In his own words: Bill Wright, GM of Grand Sierra Resort
Northern Nevada Business Weekly: Tell us about Grand Sierra Resort.
Bill Wright: Grand Sierra Resort and Casino has more than 100,000 square feet of casino space, numerous bars and ultra lounges, an 1,800-seat theatre with headlining entertainment, branded retail shops, a cinema, 50-lane championship bowling center, outdoor thrill rides, aqua golf driving range and Fun Quest Family Fun Center. You’ll never run out of fun and exciting things to do. We offer 45 meeting rooms with 200,000 square feet of space. Charlie Palmer Steak and Briscola are two world-renowned restaurants under the direction of Charlie Palmer, Reno’s first celebrity chef. Grand Sierra has 2,000 spacious guest rooms and suites.
NNBW: How did you get into this profession?
Wright: I started working at the Salt Lake Hilton and really enjoyed my experience, so I moved to Las Vegas to get a hotel administration degree at UNLV.
NNBW: What brought you back to Reno?
Wright: The opportunity to work at the Grand Sierra Resort. I had worked at the property when it was the Reno Hilton and enjoyed the property and the employees that worked there.
NNBW: What’s the most important thing you have learned in your career in gaming?
Wright: You are only as good as the employees you work with.
NNBW: What are your greatest strengths?
Wright: Attention to detail, work ethic, and strategic thinking.
NNBW: Tell us about your dream job. Why aren’t you working it?
Wright: I would really like to be a sports photographer. I have had the opportunity to do it as a volunteer. I have been the Liberty Bowl photographer for the last four years and did high school sports for two local newspapers in the Memphis area for the last three years.
NNBW: What are your favorite hobbies or pastimes? How do you spend your time away from work?
Wright: I enjoy traveling, photography, skiing, golf and cycling.
NNBW: Tell me about the most fun you have had on the job?
Wright: A property I was working at was the host for the Brett Favre Foundation golf tournament. I had the opportunity to play golf with Brett and meet a lot of sports celebrities during the years. Tim McGraw always was the entertainment.
NNBW: What has been your biggest professional disappointment?
Wright: I was the general manager of the Flamingo Reno when it was sold. Having to close the property was very difficult for everyone involved.
NNBW: If you had enough money to retire right now, would you?
Wright: Absolutely, I would really enjoy having the opportunity to travel around the world.
Allan Swan, President of Panasonic Energy of Northern Nevada, was the speaker for the 2019 UNR College of Engineering Distinguished Lecture Series Nov. 20. He addressed a crowd of roughly 185 about the “Next 100 Years” of the company.