Gallin bets on Mirage

Exec leaves longtime gig at management-prod'n company

Exiting his longtime management and production companies, Sandy Gallin is taking his act to Las Vegas. He’s been named chairman and CEO of Mirage Entertainment & Sports Inc., the entertainment arm of casino maven Steve Wynn’s Mirage Resorts Inc.

With his new position, Gallin has stepped down as chairman of Gallin Morey Associates, the management firm that Gallin’s partner Jim Morey will now run as chairman. Gallin told Daily Variety that he would “continue to advise and manage clients Neil Diamond, Dolly Parton and Mariah Carey with Jim Morey, who will handle the day-to-day management.”

Gallin also said that Sandollar, the TV and film production company he co-founded in 1985 with Parton, will be dissolved.

“We will assign all of the projects to the various producers who have worked on the projects so they can see them through fruition,” Gallin said. “And the company will dissolve except for the continuing work with ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer,’ ‘Johnny X’ (a possible midseason show for ABC) and any upcoming movies.”

Sandollar is in the final month of its first-look film and TV production pact with Disney. Sandollar Television has been based at Disney since 1993, and the film unit was brought over from Sony a year later.

Among the films Sandollar has produced are “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Father of the Bride,” “Shining Through” and the Academy Award-winning documentary “A Common Thread: Stories From the Quilt.”

Gallin’s new job began Wednesday. He said he will relocate to Las Vegas in July, when the desert city joins New York and Los Angeles as Gallin’s home bases.

In this new role, Gallin is charged with creating and discovering new entertainment and sports attractions for the Mirage chain, which will soon include seven casinos. In addition, he’ll establish entertainment policies and concepts for the resorts and its subsidiaries. Mirage operates four resort-casinos in Las Vegas and Laughlin, Nev., with three more projects scheduled for Las Vegas; Biloxi, Miss.; and Atlantic City, N.J.

In a statement, Wynn said he hoped Gallin would help to redefine the entertainment business in Las Vegas.

“With the expansion of gaming in so many new jurisdictions, as well as gaming right here in our hometown of Las Vegas, the major defining element of these resorts has become more critically important than ever before in history. That critical central element to all resort experiences is entertainment.

“We worked very hard to get Sandy Gallin to accept the responsibilities of his new position. We did that because all of us at Mirage Resorts realize that to a very large degree the future vitality of our hotels will be directly dependent on the strength, the ingenuity, the overall creativity of our entertainment presentations. Sandy’s arrival in Las Vegas signifies to us a renewed and strengthened dedication to entertainment at every level.”

Gallin said that primarily he hopes “to bring the greatest entertainment that is available anywhere in the world.”

He said he will try to develop new shows to complement Mirage’s live acts, Siegfried and Roy and Mystere from Cirque du Soleil at Mirage’s Treasure Island casino. “We’ll also tap into the film and theater communities and we may mount and produce theater pieces that stay in Las Vegas rather than Broadway.”

Although Morey said “it’s business as usual at Gallin-Morey,” Gallin’s new move curtails the partners’ 10-year relationship under their shingle.

“This is not a divorce,” said Morey. “We’ve been together for over 25 years, in which we’ve spoken everyday. It’s just a new beginning for both of us.”

Morey said that he has no plans to change the Gallin Morey Associates name, and that to date no clients have left the shingle due to Gallin’s departure.