SOURCE: Fremont Street Experience

January 24, 2006 19:00 ET

Fremont Street Experience President and CEO Announces Retirement From Historic Downtown Venue

Joe Schillaci Will Remain With Organization During Leadership Transition

LAS VEGAS, NV -- (MARKET WIRE) -- January 24, 2006 -- Joe Schillaci announced today his retirement as president and chief executive officer effective March 31, 2006, following a successful two-year assignment during which he guided the Fremont Street Experience through a new product launch, record levels of attendance, seven new light and sound shows and some of the highest guest satisfaction levels ever recorded in the history of the venue.

"I've accomplished just about all the objectives we set when I started this assignment, and I'm very pleased with the positive impact the Fremont Street Experience has had on the continued revitalization of downtown Las Vegas," said Schillaci. "My time with the Fremont Street Experience has been fun and rewarding, and now I'm looking forward to spending more time with my family."

During his tenure, the Fremont Street Experience completed a $17 million upgrade to the famous light show canopy that was re-introduced as Viva Vision -- "The Biggest Big Screen on the Planet." Attendance reached record levels of 21 million visitors to downtown Las Vegas in 2004 representing a 17% increase from 18 million visitors the previous year.

Last year was another banner year for the Fremont Street Experience, which served as the central location for many of the Las Vegas Centennial Celebration events. Schillaci's team also launched five new productions for the Viva Vision screen, an accomplishment unmatched in the first 10 years of the screen's existence. The year ended with record paid attendance for New Year's Eve as the venue hosted the World's Largest Toast attempt.

In perhaps the truest testament to Schillaci's success, an independent customer satisfaction survey conducted in November, 2005 by the MRC Group Research Institute, revealed that the Fremont Street Experience guests are very loyal, repeat visitors who have high levels of satisfaction. Of the 400 guests polled in the study, more than 90 percent found the venue clean and safe and also indicated they would visit again and highly recommend the Fremont Street Experience to a friend or relative.

"Joe has provided strong leadership during his two years at the Fremont Street Experience -- exactly what we expected from his many years of marketing and senior executive experience," said Don Snyder, chairman of the Fremont Street Experience Board of Managers. "During his time as president and chief executive, the Fremont Street Experience launched new light show technology, hosted several marquis events for the Las Vegas Centennial celebration, and managed through a number of substantial ownership changes with member hotel/casino properties. Joe was also instrumental with the City's successful efforts to energize major new developments throughout the Downtown area."

The Fremont Street Experience Board of Managers immediately will begin the search process for what will be the fourth person to serve at the organization's helm. "As the Fremont Street Experience enters its second decade of operation, the Board appreciates what Joe has accomplished, and is pleased that Joe has agreed to assist with a smooth transition of leadership over the next several months," said Steve Thompson, Boyd Gaming senior vice president of operations and Fremont Street Experience board member.

Schillaci, a 35-year hospitality veteran who operated a successful consulting practice before joining the Fremont Street Experience in December 2003, will assist in the search process for his remaining tenure and continue to consult with the organization on a part-time basis upon his March retirement.

About Fremont Street Experience

Fremont Street Experience is a public-private partnership formed in 1995 between the City of Las Vegas and The Fremont Street Experience Company, LLC and owned by a group of 10 downtown casino/hotels that underwrite operating expenses for the venue. Member properties include: Binion's Gambling Hall & Hotel; Boyd Gaming (Fremont Hotel & Casino, California Hotel, Main Street Station Casino, Brewery & Hotel); Fitzgeralds Casino Hotel; Four Queens Hotel & Casino; Golden Gate Hotel & Casino; Golden Nugget Las Vegas; Lady Luck Hotel Casino (associate member); and The Vegas Club Hotel Casino.

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