly Jewish kids. You didn't have to explain why you weren't present. I wasn't coming in; I was going home for Rosh Hashanah. What were you studying at that time? What was your goal? I had always enjoyed business and I always enjoyed law. I knew I would either go to business school or law school just because of my aptitude. I had no interest in medicine or some of the other. I was always quantitative in my thinking and good with numbers. I enjoyed following 5 business. I took my bar mitzvah money and I bought my first stocks at thirteen, so I was interested in markets. I always knew I wanted to do something business related or possibly law. I remember as I was getting near the end of my time at Brandeis and thinking which school I would go to, I chose business only because I thought it would be broader and offer more opportunity. Law, you'd practice law; you'd have your clients; you'd do legal work, which would be a joy. But, on the other hand, business, you never knew where it was going and opportunities seemed more boundless and I thought I would have more opportunity. But I always liked finance. So I went to business school at Columbia and majored in finance. Then from there, really it was like everybody, it's where opportunity takes you. You never know how you're going to end up. In business school I had a student deferment for the draft. Everybody was being drafted in 1967 and I had a student deferment. It's hard to have an employer with the thought that I'd be going away for two years in the army. I didn't really find a job, but the government came through, the Securities and Exchange Commission came through and they, of course, were more tolerant of people that may have had to go in the army. They said, "Well, go to the army. When you get out of the army, you'll come to the SEC in Washington. Shortly after that I got into a reserve unit, which allowed me to only serve six months active duty and then I served five and a half years as a reservist. Where was that? You join a unit wherever you live. When I got out of the army, I went from living in New York for Columbia, and then I went into the army in North Carolina and then Virginia for six months of basic training. They had me doing mechanics, which I had no aptitude for, but I knew enough to team up with somebody who grew up on a farm and had been fixing tractors since he was four years old and he knew which side of the engine we were supposed to look at. 6 I completed the army and then joined the SEC in Washington. I moved to Washington, so I joined a reserve unit there. You just go to meetings and summer camp and so forth. I graduated in '67, so I spent 1968 in Washington. I didn't really enjoy that work. I got married while I was there. I had a good friend whose brother lived in Phoenix and he kept suggesting rather than move back to Philadelphia or whatever, why don't you think about Phoenix? It's a growing city. I went out there to look around and it really seemed like a nice change, a refreshing big growing western city, nice weather. I got a job while I was out there; I got a job with U-Haul. Their headquarters were there, the truck and trailer people. I went back to Washington, packed up a U-Haul truck, and drove across country with my wife who was pregnant at the time. We drove out to Phoenix and said, "Let's spend a year there. We'll see what the West is like and then we'll move back to where we both came from." You're young and adventurous, right? Yes, and I was always looking. So we got to Phoenix. I got the job with U-Haul. We had a baby and then another baby. So you put down roots. You get friends. You buy a house. Phoenix became home. We never thought of moving back east. I wasn't one of these people that had a sense I had to be near my family where I grew up. I always figured you grow up and you branch out if you want to go somewhere different. With communications and travel, jet planes, you basically can reconnect whenever you want, but I didn't feel I needed to stay that close to home, so I settled in Phoenix. After a couple of years I moved from U-Haul to Ramada, which is a hotel company that is based in Phoenix, in finance, and basically spent the next thirty-five years at two companies, Ramada, which I was there from 1971 to 1990. In 1990, the company sort of split up; it had a big 7 corporate restructuring and sold off different pieces. Someone made a bid for a company and this was in response to that. Then I moved to Las Vegas because I knew all the bankers in the area because we lent to casino companies because Ramada had gotten into the casinos. I met the people at Boyd Gaming. They actually needed somebody to help them do some financing and I was available, so I did that. Then they said, "Why don't you come on full-time?" So we moved up here. What was your first position with Boyd? It actually was chief financial officer. In 1971, I started with Ramada, but by the mid-seventies I was their treasurer, so I did all their financing and dealt with all the raising money through banks and Wall Street and so forth. I did that all the way—I became treasurer around '76—until the end, until 1990. Then I became chief financial officer at Boyd. So I lived in the world of corporate finance for hotel and casino companies my whole career; for thirty-five years I did that. I was divorced in the early eighties. I was a single parent for a while, bringing up a couple of teenagers myself—that was challenging—while I had a fairly demanding job. I met Yvette in '87 and we got married in 1992. She was open to coming up here. She was a lawyer, a partner in a law firm there. It was a great opportunity. I came to Boyd. She stayed there for a couple of years because she was involved with her law firm and she wanted to get the right job here. She got a job with Circus Circus as a lawyer, then it became Mandalay. We came up here and have been here ever since. We commuted for a while to Phoenix, but we came up here permanently in '93 and settled in the community and we've been here ever since. She was with Mandalay. Circus changed their name to Mandalay Bay Resort Group when they opened Mandalay Bay in 1999. She was their general counsel. She was their head lawyer the whole time. 8 So she had a big job and enjoyed the people she was with. I was with Boyd for nineteen years, until '06. I figured after thirty-five years I had had enough. I really enjoyed what I was doing, but