Caesars veteran and gaming industry leader John Groom has been named president of Caesars Palace. The announcement was made by Wallace R. Barr, chief operating officer of Park Place Entertainment Corporation (NYSE: PPE), parent company of the famed resort. Groom, 56, has served as Caesars Palace`s interim president since September 5. He takes the helm as permanent president effective today.
“During our executive search for the right individual to lead Caesars Palace, we found that we already had the perfect person in John Groom,” Barr said. “His extensive gaming experience and expertise will be especially important in building the widely known Caesars brand. Because John already has been spearheading many new initiatives at our property, his promotion will ensure continuity and strengthen profitability.”
As resort president, Groom is responsible for all operations at Caesars Palace. He will report to Barr.
“There`s never been a better time to be a part of Caesars Palace,” said Groom. “There are many exciting projects underway to enhance our guest experience. When I returned to Caesars in September, it was gratifying to see so many associates committed to service excellence. That`s the cultural characteristic that propelled Caesars Palace to its preeminent position within our industry. Today, we`re writing many new and important chapters in the 35-year history of Caesars, and I`m proud to be a part of it.”
Groom`s appointment comes as Park Place is about to unveil another stage in its master plan strategy to fully leverage the powerful Caesars brand. Currently under construction is a 4,000-seat theatre designed to resemble the Colosseum in Rome. Scheduled to open in March 2003, the Colosseum will feature a one-of-a-kind theatrical production starring Celine Dion for a minimum of three years.
This month, the resort will open a spectacular, full-service high-limit gaming salon. In May 2001, Caesars Palace added two new ultra-luxurious poolside villa suites (measuring 10,000 square feet and 11,000 square feet, respectively). In 2000, Park Place renovated facades for three of its original hotel towers, constructed a 49,000-square-foot interim event/exhibit pavilion, added two restaurants, remodeled 600 guest rooms and enhanced interior casino design elements.
Groom is a widely respected gaming industry executive. He began his career in 1979 with Caesars, serving as a casino pit manager at Caesars Atlantic City. He held various executive positions in the casino until being named senior vice president of casino operations in 1988. In 1993, he relocated to Las Vegas as executive vice president of operations for Caesars Palace, overseeing day-to-day operations of all departments. In August 1994, he was named executive vice president of development for Caesars World.
From January 1996 to April 2000, Groom was chief operating officer of Players International, a publicly traded company with casinos in Illinois, Mississippi, Louisiana and Nevada. In 1998, he was named a member of Players board of directors. During his final year with Players, he also served as chief executive officer, directing the company`s acquisition by Harrah`s Entertainment Inc., at full value to shareholders.
Born in New York State and raised in Las Vegas, he attended The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., graduating with a bachelor of science degree in economics. Prior to entering the casino industry, he attended the University of Arizona School of Law in Tucson, Ariz. Groom and his wife Peggie, a Las Vegas native, are parents of two adult children.