Tuesday, April 14, 2009 | 6:21 p.m.
A shakeup at Empire Resorts Inc. of Henderson on Tuesday included the immediate resignation of longtime local gaming executive David Hanlon as chief executive officer and the announcement of a plan to move the company headquarters to New York.
Empire said Chief Financial Officer Ronald Radcliffe has also tendered his resignation, effective June 30.
Empire, which has a headquarters office in Green Valley, operates the Monticello Gaming & Raceway in upstate New York, 90 miles from New York City. It includes 1,500 video gaming devices and a harness-racing track.
"With the relocation of its Las Vegas headquarters, Mr. Hanlon and Mr. Radcliffe’s resignations, and the implementation of other cost-cutting measures the company expects to realize several million dollars a year as a result of significant savings in corporate payroll and other operational overhead. The Empire Resorts Board of Directors thanked Mr. Hanlon and Mr. Radcliffe for their tenures as CEO and CFO and wished them well in their future endeavors," Empire said in a statement.
Hanlon was president of the Rio hotel-casino from 1996 to 1999.
Securities and Exchange Commission filings show Empire lost $12.16 million in 2008 on revenue of $67.2 million vs. a 2007 loss of $26.2 million on revenue of $75.7 million. Its auditors last month expressed doubt about its ability to continue as a going concern because of a $7.15 million bank loan payment due May 29 and concerns that holders of notes totaling $65 million can demand payment in July. The company doesn't have the funds to cover those payments, Empire said.
The company will for now be led by a special committee of its board of directors and Eric Reehl, its chief restructuring officer.
Empire said its separation agreement with Hanlon as CEO and a member of the board includes a $100,000 lump-sum payment to Hanlon, the extension of the expiration dates of stock options granted to Hanlon and a nine-month, $100,000 consulting agreement.