Meet the Manager: Rick Yuhas

Rick Yuhas has been the general manager of the Tropicana Laughlin since 2012. Before that he had an extensive career that took him all across the globe.
Growing up in a small town in northeast Pennsylvania, Yuhas was a “coal cracker,” or someone who lived in a hard coal mining town. He was raised by his single mother, whom he credits for teaching him the principles he still lives by today.
“My mom said, ‘Rick, you don’t have to have the nicest house on the block. But if you got friendly people and the house is clean, you will always have company.’ And I think that applies to our company,” Yuhas said.
He graduated from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, with a degree in criminology. After college, Yuhas and his friend decided to take a Greyhound to Reno, but found a better deal to Las Vegas and went for it.
He worked in law enforcement for a little while before a seven-year stint with the Nevada Gaming Control Board. Around 1987 he began his career in the casino industry, starting as a security and surveillance director for Harrah’s Las Vegas.
He then was promoted and had the opportunity to travel for work, which led him to the Midwest, the South, the Caribbean, and New Zealand for several years.
“I would say I am very well-rounded in understanding that markets are different, customs and cultures are different, but at the end of the day your customers want the same things. They want a fair chance to win, they want to have a very good time, they want the place to be clean, and they want to be treated well,” Yuhas said.
Although he enjoyed his time overseas, southern Nevada was home, so he and his family returned to the Vegas area. He jumped at the opportunity to work with Tropicana Entertainment again, taking over as GM of the Laughlin property.
He is in the hotel five to seven nights a week, working with his team and ensuring guests have the best experience possible.
“We work when everybody else plays,” Yuhas said. “My life is this property, and I’m never bored.”
He said he attends every new-hire orientation and has two pieces of advice for his new team members.
“I tell them our job is real simple, when a customer is walking out the front doors and they say ‘I had a great time, I can’t wait to come back,’ our job in this industry is to give every guest that feeling.
“The other thing I tell them is if they hate their job they need to go work somewhere else. If you’re going to come to work, love what you do.”
Yuhas said the job is hard work, but if you’re in the right business you should enjoy the challenges along the way. He said the casino industry is ever-evolving, and there is no end point. For him, that is what keeps it so exciting.
Yuhas said some big changes are in store for the Tropicana this year. They are removing the old train station out front, and building a bar, restaurant, and sports book, where the bingo room currently is, out to the street. There will also be outdoor dining and entertainment. The bingo room will be moving down, across from the Roundhouse Buffet, and will receive some upgrades as well. The project should be completed by the end of this year.
As for his other goals for the property, Yuhas said he has one that never changes.
“The goal is always to be the best that you can be. And I think it’s very important in this business that you don’t try to be something that you can’t be. So you find your market, you deliver a quality product with great variety, and most importantly, deliver it with knowledgeable, friendly, and caring team members.”