ZZZ - GMG - VEGAS INC 2011-2014

March 4, 2013

VEGAS INC Magazine - Latest Las Vegas business news, features and commentaries about gaming, tourism, real estate and more

Issue link: http://www.ifoldsflip.com/i/112509

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Page 19 of 47

4 0 U ND ER 4 0 2 01 3 8A Christopher LaPorte Age: 35 Owner Insert Coin(s) C hristopher LaPorte spent nine years in medical sales and a lot of down time playing video games. But in the last few years, the latter has taken over his life, in a good way. While working his day job and living in Las Vegas, the Brooklyn native tested the waters for a video game/nightclub concept he had been mulling for years. The idea, now known as ���Insert Coin(s)��� located on Fremont Street East, would need about $1.4 million to open its doors. Insert Coin(s) blends the nostalgia of old-school video games, a hip bar environment as well as newer games. ���An older guy can play Centipede and a 21 year-old can play Call of Duty,��� he said. Unfortunately, LaPorte had few believers in the idea. But a Facebook page that eventually caught the attention of 1,000-plus devotees, gave it some legs. Also, with a growing number of attendees at the annual EVOLUTION video game conference in Las Vegas, LaPorte saw momentum building. After two years, Insert Coin(s) is a downtown business hit, and today funding a Minnesota expansion is a lot easier with a proven concept. ���I was always really hungry to do something I was passionate about,��� he said. ���I���m used to that metropolitan lifestyle and culture. I���m not really into the suburban thing. And with Las Vegas being the entertainment capital of the world what better place to try it?��� LaPorte also donates his location for local nonprofit fundraising benefits. Artists for a Cause, his own nonprofit fundraising event, benefited the Animal Foundation in its first year. Future events will also support education initiatives in the valley as well, he says. ���B.S. 4 0 U ND ER 4 0 2 01 3 Kim Ast Justin Jones Age: 38 Partner, Nevada State Senator Holland & Hart LLP J ustin Jones was elected to the Nevada State Senate in 2012. He���s now hard at work on legislation that restricts access to firearms by the mentally ill. But his focus runs deeper, honing in on how to remedy budget cuts made by Nevada legislators to mental health services in recent years. As chair of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, he���s taken a special interest in the plight of many Nevadans, uninsured or underinsured. ���Working with the governor and our legislature, we���re going to improve that this year,��� he said, alluding to Medicaid expansion and implementation of the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange, associated with the Affordable Care Act. That means upholding Nevada���s role as a national healthcare leader ��� one of the first states to execute Obama���s plan, well before the Supreme Court ruling. Jones, who has been known to hike Red Rock with his family, also recently introduced a bill to provide protection for lands adjacent to Red Rock and other conservation areas. His bill avoids constitutional issues raised in previous years. But, over the last five years, he���s most enjoyed doing pro bono work through the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada, helping kids stuck in the foster care system due to domestic violence. With his assistance, many of those children either reunite with a family member or find a new, forever family. ���There���s so much to be done in this area, and I���m so proud to have a law firm, Holland & Hart, that cares about these issues,��� he said. As for public service, he added, ���it was the right time to get in and do something good for my community.��� ���Gina Rose DiGiovanna 1A 20130304_VI01_I.indd 8 Age: 36 Director of Creative and Advertising Golden Gaming A s a student at Bonanza High School, Las Vegas native Kim Ast took advantage of a supplementary two-year hotelmanagement class offered at Area Technical Trade Center, a strategic move that allowed her to secure a position at the front desk at the former Boomtown (now Silverton Casino Lodge) as a 17-year-old senior. Several years later, Ast had the opportunity to join Silverton���s marketing department and never looked back, serving as marketing manager for nine years, and also working with the marketing team at Palace Station prior to joining Golden Gaming in 2005 as marketing manager. Ast, who supports HELP of Southern Nevada, Opportunity Village and Keep Memory Alive, was named director of creative and advertising in 2006, responsible for driving the concept development and design for all of Golden Gaming affiliates, including Golden Route Operations, Nevada���s largest slot route operator with more than 8,500 machines; Golden Casino Group, which includes properties in Nye County; and PT���s Entertainment Group, Nevada���s largest tavern operator with 41 establishments. Although Ast oversees creative and advertising for Golden Gaming as a whole, she has particularly focused on brand strategy and development for PT���s, including the successful ���I Want My PT���s��� campaign, which targeted locals and emphasized the taverns��� friendly atmosphere. ���I was a VIP at PT���s before I started working at Golden, and they had never done any commercial advertising,��� said Ast, adding that this year her focus will be largely on Golden Route Operations. ���Our biggest initiative for 2013 is GRO���s new Checkout Rewards program, where you can use a slot gaming card at Nevada grocery stores such as Albertsons, Smith���s and Vons, and earn points for groceries and slot play.��� ���D.B. 40 UNDER 40 2013 2/28/13 2:56:36 PM

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