This past week, Don Marrandino resigned from his position as Caesars Entertainment’s Eastern Division manager. He had a three-year term in that position and proved himself to be an outstanding executive — one who cares about his birthplace and those who worked for and with him.
No sooner did he accept this position three years ago than he started to take advantage of Boardwalk Hall for sporting events and major star attractions. One of the first things he did was to get some hockey games scheduled at Boardwalk Hall with a farm team of the New Jersey Devils.
Unfortunately, the crowds were not too large and the team decided to skip a year, but the games are back this year.
Having seen boxing events in Boardwalk Hall a few years ago, Marrandino decided to stage one of the best matches in Atlantic City in many years. It drew a great crowd.
This past year he outdid himself him by jumping on a suggestion from one of his vice presidents, Joe Watson. This was after Hurricane Sandy, which caused havoc to the homes of many of his employees. Those who did not have a home to go to were invited to stay in the Claridge Hotel and eat in the employees dining room.
Two months ago, it looked as though there might be no National Hockey League games played this season as the owners and players could not get together for a contract. Watson told Marrandino that he thought he could get some of the best players in the hockey world to play an exhibition game at Boardwalk Hall to benefit victims. Watson contacted the players and they agreed to put on a game. It drew close to 11,000 hockey fans. To my knowledge, it was the largest crowd ever for a hockey game at Boardwalk Hall. More than $500,000 was raised by the event.
Marrandino worked in Las Vegas for several years. He put various acts together and they did excellent business for their hotel casinos. He had a way of ingratiating himself with the performers so they worked hard to please him.
I first met Don when he was 12 years old and tried out for the Atlantic City Puerto Rico Reciprocal Visitation Program. If you ask him what was one of the best programs in which he was involved, there is little doubt in my mind that he would say the visitation program.
His parents went with us to Puerto Rico and he stayed in the home of one of the boys there. When the Puerto Rican player came here, the young man with whom he stayed went to Marrandino’s home.
Many of the people with whom I’ve been in touch with over the past couple of days expressed their displeasure about the fact that Marrandino may be leaving our area. Hopefully he will find a spot for his outstanding talent.
Thanks for what you’ve done for this community. Best wishes for your future endeavors.
- There is an agreement with Main Street Atlantic City to help facilitate work on the facades project, enhanced window displays, and merchandising and market availability for business recruitment and development in the city. Casino Reinvestment Development Authority funds will also support Main Street Atlantic City offices moving to 1125 Atlantic Ave. on the first floor. This will provide important visibility for the organization.
- The CRDA has signed a lease agreement with the Noyes Museum at Richard Stockton College. Opening in mid 2013 with shops, galleries, art studios and a cafe, the work will enhance the reopening of Dante Hall and supports long-established businesses in the Ducktown neighborhood.
- Margaritaville’s construction is under way with pile driving. The schedule is very aggressive to meet their goal of being open by Memorial Day.
- New art parks are being developed in the CRDA\Atlantic City Alliance partnership. These create new free activities. The installations are getting a lot of national and international attention for the city.
- I am happy to report that the holiday lights in Atlantic City’s parks are going to remain. It’s nice to see that they will be available year-round. I asked why they should take down the Christmas trees when they look so nice. They said they would consider retaining them and putting white lights on them.
Pinky’s Corner appears every Thursday in The Press. The Pinky’s Corner radio show airs 4 to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays on WOND 1400-AM. His TV show, “WMGM Presents Pinky” airs 7:30 p.m. Saturdays on NBC TV40. Email Pinky at: firstname.lastname@example.org.