Michael Gaughan to Be Honored at BBIA Convention

by Gianmarc Manzione 0

The Billiard and Bowling Institute of America will present its Industry Service Award for 2016 to Michael Gaughan, the owner of the South Point Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas and the man who gave the green light to funding construction of the South Point Bowling Plaza.

The 74th BBIA Convention will take place this coming Sunday through Tuesday, April 10-12.

“I’m really looking forward to the 2016 BBIA Convention site that Corey Dykstra has selected for us — the historic Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, which dates back to 1778,” said BBIA President Jeff Mraz. “We had our board meeting there in October, and it is truly an unbelievable place — great restaurants, a casino, and the historic ‘Bunker,’ once a top-secret U.S. government relocation facility during the Cold War.

“The resort also plays host to one of the most exciting PGA tournaments of the year, and we look forward to playing on one of the five championship golf courses there,” Mraz added.

But the convention is not just about golf and fine dining. As always, it provides an opportunity for manufacturers and distributors to get together for a series of frank and open discussions intended to help them work together better. Those discussions, referred to as “appointments,” will take place during the morning and early afternoon hours on Monday and Tuesday.

The BBIA Board will meet Sunday morning. That will be followed by the golf outing, and the day will conclude with a welcome dinner.

The opening session will take place Monday morning following breakfast, and a dinner also is planned for that night, providing additional networking opportunities.

Tuesday’s schedule includes breakfast, additional “appointments,” a discussion about the BBIA Catalog and a general session, all leading up to the BBIA Industry Service Award Dinner, at which Gaughan will be honored.

In 1965, Gaughan became an owner and ultimately the casino manager of the El Cortez Hotel in downtown Las Vegas. In 1972, he opened the Royal Inn Casino. After selling the Royal Inn, Gaughan built the Barbary Coast Hotel, the Gold Coast Hotel, the Orleans Hotel, the Suncoast Hotel, the South Coast Hotel and the Casino Queen Riverboat in St Louis.

In 2004, he merged his company, Coast Casinos, with Boyd Gaming, creating the third-largest gaming company in the United States. In 2006, he separated from Boyd. Today, he owns the South Point Hotel (formerly the South Coast) and the Las Vegas Airport Slot Concession.

Gaughan has been licensed for gambling operations 20 times in Nevada, three times in Louisiana, twice in Illinois and one time each in New Jersey, Mississippi and Indiana.

He is currently a board member of Las Vegas Events, the National Finals Rodeo Committee, the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, and the Pro Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame in Colorado Springs, Colo. He also sits on the Foundation Board of the University of Nevada Las Vegas, and has taught in the School’s College of Hotel Administration.

Gaughan is a former board member of the Golden Nugget Corp. (Wynn Resorts), the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, Valley Hospital of Las Vegas, the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Union Welfare Fund, the Southern Nevada Culinary and Bartenders Pension Trust, and the Las Vegas YMCA. He is also a member and former Chairman of the Nevada Resort Association.

Gaughan has been honored as “Man of the Year” for Bishop Gorman High School, Creighton University, Temple Beth Shalom and UNLV’s School of Business. In 2007, he was inducted into the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame, and the next year received UNLV’s Distinguished Nevadan award. He also is in the National Gambling Hall of Fame, the Nevada Sports Hall of Fame, and the Off-Road Racing Hall of Fame.

Gaughan has been the Honorary Squadron Commander for Nellis Air Force Base’s A-10 Weapons School (66th WPS) since 2000, and became an active member of the USAF’s Air Combat Command’s Civil Board in 2008. In 2010, he was nominated and accepted to the Air Force Chief of Staff’s Advisory Board.

Several of Gaughan’s Las Vegas properties included large bowling centers, including the South Point, which now has the world-class Bowling Plaza for tournament play and special events to complement the busy South Point Bowling Center. The 2016 USBC Women’s Championships will begin Saturday at the South Point Bowling Plaza.

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