Hilton casino president resigns

Atlantic City – The Atlantic City Hilton Casino Resort has lost its chief executive in a management change that follows a steep decline in revenue and profits at the smallest gaming hall in town.

Anthony Rodio resigned as president Tuesday and will be replaced by Michael Frawley, who is coming up from two Mississippi casinos to take charge of the Hilton as the new chief operating officer.

„It was amicable,“ Rodio said of his departure. „I’m moving on with mixed feelings and the company’s blessings. I really wish nothing but the best for them.“

Rodio declined further comment. Company spokesman Brian Cahill said that Rodio left the Hilton „to pursue other interests,“ but did not elaborate.

Cahill confirmed that Frawley would become the Hilton’s new boss pending approval next week by the New Jersey Casino Control Commission. Currently, Frawley serves as general manager of the company’s Resorts Tunica and Bally’s Tunica casinos in Mississippi.

Rodio reportedly resigned during a meeting with Nicholas L. Ribis, vice chairman and chief executive officer of the Hilton’s parent company, Resorts International Holdings LLC. Resorts International is an affiliate of Colony Capital LLC, the Los Angeles real estate investment firm that owns the Hilton and sister property Resorts Atlantic City.

Previously, Rodio had served as regional president for both the Hilton and Resorts. However, a management shake-up in June saw John Pasqualoni take over as the new chief operating officer of Resorts and Rodio given a reduced role as president of the Hilton only.

Rodio was put in charge of the Hilton in 2005 and was given the additional responsibility as Resorts‘ boss the following year. In doing so, he took on the challenge of running Atlantic City’s smallest casino, the Hilton, and the oldest gaming property in town, Resorts.

Gaming revenue at the Hilton is down 12.4 percent through the first seven months of the year and gross operating profits fell 51.3 percent in the second quarter. At Resorts, gross operating profits slipped 39.3 percent in the second quarter and gaming revenue is off nearly 11 percent for the year.

Like other casinos in town, the Hilton and Resorts have been battered this year by the sluggish economy, high gas prices, extra competition from Pennsylvania slot parlors and the lingering effects of Atlantic City’s partial smoking ban.