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Allard Frank Roen

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ROEN, ALLARD FRANK Allard Frank Roen, age 87, of La Costa in Carlsbad, CA passed away on Thursday, August 28, 2008, succumbing to complications of heart disease. He was born May 8, 1921, in Cleveland, Ohio, and was a resident of La Costa for 41 years. Allard graduated Duke University in 1943 with a degree in business. He served as a lieutenant in the United States Navy from 1943 thru 1946; participating in the Gilbert Islands and Okinawa campaigns. Following his discharge in 1946, Allard worked in Palm Beach, Florida, as a hotel contractor and builder. He moved to Las Vegas, Nevada, in 1949, joining his partners Moe Dalitz and Wilbur Clark in the development, completion and then operation of the Desert Inn Hotel. Allard served as managing director and corporate secretary of the "D.I." overseeing the daily operation as well as celebrity and production show entertainment for eighteen years. When the Desert Inn partners acquired the Stardust Hotel, Allard became managing director of both resorts. He was credited with the design of the Starlight Theatre and Crystal showrooms, the procurement of the Lido de Paris show and development of themed restaurants such as the Auk Aku, Moby Dick and the Monte Carlo Room. Allard was a founding member and first president of the Nevada Resort Association, consulted on the development of the School of Hotel Administration at Southern Nevada University now known as UNLV and served on the board of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. Allard supervised the construction of both the Desert Inn and Stardust golf courses. He conceived and developed the Tournament of Champions PGA event hosted annually at the Desert Inn. Together with his partners, Moe Dalitz, Merv Adelson and Irwin Molasky, they developed numerous residential and commercial projects including Sunrise Hospital and the La Costa Resort and Spa. Following the sale of the Desert Inn in 1967, Allard moved his family to La Costa where he served as managing partner for twenty years. In 1969, Allard moved the Tournament of Champions to La Costa where it was annually played thru 1989. He served as tournament chairman for the event for 38 years and earned the distinction of the longest reigning tournament director with the PGA. Allard and his partners developed La Costa's world famous golf; tennis and spa facilities recognized as one of the great destination resorts in the country. Following the sale of La Costa in 1987, Allard continued to pursue private investments and constructed a vacation home in the south of France where he and his wife Evelyn spent many happy summers entertaining friends. Allard was a life-long athlete, from his early years as an Ohio All-Star in football and baseball through his years at Duke that were provided to him through a baseball scholarship. Graduation brought an offer to play in the minor leagues for the St.Louis Cardinals farm team. His first love though was the game of golf, that he enjoyed daily until his health declined. Allard always maintained a daily workout schedule and loved his routine at the La Costa Spa. He has spent every summer enjoying the Del Mar Turf Club both as a member and thoroughbred owner. Most notably, he was a quiet philanthropist preferring that most of his charitable contributions be given anonymously and without personal recognition. He maintained that the focus and attention should be placed on the recipients and not the donor. Allard will be remembered for his many accomplishments both personal and professional but most especially for the quality of his character, his unwavering loyalty, generosity and true passion for life and living. Allard was preceded in death by his parents Frank and Sophye, brother Howard and niece Frances. He is survived by his wife of 57 years Evelyn, four children Priscilla, Judy, Jeffrey and Melissa, nine grandchildren Chad, Timothy, Melissa, Kara, Lauren, Christopher, Elizabeth, Allard and Evelyn, four great-grandchildren, Brandon, Bryan, Ethan and Jaden. Services are scheduled for Wednesday, September 3rd, 12:00 Noon at El Camino Memorial Park in San Diego. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Make-a-Wish Foundation in Las Vegas, NV.
Published in The San Diego Union Tribune on Sept. 3, 2008
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