I figured enough already. I was sixty-two years old and I decided I'd just do different things. That's when I retired. So that doesn't really get into the Jewish side of things, but it does get into more of my career and how I ended up where I am. Yes, you did a great job of doing that story arc – it’s always interesting how our migration gets us here. So much is by chance. You find a job and that becomes your career path and then you meet somebody and that becomes your wife and then we find somebody else and that's a clear path for both of you. We both were very fortunate that it came out well for us. We're happy with what we've been doing. Oh, yes. You're in the throes of what makes Las Vegas Las Vegas, both of you from different angles, working with those corporations. You can see the growth from the time we arrived. I came in 1990 to start with Boyd. The city had seventy hundred and fifty thousand in the greater area. Development, a good progression since the beginning, but we got what now seems to be an early stage to see it all happen. Right. When you first move here it was a small city. Right. Then you watch that population explosion and you're in the middle of working with the gaming industry. When you first came here, did you have any thoughts, expectations that it would boom like that? What did you think? No, no. I got to Phoenix in '69 and it had seven hundred and fifty thousand people and when I left it probably had a couple million. 9 Oh, yes. Now over four million. When I got here it had seven hundred and fifty thousand people. Now we're over two million. So this was the throwback in a sense to when I first got to Phoenix. It was a small town. The airport was small. The community, in terms of how spread out it was, was reasonably small. Getting into the gaming business was really a great place to get to know people because being such a strong economic engine here, the people that ran gaming really were so well placed in the community. I was very fortunate that I landed at Boyd Gaming because I got to work for Bill Boyd who is such a wonderful person and so warm. With Bill I got to meet so many different people and I enjoyed outreach into the community. I was not insular where I didn't want to meet people. I did that. Then when Yvette came, she was with another group. So when it comes to knowing business leaders and the politicians and community leaders and religious leaders, you get to know everybody really without a fifty-year wait like you would have if you were in Boston or Philadelphia or someplace like that. You didn't have a closed society. Newcomers were welcome. Everybody was welcomed here. Las Vegas is unique in a way that it's a city that not everyone accepts. There's a lot of people that say they don't want to live here, bring their family up here. There's a stigma that I hope is retreating, but had been there. The people that came in and embraced in—there are those that come here and embrace it and those that come here and can't accept it—but for those who embrace it, it's a great place because you're in a community of loyalists, of defenders, of the people that really want to be here in Las Vegas and think it's a great place and we built it. So our acceptance of it enabled us to grow in the community in our willingness to get out and meet people and do things. It's been great to share the growth and to see it and now it's in many ways unrecognizable. You go to the airport now and it's a big city airport as opposed to the one that I 10 used to park my car right on the side of the terminal and run in with three minutes to go before the plane landed. Hold that plane for me, please, right? So it's a much different feel, but it's one that I think needs to happen and I think that the city is so much better for it because there's just that much more here. Of course, we do have the advantage that we all know is that it can still be a small town of even a couple million people with the attractions and the resources of a large city; because of our forty-something million tourists that come here, we have the best of everything that's offered. So it really is a great combination to be in a city with big city offerings, but still a reasonable size for lifestyle. What exactly does a CFO at Boyd Gaming or any gaming institution or corporation do; what exactly is your role? How do you describe it to someone? It's the chief financial officer, so you're the senior officer for anything that relates to funding the corporation, the financial matters of the corporation, the reporting of results and so forth. One side would be the accounting side; you oversee accounting, the people that keep all the accounting. I'm not an accountant, so I have people that oversee that, a corporate controller or whatever, and that person handles all the accounting, but it reports up to the chief financial officer. My involvement with that would be receiving the financial statements, not doing the accounting, and understanding those as to what it tells both management about what's happening in the company so they can run it better and the outside world because of the requirements for being a public company. When I got to Boyd, we were private, so it was a very different feel; you didn't have to tell anybody anything because we were owned about one-half by Bill Boyd and his family and the other half by people who were friends and family who helped get the company started back 11 in the seventies. We decided in 1993, a couple of years after I got there, to go public, which helped us raise money. It helped the people who had invested early to get some liquidity; their stock could be traded; they could sell stock. But once we were public it changed things because there's all sorts of public reporting. You have to put out statements every quarter; an annual statement, a 10-Q and a 10-K are the forms you use. So there's that side of it. There's dealing with raising money. You have to fund these companies and gaming companies, in particular, are capital intensive because you build these big projects for a hundred million, five hundred million now, even billions, so you have to raise money. That involves raising money from banks, so you have to deal with all the banks. There's raising money on Wall Street, which may be selling bonds and may be selling stock, so you do that. There's the specific activity when you raise money, which may be issuing bonds