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Long-time owner of Bully’s Sports Bar & Grill set to sell company (sponsored)

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Jo Lown, president and CEO of Bully’s Sports Bar & Grill, a popular northern Nevada staple for food, beverage and sporting events on the big screen, is selling the company. Lown is stepping down after 25 years as owner and operator to spend more time with her family and is selling Bully’s to Ron Winchell, owner of Las Vegas-based ECL Gaming. 

Lown will continue to remain at the helm until the Nevada Gaming Control Board approves the relicensing of Bully’s gaming licenses to Winchell.

Bully’s will be Winchell’s and ECL Gaming’s first entry into northern Nevada. ECL Gaming operates 35 tavern locations in southern Nevada, including the Winchell’s Pub & Grill chain, Jackpot Joanies, Lucky 7’s, along with six casinos in Kentucky and New Hampshire including Kentucky Downs racetrack in Franklin, Kentucky, Cumberland Run racetrack in Corbin Kentucky, among other operations. Winchell’s father, Verne, founded the Winchell’s Donut franchise.

“This was not a decision I came to lightly. I’ve decided now is the right time for me to transition away from my day-to-day role to spend more time with my family and help position Bully’s, and my Bully’s family for the next best chapter,” said Lown. “Ron has the vision, energy and expertise to build on our (Bully’s) success and culture, expand the company, create opportunities for the team and continue to provide an excellent experience for our customers.” 

Lown continued, “We have tremendous employees who have been with us from one year to 25 years. Our team and our customers make Bully’s what it is and people and culture are a priority for Ron and ECL Gaming.”

“Jo and her team have created something great,” said Winchell. “Culture is key to what we do. We’re looking to add to the employee base and enhance the employee and customer experience by maintaining the Bully’s brand and refreshing the locations. It’s an exciting time to be a part of the gaming/entertainment industry in Reno, Sparks and Carson City.”

Bully’s employs 300 people across 11 locations throughout Reno, Sparks and Carson City, including four Smokin’ locations in Reno, Sparks and Spanish Springs for patrons who enjoy smoking indoors. 

About Bully’s Sports Bar & Grill 
Since 1994, Bully’s Sports Bar & Grill has been serving northern Nevada at its full-service sit-down restaurants and sports bars. Bully’s employs 300 people across 11 locations throughout Reno, Sparks and Carson City. Bully’s prides itself in serving fresh, delicious food in a family-friendly setting. For more information, visit www.bullyssportsbar.com.

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