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Casino Veteran Gomes Partners with Matzel for 3 Billion Resort

It includes construction of a 1 million-sq.-ft. hotel and casino complex housing 5,000 slot machines and 750 rooms.Dennis Gomes, a star of the gaming industry, is back in action after six months of keeping a relatively low profile. Gomes, who last April quit as president of resort operations at Aztar, the owner of the Tropicana in Atlantic City, has tied up with Matzel Development of Ocean Township in Monmouth County to bring a “world-class” gaming resort to the Poconos.

Greg Matzel, president of Matzel Development, today announced his company’s $3 billion development plan for the Pocono Manor Inn & Golf Resort, which includes construction of a 1 million-sq.-ft. hotel and casino complex housing 5,000 slot machines and 750 rooms.

Joining the Matzel team is Gomes Gaming Management. Matzel and Gomes have inked an agreement that establishes GGM as the exclusive manager of Matzel’s newly created gaming division, which will include the management and operation of the resort and casino to be developed at Pocono Manor.

Gomes has had a remarkable 35-year career in the gaming industry that includes stints as president of both the Tropicana Casino & Resort and Trump Taj Mahal Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City and as president of the Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, among other senior-level posts at prominent resorts and casinos. Gomes’ background includes years in law enforcement as an investigator of casino operations in both Nevada and New Jersey. Gomes’ dogged investigation of the Stardust Casino organized crime skimming operation in Las Vegas was the basis for the Martin Scorsese film, “Casino.” At the Tropicana, Gomes is credited with the vision for creating The Quarter—the Trop’s highly acclaimed, $285 million retail, dining and entertainment complex.

“With Dennis leading our gaming operation, we now have a team in place that is second to none—not only in Pennsylvania, but anywhere in the country,” says Matzel, who himself is a real estate veteran. He is one of the three founders of Matzel & Mumford, a prominent homebuilder that was acquired a few years ago by K. Hovnanian of Red Bank.

“For me, the gaming business has always been more about the people,” says Gomes. “After meeting Greg and seeing his vision and passion for this project, I was on board. Frankly, I’m at a point in my life where I don’t need to work. But there is something about the people involved with this project and the opportunity to create something that is truly special that compelled me to want to devote the amount of energy it takes to do it right.”

Pocono Manor Inn & Golf Resort is a joint venture of groups headed by real estate developers Greg Matzel and Morris Bailey. Matzel and Projects include residential and commercial developments in Pennsylvania and New Jersey as well as a 288-unit luxury rental community in Carteret scheduled to break ground in January 2006.