Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Week 1

And so ends my first week at the new Fraser Downs Casino. It's been an interesting experience being a part of a casino's opening. There are a number of suggestions and plans for us to improve the facility, and we have many great minds working together to create hopefully a wonderful place. I've gotten to meet some new staff and keep in touch with many of the COB staff. Meanwhile I get to enjoy three days off.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

My First Shift

And so begin a new odyssey in the wee hours of the morning, my first shift at Fraser Downs. Because we are only 24 hours on the weekend, I had the scary 4am-2pm shift. At first I was hesitant (to say the least) but the only tough part was getting into my car. I wasn't sure when to sleep so I tried going to bed at 6pm the night before. I woke up at 9pm and then wasn't sure what to do. So I watched some TV and then went to bed around midnight. I fell in and out of sleep until 2am. Somehow I managed to get into my car at 3am and in 35 minutes I was at work. The next 10 hours flew by amazingly fast and I must admit I enjoy this shift, even if it is only on Saturdays. As for work itself, well, it wasn't busy at all in the early morning, but business picked up near the end of my shift. Hopefully word of mouth will bring us more customers.

Thursday, November 22, 2007


The new casino at Fraser Downs opened tonight. Even though I was off I figured I might as well go see the grand opening. Everything seemed a bit confusing at first but everything settled down by the time I left. I foresee a great future for the casino. It was quite busy but that is quite understandable considering it's new. Hopefully we can keep a steady stream of clientele. And if it is successful who knows, maybe there will be expansion on the horizon!

Monday, November 19, 2007

A New Era

The Farewell Party was last night and a good number of staff showed up. It was both happy and sad to see many of them; unfortunately some of them I will never see again. It's so surreal to think that I no longer will set foot into that casino again. The future (for me at least) will now be over 30k away in Cloverdale. But in the meantime I have two morning shifts at River Rock.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

That's All Folks

And so it was that I had the utmost honor of closing the Casino on Broadway on its very last night of existence. Not surprisingly it was a very busy night, and thankfully things went rather smoothly despite a few little glitches. Near the end I kept wandering on the floor but in my mind I was taken back to the beginning. I must admit that a few times "there was something in my eye". But it all went well. And now the next phase of my career with GCC begins.

Friday, November 16, 2007


Dedicated to the most wonderful staff in the world.

Not a sound from the pavement
Has the moon lost her memory
She is smiling alone
In the lamplight
The withered leaves collect at my feet
And the wind begins to moan
Memory, all alone in the moonlight
I can smile at the old days
Life was beautiful then
I remember the time I knew what happiness was
Let the memory live again
Every street lamp seems to beat
A fatalistic warning
Someone mutters and the street lamp gutters
And soon it will be morning
I must wait for the sunrise
I must think of a new life and
I mustn't give in
When the dawn comes
Tonight will be a memory too
And a new day will begin
Burnt out ends of smoky days
The stale cold smell of morning
A street lamp dies
Another night is over
Another day is dawning
Touch me,
It is so easy to leave me
All alone with my memory
Of my days in the sun
If you'll touch me,
You'll understand what happiness is
Look, a new day has begun...

Memory - from the Musical "Cats"

And Now the End is Near...

One day off this week today and then tomorrow on November 17, Wayne and I have the honor of being the last two managers to work at the Holiday Inn on Broadway. Last night I was chatting with Maite, one of our long-time customers, and it was like at one point both of us wanted to cry. I've often been accused of being too sentimental, and I'd have to say it's quite true. I have so many vivid memories of the last 18 years it's tough to think that in 48 hours the casino will be closed. It will be tough to work that last shift but in a way, I'm glad it's going to be me.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

The Last Week

And so we've reached the last week that the Holiday Inn Casino is open. Way back in March 1989 I vaguely remember stepping in there for the first time as a player. For various reasons, 5 months after that I became a Blackjack dealer then. Then, through good times and bad times, I left and came back and then suddenly it is now 2007 and the place that I can surely say has been my second home will cease to exist in 7 days. While my new home at Fraser Downs will bring new challenges, I will surely never forget the many years I've spent at the HIB. It will be sad to see it all end so soon. I've met some very wonderful people over the years.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Thanks Mel

It was nice to catch up with Mel after so many months. I'd MSN'ed her a couple of times since she left but we really haven't talked too much lately. But she gave me some good advice and made me feel better through this rough time at work. It's too bad she's on the other side of the world.

Monday, November 05, 2007


I've heard so much stuff regarding me and my staff that I almost can't separate truth from fiction. Even though I've known for some time that I'm going to Fraser Downs, there's been some gossip about me going to another location. Why would I do that when I might end up going back to supervising? Anyways it's now November 5, only 12 more days until the end of an era for me.

Thanks Nat

I had a nice email exchange with Nat who managed to make me feel a lot better about the closing situation. I'll miss her, and I'll also miss a lot of the other people who will not be going along with me on the ride to Cloverdale. But onward and upward I guess.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Scary Times

With the end drawing near, an unfortunate rash of dismissals and resignations have occurred at work. People I have known for almost half my life are now no longer with the company. Everybody is scared not knowing if they have a future after our closure on November 17.

While this is a short yet somber note, I guess I wanted to write something now because in the next two weeks I really don't know what my state of mind will be like.