Michael Gaughan was born in Omaha, Neb. on March 24, 1943 and has been a Las Vegas resident since 1952. He attended Bishop Gorman High School, graduated from Creighton University in 1965 with a BSBA in Accounting and received his MBA in Labor Relations from the University of Southern California in 1967.
In 2004, he merged Coast Casinos with Boyd Gaming and two years later he personally separated from Boyd Gaming. Currently, he owns the South Point Hotel, the McCarran Airport Slot Concession and the Casino Queen.
In 1965, Gaughan became an owner and ultimately the casino manager of the El Cortez Hotel. This ended in 1972 when he opened the Royal Inn Casino. After selling the Royal Inn, Gaughan built the Barbary Coast Hotel, the Gold Coast Hotel, the Saint Louis Casino Queen Riverboat, the Orleans Hotel, the Suncoast Hotel and the South Point Hotel.
While at Coast, Gaughan was instrumental in bringing two major sports to Las Vegas. The NFR came to Las Vegas after he convinced the rodeo to leave its long-time home of Oklahoma City. He is also the reason the Wranglers hockey team played at the Orleans Arena. Also during his tenure at Coast, Gaughan owned and operated a racing team. This team competed for three years in NASCAR’s Winston West division and for five years in the NASCAR Truck Series. Currently, the South Point sponsors a NASCAR Nationwide Series car for Rusty Wallace Racing.
Gaughan is Chairman of Las Vegas Events and is a member of the National Finals Rodeo Committee, Valley Hospital of Las Vegas, the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City and the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame. He also sits on the Foundation Board of the University of Nevada Las Vegas and taught in the school's College of Hotel Administration. He is a former board member of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Union Welfare Fund, the Southern Nevada Culinary and Bartenders Pension Trust and the Las Vegas YMCA. He is also a member and former Chairman of the Nevada Resort Association.
He has been honored as "Man of the Year" for Bishop Gorman High School, Creighton University, Temple Beth Shalom and UNLV's School of Business. In 2007, he was inducted into the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame for his commitment to the success of the sport in Las Vegas. Without Gaughan, December in Las Vegas would be a very quiet time.
In his spare time Gaughan is busy with his love of racing. He also participated as a driver in off-road racing for 27 years in Southern Nevada, including the famous Mint 500 races. Today his son Brendan still drives a class one buggy during the off season from NASCAR. He truly has a passion for sports and the success of Las Vegas. He has brought his love to this city so that others can enjoy the sports that he holds dear to his heart. Michael Gaughan truly is a team player.
Born: February 24, 1943
Claim to Fame: He has been instrumental in attracting the National Finals Rodeo and Las Vegas Wranglers hockey team to Las Vegas.
Family: Wife (Paula); sons (John, Mike Jr. and Brendan); daughter (Katie)