or issuing stock or doing a bank deal, but then after that you have to keep up the communication. You have to tell your bankers what's going on, have meetings, keep them informed. You have to keep telling Wall Street what's happening through investor meetings. I would go to all sorts of conferences and present. I would have to present and deal with all the investors. It is all those money items; that's the main thing. So you're dealing with Wall Street analysts, securities analysts who are writing reports about companies. You want them to have the best information because they have to write the report. You want people to buy your stocks so it goes up so if you need to raise money, you'll have a higher stock price. Also, you want people that own the stock to have success. It entails all of the raising money and the communication with Wall Street. Then also internally you dealt with internal matters of allocating capital to different projects, for budgets and so forth. I also was involved, which not all CFOs are, but I was involved in the growth of the 12 company, the development side; that would be if we had a new project, I would help work on analyzing that or finding new projects. When I was first involved, you only had gaming here in Nevada, but gaming was just coming on in other parts of the country. They were legalizing it up and down the Mississippi River and other places. So you had to look at deals. You had to understand where we should go, where it would made sense to try to find it. We competed there because if a state said, we'll have ten casino licenses in Illinois, you had everybody going in to try to apply, so you had to deal with the maneuvering of your applications and how you presented. But I got also involved in what they call M and A, mergers and acquisitions, because as these deals were built up by sometimes local entrepreneurs, they wanted to sell to the bigger companies, what they call strategic buyers, people that were going to hold them forever. So I was very active in M and A. I learned about deals by just understanding the business, but also because I dealt with all the people, like the analysts, and I knew people from other companies and I would try to source deals. And if I found a deal, I would negotiate to buy something. And if I would negotiate to buy something, I would go through that whole process and work on the contracts, the purchase and sale agreements, and getting it closed. Once they were operating, the operations people took it over. It's all the public reporting. It's all the raising money, dealing with Wall Street. It was mergers and acquisitions and it was development. I did a lot of those things. That's the things I enjoyed. I can tell by just watching your face as you describe this. I never wanted to get involved in operations of what happened day to day, about making sure that the food came out right or the beds were made on time. I didn't care about that as much as 13 other people did, of course. But it was more of the strategic thing, where the company was going and how we could develop it. I was very proud of the fact that some of the things that really put Boyd on the map are deals that I found and so forth. What were some of those that you would...? The biggest one probably from a visibility standpoint was going into Atlantic City. The Borgata in Atlantic really helped put Boyd on the map because it gave us an East Coast presence, so we were recognized more by Wall Street. Once we got to Atlantic City that had the connection to where the financial markets were and helped give us a lot of visibility and it was extremely successful. That was a deal that I... Steve Wynn had a big parcel of land. He was going to divide it up and sell a couple of pieces off to other properties. I was close with the people over at Mirage at the time. I helped put together the deal that got us the Borgata site and then other people worked on developing it. But then I had to go out and raise the money, and it wasn't easy to raise about six hundred and fifty million dollars in a partnership with Mirage that we needed to do to get it built. So I found the deal, got the deal, got the site, and then raised the money and then had to, of course, keep everyone informed during construction. Borgata was a big one. Another big one was Coast, acquiring Coast from Michael Gaughan and his private group. I thought that would be a great addition to the local market. In fact, I got to know the people over at Coast pretty well and created the deal that Michael and his group finally accepted and we brought Coast in. Those properties—the Gold Coast, the Suncoast, the Orleans—were very successful and helped propel us. There's a riverboat in Northern Indiana called Blue Chip, which we manage. I found that deal and created a very good purchase for us. We bought at a very good price and it really was 14 successful. Those types of things caused our earnings to really take off and all those things happened—Blue Chip was '99; Atlantic City opened in '03; Coast was '04—and our earnings by then really took off and our stock went up into the fifties from what was single digits not that long before, so a very successful run. Shortly after that, by '06, I thought it was time to...I had done the same sort of work and I could still be doing it, probably, if I wanted to stay on. I was comfortable in the role. But I thought it was time to do something different in life. Again, that same thing about, what else could be out there? I was successful in the business. Yvette was successful in her business and she was still working. It wasn't a matter of having to support the family. We were fine. It was a matter of just saying, what else is there? So that got me into just doing other things. You retired in 2006 and that's before the recession hits then. Yes, that was interesting. You didn't see this coming— No, I wasn't bailing out because I saw bad things on the horizon. I would have lived through that. But it just happened to be time. You have to pick a time to do it. I always felt when I got older I wanted it to be years in which I had more freedom. Retirement is trading money for freedom and time. You're giving up a paycheck, but you're getting time and freedom. All the time is your own. You're not on anybody else's agenda. You're not on anybody else's schedule. You get up and you decide, what do I want to do today? It's the freedom and th