I’m just returning from a long business trip to five Asian countries. For today’s column, I’ve turned to a brilliant Las Vegas entrepreneur and visionary. I love great Vegas success stories. So, I interviewed Ron Coury. He has one of the quintessential “Only in Vegas” stories.
Ron’s story is of an honorably discharged U.S. Marine moving from his beloved Brooklyn to small-town Las Vegas in 1974. Little did Ron realize that this decision — his first Vegas job earned him $18 per day — would be the launching pad for his involvement in the ownership of more than 20 companies and the fulfillment of his dream to become an entrepreneur.
Ron was inseparable from his fellow Marine buddy, Dan Hughes. Hungry, ambitious and aggressive, it was just five years before they embarked on their first business, a small tavern on what was then the outskirts of town (the corner of Spring Mountain and Jones). Suburban Lounge West would be their launching pad into Vegas business mega-success.
For Ron (with Dan and later other partners) his holdings would include casinos, banks, restaurants, a printing facility, a limousine service, a car wash and convenience store, a wholesale glass and mirror business, automobile dealerships in two states, high tech start-ups, an expansive real estate portfolio, a reality TV show and the writing of his autobiography — with interest from Hollywood for a movie adaptation.
For a kid in Brooklyn who shined shoes at a subway stop at the age of 15, this was truly “the American Dream.”
There were failures along the road to success. Ron lost his beloved wife Joan to cancer. Then there was his own personal medical challenge when in 2005, Ron was diagnosed with esophageal cancer, a disease with a 92 percent mortality rate. As with all life’s challenges, Ron attacked his cancer aggressively. He lost half his stomach, his esophagus and spleen along with 40 pounds of body weight. But he beat the odds.
Then came the financial challenge of a lifetime. Five years after his surgery, Ron teamed up with longtime friend Don Tamburro to purchase Planet Hyundai. After the 2009 nationwide economic collapse, many thought these two serial entrepreneurs were crazy to invest millions when things seemed so bleak. They not only increased sales at Planet, but parlayed it into seven dealerships in two states.
Also — teaming up as a board member with fellow serial entrepreneurs, Tom and Phil Boeckle of PTs Pub fame, along with Andre Agassi — together they launched Square Panda, a tech start up and children’s learning aid, which is receiving international acclaim for its unique and fun purpose: helping children ages 2-8 learn to spell and read.
It would appear the only thing Coury has succeeded in failing at was retirement.
Ron Coury’s counsel to President Trump is simple: Don’t be discouraged or dismayed by the critics or naysayers. Go into work every day, determined to make whatever you touch better than you found it.
Ron says, “Running our country like a business has long been necessary. President Trump may have been elected just in time. If I’ve proven nothing else these past 40 years, it’s that with the dollars I earn and keep, I am prepared to risk my money, start a business, create jobs and my dollars grow ten-fold, with far more benefit going to America, than had government spent my money. Leave me with a little more of what I earn, via tax cuts, and let me put it to work.
“Whether we supported Trump or not, he is our president for the next four years, so let’s come together as Americans, and give him a chance to see how his policies work. I’m betting on President Trump’s success!”
We need a nation of Ron Courys.
Wayne Allyn Root (Wayne@ROOTforAmerica.com) is a best-selling author and host of “WAR Now: The Wayne Allyn Root Show” from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. daily at 790 Talk Now. His R-J column runs Thursday and Sunday.