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Thunder Valley fires top managers

10 Feb 2009

LINCOLN, California -- As reported by the Sacramento Business Journal: "The top managers of Thunder Valley Casino were fired and the casino's general manager, Scott Garawitz, was placed on administrative leave.

"The decision was made by the United Auburn Community Tribal Council. The Auburn tribe owns the casino, and it was the employer of the four executives, the tribe announced Tuesday.

"Day-to-day management of the casino will be taken over by Las Vegas-based Station Casinos, the management company that has operated the casino for the tribe during construction and the opening of the casino in June 2003. Station Casinos has a management contract with the Auburn Tribe through June 2010.

"'For the customers' perspective, there will be no noticeable changes,' said Doug Elmets, spokesman for the tribe. 'The effects of the current economic downturn and the reassessment of the scope of the Thunder Valley expansion project created the need to engage a seasoned team of managers who have dealt with similar challenges.'

"...Station Casinos is facing possible bankruptcy as it is struggling with outstanding debt that has come due as company struggles to find new financing. The existing lender is unable or unwilling to negotiate. Station missed an interest payment this month on $450 million in outstanding notes. That starts a 30-day grace period, which ends March 3, that could trigger the company to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization..."

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