What should have been an otherwise extremely exciting and fun-filled day marking both the freedom of U.S. independence and freedom, relatively speaking, from the coronavirus turned into something tragic. Richard Haskins, the president of Red Rock Resorts and Station Casinos, was enjoying the 4th of July weekend with his family on Lake Michigan on Saturday when he decided to take a jet ski out for a spin. The details are still a little sketchy on what may have transpired next, but what is known is that, at some point, the watercraft Haskins was riding collided with a boat, resulting in his death. He was retrieved from the water and taken to shore, but couldn’t be revived.
Red Rock issued a statement Saturday night about the accident, explaining, “It is with profound sadness that we announce that Richard J. Haskins, President of Red Rock Resorts, Inc. and Station Casinos LLC, died today in a watercraft accident while vacationing in Michigan. The entire Station Casinos family mourns this loss. On behalf of our Board of Directors, management team and employees, we extend our deepest sympathies to the Haskins family.”
The 56-year-old Haskins had been leading Red Rock since October 2015 after having spent a number of years at the company as a senior executive. He apparently had taken his family to Lake Michigan for the weekend and the accident occurred after his Sea-Doo collided with a Magnum powerboat being driven by 77-year-old James Moffatt. The accident reportedly occurred around 2:15 Saturday afternoon in the northern tip of Michigan’s lower peninsula near Emmet County. No details have been provided about the status of Moffatt.
Frank Fertitta, CEO and chairman of Red Rock, issued his own statement about Haskins, saying, “Words cannot express what Rich has meant to the Company and to me in the 25 years he has been with Station Casinos. He was a trusted advisor, a brilliant strategist, a steady hand in good times and in bad and most important — a friend to all. It is very hard to imagine Station Casinos being the Company it is today without Rich. He will be sorely missed by all who knew him. Our thoughts and prayers are with his children, his family and his loved ones.”
Red Rock will now have to find a successor to Haskins while, at the same time, implementing a recovery plan to bring the company back to life following the coronavirus pandemic. That won’t be an easy task, especially since Station has decided to keep a handful of its properties closed for possibly another year. Red Rock’s board and company executives are said to be working on finding a replacement already, and the decision should be announced within the next couple of weeks.