The Morongo Band of Mission Indians has named long established tribal gaming executive Richard St Jean as its new COO overseeing the Morongo Casino Resort & Spa near Palm Springs, California. He replaces John James, who departed to take a similar position at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut.

With more than 25 years of successful hospitality and casino experience, St Jean’s career has stretched from the Waldorf Astoria in New York City to Caesars Palace in Las Vegas where he held several management positions. 

He spent 17 years at Station Casinos where he served as general manager for multiple gaming properties before becoming President of Native American Gaming. In this role, he oversaw the programming and design of Stations’ four tribal gaming projects, as well as the operations and $720m expansion of Thunder Valley Casino in Lincoln, California and the $200m launch of the Gun Lake Casino in Wayland, Michigan.

St Jean transitioned to Penn National Gaming in 2011 where he opened two properties in Ohio and the Jamul Casino in San Diego County.

“Richard comes to Morongo at an exciting time and brings with him a successful track record of operational excellence and proven leadership,” said Morongo Tribal Chairman Robert Martin. “We are confident that his vision, deep industry expertise, and innovative spirit will fuel the next chapter of prosperity at Morongo while advancing our ongoing commitment to consistently exceeding the expectations of our guests.”

Poised to celebrate its 15th anniversary in December 2019, the towering 27-story Morongo Casino Resort & Spa is currently undergoing a renovation and expansion project to add elegant new décor and guest amenities, including a beautiful 65,000-square-foot expansion opening in mid-2020. 

St Jean said: “As a nationally recognized leader in tribal gaming, Morongo has a proud legacy of protecting tribal sovereignty and creating new opportunity for Indian Country, and I am honored to be a part of that history.”