Yesterday saw the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation reveal that the President and Chief Executive Officer for its Foxwoods Resort Casino, Felix Rappaport (pictured), had unexpectedly died at the age of 65.
The federally-recognized tribe stated that Rappaport, who was found dead in his Foxwoods Resort Casino suite on Monday, had been in charge of the giant Connecticut integrated casino resort since February of 2014 while his career had previously included a long spell as a senior executive with operator, MGM Resorts International.
The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation explained that the cause of Rappaport’s death has not yet been determined and described the California-born executive as ‘a true visionary’ that had been responsible for transforming its Foxwoods Resort Casino into a ‘world-class destination resort’ via the introduction of ‘new initiatives’ that had delivered ‘an unforgettable experience’ to guests.
“On behalf of the entire tribal council, Foxwoods [Resort Casino’s] management team and staff, we extend our deepest sympathies to Felix’s family,” read a June 18 statement from Rodney Butler, Chairman for the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, which is responsible for six land-based casinos as well as a free-play online gaming domain. “With his passing, we have suffered a major loss. Felix’s passion for modernizing and growing Foxwoods [Resort Casino] as well as his friendship, mentorship and humor touched everyone who worked with him. We are confident that Felix’s legacy will live on as we continue to push forward on the vision he set.”
Rappaport, who also maintained a home in Las Vegas, had formerly worked for Station Casinos and Hershey Entertainment and Resort Company while his time at MGM Resorts International had included a spell as President and Chief Operating Officer for the firm’s Luxor, Excalibur Hotel Casino, Mirage and New York-New York Hotel and Casino venues.
“We are saddened by the news of the passing of our former colleague and friend, Felix Rappaport,” read a Monday statement from Jim Murren, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for MGM Resorts International, cited by the Las Vegas Review-Journal newspaper. “Felix was a member of the MGM Resorts [International] family for more than two decades and is remembered fondly by many. Our condolences and prayers go out to his family at this difficult time.”
The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation declared that the next few weeks will see it deliberate on ‘how to best resume Rappaport’s strategic plan’ for growing its Foxwoods Resort Casino, which has been open since 1992, while maintaining ‘a continued focus on the property’s long-term vision.’