Mark Giannantonio is the new president and CEO of Resorts Atlantic City.
Thirty years ago, Mark Giannantonio was a motivated 18-year-old kid looking to put himself through college working the night shift as a room service waiter at Atlantic City’s first casino.
Today, the kid who once schlepped midnight snacks to Julio Iglesias’ suite will be the one who signs the singer’s next paycheck.
Earlier this week, Giannantonio added an exclamation point to his career when he became president and chief executive officer of Resorts Casino Hotel. It was a pretty quick trip to the top; Giannantonio had been hired several months earlier as Resorts’ vice president of operations.
“This place is a very special property to me, having started my career here,” Giannantonio said. “When I worked here in 1982, Atlantic City was just humming. The property was just so vibrant [and] you never knew which stars you were going to run into in the hallways. ... Those days were so very impactful to my career.”
Giannantonio, 49, just might have the ultimate local-boy-makes-good story.
It wasn’t long into his first casino job that Giannantonio realized he wanted a career in the industry.
“I worked 40 hours a week while I was going through college,” he said. “The reality of it is that I immediately knew that I liked the industry. I used to work nights, so in the morning I’d be sitting in an economic class and the previous night I’d be taking care of Julio Iglesias or some of the big stars or some of the biggest gamblers of the time. I loved the fact that it was a people business and service was important.”
“I think Jimmy and Morris were brilliant in their forethought because, clearly, the first thing that comes to mind when you visit the Jersey shore is the beach and ocean."
Partially owned and run by the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority since August 2012, Resorts, on Jan. 10, opened two new players’ club lounges — the Epic Lounge and Paramount Lounge — that combine the elegant feel of a club Boardwalk Empire’s Nucky Thompson would appreciate but with the modern touches — like flat-screen TVs — that current casino patrons will enjoy.
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“I believe in [Resorts]. It heralded the beginning of casino gaming in the East and has always had a special place in my heart. It is an exciting place with a lot of history and we are going to bring it back to life with even more energy and vitality than it possessed at its creation in 1978."
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