NORTHFIELD — The Sands is back in town.
In Northfield, that is.
Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem opened an office this week on New Road to market its six-year-old property to New Jersey gamblers.
President Mark Juliano, 59, the former Atlantic City casino executive with family and professional ties in South Jersey, knows the area and the quality of workers here, he said.
“A lot of good marketing people live in the Atlantic City area,” said Juliano of the decision to open an office here. “They are not ready to move for a variety of reasons. So we’ll let them work in areas where they live.”
Las Vegas Sands Corp. made Juliano president of the Bethlehem property last May, after four years in Singapore as senior vice president and chief casino officer at Marina Bay Sands.
“It was a great experience. Our three kids lived there with us,” he said. “My daughter finished high school there.”
He still has his Haddonfield home, which he visits on weekends. His mom lives in Ocean City, and his brother Michael, owner of Juliano's Pub & Grill in Egg Harbor Township, lives in Linwood, he said.
The staff will market the property, which opened in 2009 at the site of the old Bethlehem Steel plant, to customers of Atlantic City casinos from a wide geographic area.
“They will be working lists of customers, with phone calls and email blasts,” Juliano said. “They will work their own and our existing data bases.”
One person from Bethlehem will move to the Northfield office, and the others will be new hires with experience in Atlantic City, he said.
A written statement from the company this week announced that three people with Atlantic City experience will work out of Northfield. They are Player Development Directors Denise Eshelman, Al Leckerman, and Jules Vorndran.
The Sands Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, then owned by a different parent company, closed its doors in November 2006.
Juliano is a former chief executive officer of Trump Entertainment Resorts, former president of Caesars Atlantic City and former chairman of the Atlantic City Convention and Visitors Authority.
He is also a previous president and chief operations officer of Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.
He was chief executive officer of Trump Entertainment Resorts Inc., the company that operated three casinos then controlled by Donald Trump, in January 2008 when the news came out that Atlantic City casinos had seen their first-ever annual drop in revenue.
“In my opinion, all of 2007 can be summed up in one word: Pennsylvania,” he told a reporter in a January 11, 2008, Press story. Revenues had fallen from a record high of $5.22 billion in 2006 to $4.92 billion in 2007, as competition heated up from the neighboring state.
“I never could have predicted it would get as bad as it did,” Juliano said this week of the situation in Atlantic City, with four casinos closing in 2014. “Never to the degree that it did.”
He said Bethlehem today reminds him of Atlantic City in the 1980s, with a lot of bus customers coming in daily from North Jersey towns, and a large Asian contingent coming from New York City.
“We do a lot of the things we did in those early years, like giveaways,” he said. “When we gave away turkey platters we had hundreds of people waiting in line to get them.”
After six years in operation, he’s looking to refresh the Bethlehem casino, change up the mix of restaurants and renovate, he said.
Juliano left Trump in a November 2010 management shake-up orchestrated by corporate bondholders who bought Trump Entertainment out of bankruptcy for $225 million.
In 2014 Atlantic City casinos won $2.74 billion from gamblers, according to year-end revenue figures from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement. It was the eighth straight year of declines, and the lowest amount of annual gambling revenue since 1988.
Pennsylvania casino revenues started at just $31.6 million in 2006, hit a high of $3.16 billion in 2012 and dropped slightly to 3.11 billion in 2013, according to the University of Nevada at Las Vegas Center for Gaming Research.
Revenues dropped slightly to just over $3 billion in 2014, according to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.
Juliano said revenues at the Sands continue to increase, however.
- Became president of Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem in May 2014
- Joined Marina Bay Sands in Singapore in February 2011
- Became president of the Casino Association of New Jersey in June 2010
- Named chief executive officer of Trump Entertainment Resorts Inc. in August 2007
- Joined Trump Entertainment in August 2005 as chief operating officer
- President of Caesars Palace in Las Vegas from 2003 to 2005
- President of Caesars Atlantic City from 1995 to 1999
- Started his casino career in 1978 as a showroom captain at Resorts
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