CHANDLER, AZ – Gila River Resorts & Casinos has announced the leadership team for the new Santan Mountain casino located in the Southeast Valley off of Hunt Highway and Gilbert Road. The team includes:
- Blake Katsnelson (General Manager) has been with the enterprise since 2009. He has worked his way up through the marketing and player club departments, and is currently GM of Lone Butte. His combination of operational efficiency and strategic marketing, along with his passion for mentoring his team, has contributed to his appointment of this new role.
- Aaron Bayne (Director of Table Games) has worked in the gaming industry for more than 27 years and has been with Gila River for nearly 20 years. Bayne began his career at a tribal casino in Detroit and moved to Arizona in 2003 with the expansion of table games. He has worked his way through the ranks and is currently the Director of Casino Games at Wild Horse Pass. He will continue to oversee table games and the sportsbook at Wild Horse Pass through the transition to Santan Mountain.
- Sera Ribble (Director of Food & Beverage) has more than 13 years of experience with Gila River beginning her career opening the Shula’s Steakhouse. Her passion and skills quickly lead her to Director of Food and Beverage roles at both Wild Horse Pass and Lone Butte.
- David Baughn (Director of Facilities) has more than 25 years in facilities management with 15 of those years in tribal facilities, and has worked with Gila River since 2020.
“At Gila River, we have an amazing reputation of building lifelong careers,” said Kenneth Manuel, CEO of Gila River Resorts & Casinos. “Making the investment in personal and internal growth has proven to be valuable, as countless team members have dedicated years to our guests and the Enterprise. We are proud of the Santan Mountain leadership team and are excited to see their continued and well-deserved growth at Gila River.”
The Southeast Valley was selected for the fourth casino location as this area’s growth aligns with the Enterprise’s expansion in Arizona. The modern desert oasis will feature 360 window views around the property and highlight the breathtaking mountain views. Santan Mountain will have more than 800 slots, live table games, a sportsbook, dining and bar options along with a function space. Hiring for the new location begins in July with 700 open positions available.