At its regular meeting on Nov. 19, the Nevada Gaming Commission gave its blessing to the Lee family’s plan to sell all of its interest in the Eureka Casino Resort Hotel to its employees in an Employee Stock Ownership Plan.
“We are thankful for the commission’s determination and excited to take the next step towards our vision of having the Eureka be an employee-owned family business,” Andre Carrier told the Mesquite Local News in a written statement following the approval. Carrier is the chief operating officer of the Eureka. He will remain in that position while Greg Lee, current Eureka CEO and executive officer, will continue his role in the new ESOP.
The ESOP will become effective at the end of the year.
When announcing the ESOP Oct. 29, Carrier said, “We think this is the next logical step for the culture of our organization looking out 10 to 20 years. An ESOP is a long-term retirement plan under federal law that allows employees to gain retirement benefits that are tied to a beneficial ownership and equity of the company without any personal financial investment.”
Essentially, the company’s operating profits are shared by all employees and in this case will be vested in retirement benefits. Employees will become fully vested after six years on the job.
The ESOP only affects the Eureka Casino Resort Hotel and no other businesses owned by the Lee family. The old Mesquite Star hotel now under renovation through the Lee’s Urban Land company will not be included nor will the Eureka Las Vegas Casino.