TEMECULA – The Pechanga Development Corporation’s board of directors has just named the first-ever general manager promoted from within Pechanga Resort & Casino, California’s largest resort-casino and No. 1 casino in the country voted by the readers of “USA Today.” Lee Torres, Pechanga’s former chief marketing officer, will now oversee the entire property and all 11 divisions as the new general manager.
In addition to overseeing all departments and the property as a whole, Torres will continue to play a lead role, in conjunction with the Pechanga Development Corporation, in executing Pechanga’s $285 million expansion which is set to be completed by December 2017. Torres has been an integral part of Pechanga’s leadership team, most recently serving as its chief marketing officer and vice president of marketing for the past six years. He has been instrumental in the property’s growth and in obtaining the honor of being named the No. 1 casino in the United States.
“As a reflection of Pechanga Resort & Casino’s growth and commitment to internal development, the board is especially proud that Lee is the first general manager to be promoted from within the organization,” Edith Atwood, president of the Pechanga Development Corporation, said. “Lee has been an integral part of Pechanga’s strong growth and success over the last six years, and we look forward to his leadership and strategic vision for the future of the property.”
Before Pechanga, Torres worked for some of the largest casino properties in the U.S., serving as the vice president of casino marketing and director of marketing. In those roles, he ran player development, VIP services and database and marketing analytics. He also oversaw the departments that ran advertising, public relations, business development and sponsorships, group sales and bussing, database and analytics and event hotel revenue management.
“I’m honored to be the first general manager selected from within of such a premier property, rivaling even the most prestigious of casino-resort properties in Las Vegas, by the Pechanga Development Corporation’s board of directors,” Torres said. “They’re trusting me with not only the responsibility of overseeing all 11 divisions and essentially all 4,000 team members on property, but also with leading the charge on Pechanga’s $285 million expansion. This is a very exciting time for Pechanga, and I’m deeply humbled to be a part of the journey.”
The current $285 million resort expansion is set to open at the end of the year and includes the addition of 568 rooms and suites, 70,000 additional square feet of indoor and outdoor event space, two new restaurants, a luxury two-story spa and salon and a four-acre resort pool complex with eight new pools. Pechanga just celebrated the grand opening of the brand-new 2,400-space parking garage, featuring 44 electric vehicle charging stations and three Tesla superchargers, marking the completion of the first phase of the expansion. Enough solar panels to power 100 homes along with a moving sidewalk to the casino entrance will be added to the new east parking garage this summer.
Torres has worked in the gaming industry ever since earning his bachelor’s degree in business management from the University of Nevada Las Vegas in 1998.