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RSCVA board accepts CEO’s resignation


The Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority board accepted the resignation Thursday of chief executive officer Phil DeLone, who cited health reasons as the culprit for stepping down.

DeLone, 61, didn’t specifically state his diagnosis in the resignation letter he wrote this month to Chairman Bob Lucey, but described it as a “serious medical condition” he learned about in December.

Phil DeLone
Philip DeLone

“Considering the progression of this medical issue, I think I should resign my position as president and CEO of the RSCVA to allow me to focus completely on the pathway to regaining my health,” DeLone’s Feb. 13 letter stated.

DeLone’s contract requires him to give the board six months notice prior to stepping down. The board agreed to give him three months of medical leave, plus two months of severance.

During next month’s meeting RSCVA board members are scheduled to either name an interim CEO and executive director or to hire a permanent one.

“A search firm may be called on at the March board meeting if a permanent replacement can’t be found in a timely manner,” RSCVA spokesman Ben McDonald said. “Discussion included using a search firm or other third party to further vet any qualified candidates.” 

DeLone was hired through a national search in November 2016 and began his tenure with the RSCVA in early 2017. He started then with a $250,000 annual salary and $750 vehicle allowance. He since received positive annual reviews and got cost-of-living raises, along with netting six-figure bonuses for meeting agency goals.

Prior to joining the RSCVA, DeLone had been CEO of the Tuscon, Ariz.-based Safari Club since 2012 and spent the previous 16 years as executive director of sales at the Silver Legacy Resort Casino. His first stint in Reno was from 1987 to 1991 at Bally’s Casino Resort, which is now the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino. He’s also held posts in Las Vegas, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

DeLone’s resignation from the RSCVA comes shortly after allegations of his misconduct surfaced, although the nature of those allegations wasn’t made clear.

Carla O'Day
Carla O'Day
Carla has an undergraduate degree in journalism and more than 10 years experience as a daily newspaper reporter. She grew up in Jacksonville, Fla., moved to the Reno area in 2002 and wrote for the Reno Gazette-Journal for 8 years, covering a variety of topics. Prior to that, she covered local government in Fort Pierce, Fla.