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Strat operator promotes one executive, finds new role for another

Updated March 25, 2024 - 12:41 pm

Golden Entertainment announced two C-suite level changes Monday that it says are meant to focus the company on core operations while exploring future opportunities.

The Las Vegas-based operators of The Strat and local gaming taverns promoted Blake Sartini II, the company’s executive vice president of operations, to chief operating officer, effective March 20, according to a news release. The current COO, Steve Arcana, moved to the newly created role of chief development officer.

“Blake has worked in every capacity throughout our organization since he started at Golden almost 17 years ago,” Blake Sartini, chairman and CEO of Golden, said in the release. “His unique knowledge of our company’s culture, commitment to operational excellence, and strong leadership skills make him the ideal individual to be given responsibility for all our Nevada casino resorts, locals properties, tavern operations and related corporate functions.”

Sartini II, 38, joined Golden in June 2007, leading its Nevada portfolio growth to 69 taverns. He also oversaw five locals casinos: the Arizona Charlie’s brand in Las Vegas and Gold Town, Lakeside and Pahrump Nugget casinos in Pahrump.

Arcana’s newly created role will be responsible for all new tavern development, finding new food and beverage partnering concepts for the company’s resorts and other development for its “excess” real estate in Las Vegas and Pahrump, the company said. He joined Golden in 2003 and has overseen operations through its transition from a privately held 900-slot machine route operation to a publicly traded gaming company.

“Steve has been with Golden for over 20 years and has been an integral part of growing our business and guiding us through many challenges,” Sartini said in the release. “Steve has established a strong operating team and has been a consistent leader throughout his decades at Golden. His long history and extensive experience in the industry will continue to benefit the Company in his new role focused on creating value from new tavern development and unused assets in our casino portfolio.”

Sartini II’s base salary is $550,000, with an annual target bonus of 100 percent of his base, according to the employment agreement described in a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

His severance agreement on a “termination without cause or construction termination” is a payment equal to two times the sum of his base salary plus his target bonus, and gives him stock equity awards, subject to exercise provisions, the filing said.

Arcana, 59, will be paid $580,000 for a one-year term, with a target bonus of 90 percent of his base salary, according to the SEC filing. His severance gives him his base salary pro-rated to the remainder of his term, plus the value of his health insurance, country club dues and car expense reimbursement that he would be entitled to receive through the term’s end date of March 20, 2025. It also includes continued health benefits for 18 months and stock equity awards, subject to exercise provisions.

McKenna Ross is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms. Contact her at mross@reviewjournal.com. Follow @mckenna_ross_ on X.

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