Gold Strike Employees Give Back to the Community

May 27, 2011
Area Flood and Tornado Victims Benefit from Employee Volunteerism during Recent Closure

TUNICA, Miss., May 27, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Employees from the just reopened Gold Strike Tunica resort have demonstrated their dedication to the communities where they live and work by donating time and resources to the region's flood and tornado victims. MGM Resorts International's Gold Strike Casino Resort Tunica reopened last week after a two week temporary closure due to the near-record flooding of the Mississippi River and employees used the downtime to give back to the community.



Gold Strike Tunica and the American Red Cross teamed up to provide support to Mississippi and Tennessee residents whose lives have been disrupted by the historic flooding. This innovative partnership is part of MGM Resorts overall commitment to community vitality that helps the restore lives of families who sustained loss due to natural disaster.

During the resort's temporary closure, more than 40 Gold Strike employees completed three-hour training in damage assessment and shelter operations according to the mission, principles and quality service delivered by the Red Cross to the communities they serve. Dave Sharpe, a certified instructor from the Red Cross headquarters in Jackson, Miss., facilitated the training which included shelter set up, organization, jobs, dormitory management, media relations and client registration. Gold Strike employees also participated in a bare necessity drive to gather items for the local Red Cross chapter to deliver to disaster victims.

In addition to the employee volunteer hours and supplies donations, George P. Corchis, Jr, president & COO of MGM Resorts International Regional Operations and Gold Strike Casino Resort Tunica General Manager George Goldhoff made a financial contribution to the local Red Cross chapter when they recently presented a $10,000 check to John Thatcher, director of development of the Red Cross Mid South Tennessee/Mississippi Branch.

"We are so grateful to the management of Gold Strike Casino Resort for this generous donation to support the work of the American Red Cross," said Bob Hoguet, executive director of the Mid-South Chapter.  "Equally as important as is this generous monetary donation, we are thankful that Gold Strike has also supported our community by giving their employees the opportunity to be trained to volunteer with the Red Cross for this and future disasters." 

The employee volunteer training and monetary donation represents the on-going strengthening of a long-standing partnership between MGM Resorts and the American Red Cross.  As the flood waters recede, Gold Strike employees are prepared to be mobilized in the community to help rebuild lives affected by the flood disaster.

"MGM Resorts International has always taken seriously its responsibility to be a charitable partner in the communities where we operate businesses," said George P. Corchis, Jr.  "We are proud of our innovative partnership with the Red Cross Mid-South Chapter and the expertise they bring in defining and addressing the critical needs of the community."

Gold Strike employees witnessed the aftermath left behind from a string of tornados that recently ripped through Mississippi and Alabama and used their unexpected downtime as an opportunity to quickly step in and help.  With Tunica's casino industry temporary shutdown due to flooding, a small group of closely-knit employees began collecting donations to take to heavily-damaged Smithville, Miss. Soon word spread and more employee contributions began rolling in. More than 30 employees donated supplies and made financial contributions to the drive and seven Gold Strike employees embarked on the three-hour drive to Smithville for delivery. Supplied with work gloves and supplies to clean debris, Gold Strike employees were prepared and determined to make good use of the time away from work by helping others. Once they arrived, employees spent hours creating personal item care kits for those affected by the disaster. "We knew we needed to help," said Gold Strike dealer Rhonda Rose. "We were just doing what we could to pay it forward. We were fortunate to be paid full pay and benefits while Gold Strike was closed, so why not help someone else?" she said.

Supporting Gold Strike employees has been the top priority for MGM Resorts. In addition to paying full wages including tips and benefits throughout the closure, Gold Strike facilitated access to company emergency relief funds and federal assistance. The employee health clinic remained open and human resource representatives were onsite seven days a week. The "Levee Cafe,"  a temporary dining facility was established and provided free hot meals 24 hours a day and seven days a week for employees, emergency management and other government officials, first responders, law enforcement, gaming industry employees and other interested parties during the resort's closure.

"Gold Strike's temporary dining facility was a life saver for us," said Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks Captain Calvin Fulton. "We had more than 20 search and rescue team members eating breakfast, lunch and dinner each day and it wasn't baloney sandwiches. We, along many other workers, ate everything from steak to shrimp during the two weeks we were in Tunica. Gold Strike's generosity was unreal."

During the first week of the mandatory Tunica casino closures, Gold Strike served approximately 400 meals each day at the Levee' Cafe. In preparation for the flood, the culinary team emptied Gold Strike's food pantries and freezers and prepared three full meals each day for crews that were helping respond to the disaster. Twenty or so food & beverage team members reported to work each day to serve menu items ranging from made-to-order breakfasts to pork chops, hamburgers and barbeque chicken for lunch to fresh fish, beef, shrimp, roasted chicken and smoked ribs for dinner. The staff also offered an a la carte menu, cold and hot beverages and a variety of desserts each day.

"Gold Strike's makeshift dining tent was a brilliant idea," said Captain Cedric Davis of the Tunica Sheriff's Department. "Due to the fact that no other restaurants in the vicinity were open, it was a real convenience for our officers and all of the extra manpower that was brought in from different areas. We were able to grab a meal and report back to our assigned posts in a timely fashion," he said.

"At a time of unprecedented challenge in our community and our country, Gold Strike Tunica employees have once again demonstrated their incredible strength and determination in doing the right thing to support the community where we live, work and care for our families," said Gold Strike General Manager George Goldhoff. "Their commitment demonstrates a spirit that is nothing short of extraordinary."


The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information or to make a donation, please visit, call 1-800-733-2767(RED-CROS), or text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a one-time $10 donation. 


Gold Strike Casino Resort, MGM Resorts International's 1,200-room resort located 20 minutes south of Memphis in Tunica, Miss. recently completed the largest renovation and remodeling project in its history. The multimillion-dollar transformation included all of Gold Strike's deluxe rooms and suites, hotel lobby, casino, 30,000-square-foot conference and convention center, Atrium Cafe, Courtyard Buffet and high-limit gaming area. The resort also features the award-winning Chicago Steakhouse, a refreshing spa and salon, an 800-seat showroom and 50,000 square feet of gaming space with 53 table games and more than 1,200 slot machines. For reservations or information, call 888-24K-PLAY (7529) or visit

SOURCE MGM Resorts International

For further information: Mary Cracchiolo Spain of Gold Strike, +1-228-386-7134,; or Kim Motschman Cribb of Mid-South Chapter, American Red Cross, +1-901-672-6353,