CHESTER - Jeffrey J. Dahl will assume the chief executive officer's position at MTR Gaming Group, the parent company of Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort.
MTR Gaming Monday said it will pay an annual base salary of $600,000, according to a filing with the federal government.
Dahl has gambling operations experience in Mississippi, including stints as chief executive officer and president at Beau Rivage Resorts and the Torguson Gaming Group, both in Biloxi, Miss. With a partner, he founded the Jay Daniel Co., a gaming consulting and management services firm that changed its name to the Foundation Group in May. The company provided management for Harlow's Casino Resort in Greenville, Miss.
In its filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, MTR said its contract with Dahl commenced Monday and is for a three-year period. The agreement provides automatic one-year extensions unless notification is given before the next extension. The deal also provides a targeted bonus of 50 percent of the base salary plus other participation in company incentive plans.
Dahl, 52, was manager of Beau Rivage from 2000-05, overseeing the resort as it doubled operating profits and was recognized as one of the top 500 hotels in the world by Travel and Leisure Magazine in 2003 and 2004.
Moving expenses of $75,000 in an up-front cash payment also are in the contract as he looks for permanent residency in or near Wexford, Pa., the company filing said, as well as up to 60 days stay in the Grande Hotel at Mountaineer while he looks for a permanent residence.
MTR Chairman Steven M. Billick had been serving as interim CEO following the resignation of former Chief Executive Robert Griffin in October to take the chief executive post at Trump Entertainment Resorts. Billick will remain chairman of MTR. Griffin's MTR salary had been $550,000 plus bonuses.
"We believe Jeff's extensive success with casinos and resorts in Mississippi will translate well to our regional properties in West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio," Billick said.
In addition to Mountaineer, MTR owns Scioto Downs race track in Columbus and the Presque Isle Downs track and casino at Erie, Pa. The company is awaiting clear rules in Ohio to establish at least a video lottery slots parlor at Scioto Downs.
Dahl has been involved in the gambling industry for 30 years. In addition to his work in Mississippi, he served at the Mirage in Las Vegas.
He received a bachelor's degree from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Dahl said MTR is "well positioned with great properties in the Ohio Valley and Pennsylvania regions."
"I look forward to working closely with the MTR team as we explore new business opportunities and continue to increase shareholder value in the company as well as continue to optimize the experience for our guests and provide a challenging and rewarding platform for our employees," he said.