Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog

July 15, 2011

Former MGM Boss Terry Lanni Dies

Posted by Hunter

Sad news from Jon Ralston that Terry Lanni, the former MGM Mirage boss, has passed away. Lanni had been battling cancer for the past several years. Our thoughts are with his family.

Lanni helped to shepherd the company two through mega-mergers: first with Mirage Resorts and then later, Mandalay Resort Group, creating the most powerful company on The Strip.

His tenure at the head of MGM was not without controversy. A confusing situation regarding his college degrees and the approval of the now-troubled CityCenter project marked the later parts of his career.

I never met Lanni but we did have a mutual friend and the word on Terry was that he was a class act.

More on Lanni:

- Las Vegas Sun
- Las Vegas Review-Journal

- 2008 Interview w/ Steve Friess


Read archived comments (5 so far)
July 15, 2011 9:23 AM Posted by Jeff in OKC

Sad, indeed. He was always a classy guy in any interview I ever saw or read. I was kinda hoping he would enjoy his retirement for many more years.

July 15, 2011 9:31 AM Posted by Dave

Always heard good things about him from those who worked with him. He had a long, eventful career in the gaming industry--don't forget about his time with Caesars.

I'm focusing my next Business Press column on him.

July 15, 2011 9:56 AM Posted by American Gaming Guru

Terrible news. I have heard all the same as what others posted. "Class Act", "Great Guy" etc. RIP

July 15, 2011 10:48 AM Posted by Jeff Simpson

It is a sad day and I want to express my condolences to his family. I will write more about Terry Lanni soon, but I wanted to share a bit about my impressions of the man.
He was a very smart guy, with a sharp sense of humor. He surrounded himself with smart, talented people and allowed them to do their jobs. I had many sit-down interviews and even more phone interviews with Terry and I almost always thought after the interviews were over that I had learned a lot from what he had said, and I always came away impressed with his command of the facts he needed to do his job. He was a man willing to admit mistakes.
I will always respect the way he conducted himself as an executive and as a person.
Terry Lanni is and will be missed. He left a great legacy.

July 15, 2011 12:15 PM Posted by detroit1051

Very sad. Lanni died too young, and I believe history will judge him very positively. Too bad he couldn't enjoy his horse ownership and racing for a lot longer.

Obviously, I never met him, but I saw him twice dining at lunch in Circo around 1990 or 1991. At one lunch, I'm sure he was with Parry Thomas. Thomas still had Valley Bank at that time, didn't he? Terry Lanni didn't fit my early image of casino operators. He looked like the business professional that he was.

After Circo stopped serving lunch, a waiter at LeCirque told me that Lanni thought Circo was ideal for business lunches and didn't want it to close, but Bellagio couldn't justify keeping it open just because he liked it.