New COO joins Morongo casino amid major expansion, renovation project

An expansion project is currently under construction at Morongo Casino in Cabazon, Calif., on Thursday, September 12, 2019.
An expansion project is currently under construction at Morongo Casino in Cabazon, Calif., on Thursday, September 12, 2019.

As a longtime guest before he became Morongo Casino Resort & Spa’s new chief operating officer, Richard St. Jean sees several qualities that make the casino stand out — beyond its 27-story height.

He lists a “welcoming, homey” atmosphere despite its vast size, as well as the dining options enhanced by a remodel this year, as some of the Cabazon casino’s greatest assets.

The amenities, quality of service and retail shopping next door — the Desert Hills Premium Outlets — made St. Jean a repeat customer when he moved to California six years ago.

“I knew a lot about the property as a consumer, but I also knew quite a bit about the owners, the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, and what a professional, stable and very active owner stake they had in the property,” he said.

St. Jean brings more than 25 years of experience in the casino and hospitality industries, with stints at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City and Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, among other resorts, casinos and consulting agencies, where he served in management roles.

In that time, he worked with tribes on and off for about 10 years, he said.

“When you’re in the tribal sector, you have a lot more autonomy and the vision is very clear,” St. Jean said. “You don’t have hierarchies of executive management, so you understand what the owners’ directions are and their ultimate goals.”St. Jean said the tribe’s short-term goals include wrapping up the renovation and expansion project, which includes a complete […]

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