Meet the Manager

Brad Rutledge took over as general manager of the Golden Nugget Laughlin on Feb. 16.
Previously, Rutledge worked for 14 years with MGM Resorts in Biloxi, Mississippi. His most recent position before coming to Laughlin was vice president of casino operations and player development at the Golden Nugget Biloxi. This will mark his 25th year in the gaming industry.
Rutledge grew up in a small town east of New Orleans, called Bay Saint Louis. He was a prelaw major at the University of South Alabama, but after finishing school he took a summer off at craps school and decided to change his career path.
So far the adjustment to life in Laughlin has been fairly smooth.
“It’s funny, Biloxi and Laughlin being regional areas and having regional players, it’s very similar,” Rutledge said.
He’s a Southern boy and appreciates the friendliness he has found in Laughlin that he is used to at home.
“I have nothing but good things to say about the people I have come in contact with from the entire community,” Rutledge said. “It was nice to see friendly people, coming in as an outsider.”
His team of nearly 400 at the Nugget also has adjusted well. Rutledge attributes the fluidity to efficient communication.
“I’m not real good when it comes to gray areas in communication, I don’t like guessing what people want and I do the same thing with my team,” Rutledge said. “I don’t want them to have to guess what my expectation is. I think that goes a long way, being up front and honest and having a set expectation that’s easy for your team to adapt to. I think that’s the most positive way to get the job done.”
His goals as GM include maintaining the loyal employee base they currently have and improving efficiency through trainings. He said he wants to use his knowledge to help his team find the best ways to operate.
“For my skill set, what I bring to the table is experience in multiple jurisdictions and working for multiple companies,” Rutledge said. “There’s a lot of different ways to do the same thing, it’s how do you find the best way to do it.”
His management philosophy is simple.
“The gaming industry is supposed to be fun, so I ask my folks to be professional and have a good time,” Rutledge said.
He believes that to maintain a successful working environment, his job is to be active and communicate with his team at every level.
“You have to inspect what you expect. You have to be out there managing by what you see and you have to talk with your people daily,” he said. “Good ideas flow both ways, up and down. So I think you have to give your team that opportunity to have input to the business.”
For his first few months Rutledge said he is spending time evaluating the current operations and finding solutions to improve efficiency.
After his team is well adapted, they will continue to make incremental changes but he does not have any major renovations or changes in store at this time.