Another Gulfstream Park CEO (Steve Calabro) leaves

Another Gulfstream Park CEO (Steve Calabro) leaves

By Nick Sortal June 16, 2011 02:51 PM
Gulfstream president and general manager Steve Calabro has resigned, continuing the high turnover rate for top management of the Hallandale Beach horse track and casino.

Calabro is the fifth president/GM to leave Gulfstream Park Racing & Casino in the past six years.

Frank Stronach bought Gulfstream in 1999, hiring Scott Savin, who ran Gulfstream until May 2006. (Savin, who grew up a horse guy, is now at Magic City Casino. Looking back, Savin’s six years under Stronach seems pretty remarkable.)

Then came Paul Micucci, then Bill Murphy took over in January 2007, only to leave in October 2009. Ken Dunn took over Nov. 1, then left May 28, 2010.

Calabro, who had been in charge of the gambling portion of Gulfstream, became president of the whole shebang, only to depart Friday. It hurts the gambling side because Calabro knew the business, having worked as a senior VP of Marketing at the Trump Plaza Casino Hotel in Atlantic City for six years, and leading the casino side of Gulfstream since September 2007.

Gulfstream’s parent company, MI Developments, could not be reached for comment, but a Gulfstream press release said Calabro left to spend more time with his family in New Jersey.

The press release said Mike Couch, director of gaming, will maintain the day-to-day operations of the casino while Timothy Ritvo, VP of racing, will assume the responsibilities of the day-to-day operations of the building.

Ritvo’s quote in the press release: “We at Gulfstream Park wish Steve the best and appreciate all he has accomplished while he was here. We look forward to continuing the success that Gulfstream has enjoyed the last several years.”

It’s been an interesting time at Gulfstream. On Feb. 11, 2010, the first phase of a shopping center opened, consisting of about 70 retail shops, restaurants and bars, costing developer Forest City Commercial Group about $250 million.

The casino numbers look fine. Gulfstream and Hallandale Beach rival Mardi Gras Casino, run neck-and-neck, each taking in about $50 million per year in slots, according to the Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering.

That’s about as good as they’re going to do, considering the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino is nearby, and Miami Dade has added slots at Magic City and Calder.

Meanwhile, horse racing experts say Gulfstream’s product has been very good, with another strong meet concluding a couple of months ago.

But then there’s Stronach…

I went onto LinkedIn, and this is Calabro’s resume:

Vice President of Gaming Magna Entertainment Corp.
Public Company; Entertainment industry
September 2007 – May 2010 (2 years 9 months)

Senior Vice President of Marketing Trump Plaza Casino Hotel
Gambling & Casinos industry
June 2000 – June 2006 (6 years 1 month)

Senior Vice President of Marketing Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort
Real Estate industry
November 1995 – June 2000 (4 years 8 months)

Director of Customer Development / Marketing Harrah’s Entertainment
Privately Held; Gambling & Casinos industry
April 1988 – November 1995 (7 years 8 months)

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