1964 - 2020
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GEORGE SCOTT MENKE (1964-2020) George Scott Menke, visionary developer, veteran gaming executive, philanthropist, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Paragon Gaming, passed away suddenly October 12 at his Las Vegas home. He was 55 years old. Born December 18, 1964 in Glendale, Arizona, Mr. Menke graduated from Glendale High School before attending the University of Nevada, Las Vegas; pledging Kappa Sigma fraternity and beginning his hospitality career as an intern at his uncle William Bennett's Circus Circus Las Vegas hotel and casino. The experience ignited his passion for the industry, and, notably, his learned approach to guest satisfaction and the hospitality experience. Upon graduating from UNLV'S acclaimed hotel college (now the William F. Harrah College of Hospitality) in 1987, Mr. Menke earned his first management role at the newly-opened Colorado Belle resort in Laughlin, Nevada; and served in a similar capacity at the neighboring Edgewater Laughlin. Through the tutelage of Mr. Bennett, Mr. Menke continued his rise in the industry as an executive team member of Circus Circus Enterprises, oversaw development of both the Excalibur and Luxor properties and the eventual structured acquisition of Las Vegas' famed Sahara Hotel and casino with Mr. Bennett's Gordon Gaming Corporation. This tenure alongside Mr. Bennett strengthened his relationship with his cousin and future business partner, Diana Bennett. In 2000, Mr. Menke and Ms. Bennett teamed to launch Paragon Gaming, a developer and operator of world-class gaming destinations. Drawing on the lessons learned working under Mr. Bennett, Mr. Menke sought to bring "an owner's mentality" to his role as a manager. With their combined experience, Mr. Menke and Ms. Bennett successfully guided Paragon's early efforts to acquire and revitalize distressed hotel and casino properties in California, Nevada, and Canada. In 2006, the company achieved its largest success at that time with the development and opening the $180 million River Cree Resort and Casino in Edmonton, Alberta. Paragon's reputation for successful turnarounds of distressed properties led to further acquisitions and operating agreements with Las Vegas' Riviera Hotel and Casino, Westgate, and OYO Casino and Hotel, as well as the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Lake Tahoe, and the Edgewater Casino in Vancouver, British Columbia. Paragon's accomplishment in Canada inspired Mr. Menke to conceive Parq Vancouver, an international entertainment destination located in the heart of downtown Vancouver's entertainment district. Built to meet LEED Gold Standards and anchored by Canada's first JW Marriott hotel and a first-to-market Autograph Collection Hotel, the DOUGLAS, Parq Vancouver opened to acclaim in September 2017. Mr. Menke dedicated much of his life to philanthropy, serving as a member of the nonprofit UNLV Foundation and supporting the Nevada Children's Heart Association and Boys Town Nevada. In 2016, Boys Town Nevada honored Mr. Menke with the HOPE Award in recognition of his service, commitment, and dedication to making a difference in the lives of children, youth, and families. Mr. Menke is survived by his father, George; mother Linda and her husband Ted Christy; his siblings Kimberly Menke, Jennifer and her husband, Gabriel Castle, Brittany Menke, and Jordan Menke; and his nieces and nephews Jack, Tatum, Chase, and Gabriel. He will be forever remembered by his cousin, Diana, her children and their extended families; Marlee, Charles, Jacob, and Taylor; Todd, Tami, Harley, Hannah, and Hunter; and Cameron, Meagan, and Bennett; as well as his godchildren Soleil and Michael. Mr. Menke leaves behind his beloved dog, Gracie. He will be missed and was loved by countless others. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation on behalf of George Scott Menke to the Nevada chapter of the Children's Heart Foundation at

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Published in Las Vegas Review-Journal on Oct. 16, 2020.
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10 entries
October 20, 2020
It was always nice to see Scott at my brother’s house and out and about. You will be missed. Your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.
LuLu Black
October 17, 2020
Our sincere condolences to the Menke and Bennett families. Peace be with you.
Jim and Sonya Muir
James Muir
October 17, 2020
Our deepest condolences
Rod and Pat Plett
October 17, 2020
May the love of friends and family carry you through your grief.
October 16, 2020
My deepest condolences go out to the family. Scott was a childhood friend and High School friend. Many fun memories with Scott, will stay with me forever. He was such a kind, loving friend. He will be forever missed!! Rest In Peace Scott. We Love ❤ You.
Terri (Koerner) Geiger
October 16, 2020
Rest In Peace Scott. You were a joy to work with. You opened the door for me to work in Las Vegas. Opening the Luxor was a challenge.
Sonja Beaton Wiker
October 16, 2020
Scott was my amazing friend for so many years; grew to be a serious businessman and a community philanthropist. I knew him and adored him for his kindness and fun spirit. He will be remembered fondly and always with the painful note that he is now gone way too soon.
Valerie Moon
October 16, 2020
Scott...sad that you are gone. You were a one of a kind boss who really was a good guy. I still remember your laughs (chuckles) and the roll of the eyes when things were crazy. You were always looking out for people and showed it everyday. Working together was your motto, knowing and projecting that it takes all of us to accomplish the goal at hand, was one of your best qualities (among many). Rest in peace SCOTT! Thanks for being a good guy!
Todd Noel
October 16, 2020
Scott, my friend, you're 1 of a kind ! So many fun, happy, amazing memories with you, I would never be able to write them all. You were like a brother to me and it broke me hear of this news. My prayers are with the family. Please give them strength to get thru this. You have always and will always have a special place in my heart my dear friend. Love you !
Shelly McClurg Galindo
October 15, 2020
Menke family & the Bennet family.

May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow. We are so sorry to hear the sad news of Scott’s passing. He will be missed.

Sharon Smith, Linda Heptner & Deven Abercrombie
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