Longtime MGM executive chosen to be Palms general manager
The Palms Resort has a new boss.
Longtime MGM Resorts International executive Cynthia Kiser Murphey is the new general manager of the off-strip resort, the new Palms ownership group will announce on Wednesday morning. Kiser Murphey started with MGM in 1992 and served as President and COO of New York-New York from 2008 until last spring.
She will oversee operations at the Palms as ownership moves to her new ownership group, the San Manuel Mission Indian Band. The tribe announced in May that it was buying the hotel-casino on Flamingo Road west of Interstate 15 from Red Rock Resorts for $ 650 million. The sale is expected to close at the end of this year and is subject to regulatory approvals and other closing conditions.
“We live according to the values transmitted by our ancestors; our values define us, ”said Latisha Casas, president of the tribe’s Gaming and Hospitality Authority. “It was important to our Board of Directors that we find a leader for The Palms who shares our values, exemplifies our commitment to diversity, and exhibits a leadership style that puts people first. “
“Upon meeting Cynthia, it was clear that she had all three and more,” Casas said in a statement.
Kiser Murphey is the first executive appointed as part of Palms’ new management group. She brings nearly three decades of operations and human resources experience to the gaming industry, Casas said. The Tribe expects their experience of “building dynamic teams that deliver memorable customer experiences” will benefit Las Vegas residents and loyal San Manuel Casino customers.
Prior to overseeing New York-New York, Kiser Murphey held executive positions at MGM Resorts, such as senior vice president of human resources at MGM Mirage. She became the general manager of a large benefits fund after leaving MGM, according to the tribe’s Gaming and Hospitality Authority.
“I am honored to have been chosen to lead this exciting business as the (tribe) becomes the first Native American owner and operator of a Las Vegas casino,” Kiser Murphey said in a statement. “The Palms is an iconic property with a rich connection to the community. I look forward to strengthening these bonds while working with the team to create a very unique experience for team members and clients that reflects (the tribe’s) values and culture.
Kiser Murphey holds a bachelor’s degree in hotel and restaurant management and a master’s degree in hospitality administration, both from UNLV. She was previously a part-time and assistant professor at the university, where she was also a former classmate of MGM Resorts President and CEO Bill Hornbuckle, according to a UNLV Profile 2017 on her.
“Cindy had a way to get people involved,” Hornbuckle told UNLV at the time. “It’s always like that.”
The Palms has been closed since March 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic caused casinos to shut down statewide for 78 days. The resort features a 94,840 square foot casino, several casual and upscale dining options, meeting and convention space, a 2,500 seat theater, pool and spa, other amenities and the Palms condominiums Square.
The terms of its sale include Palms Place and prevent Red Rock Resorts from reopening the property, according to Securities and Exchange Commission documents. The Palms underwent $ 690 million renovations and had a grand reopening in April 2019.
The tribe owns and operates one of Southern California’s most successful casinos, the San Manuel Casino in Highland, California, approximately 70 miles east of Los Angeles. The Palms is the tribe’s first casino outside of the flagship property.
The San Manuel Casino, which opened in 1986, is one of San Bernardino County’s top 10 private employers with more than 4,900 team members.
The tribe temporarily closed its casino on March 15, 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic, but it has since reopened.