|NFR CEO, Anthony Bergamo, is uniquely qualified to conceive,
develop and operate a large-scale casino-entertainment-hospitality complex that would undoubtedly give the Senecas a run for their money.
When Gov. Andrew Cuomo launched his salvo at the Seneca Nation with his announcement that the state might sanction a non-Indian casino in Niagara Falls, the speculation immediately ran rampant both by the media and many others that the golden road to the success of the plan might lead to the doors of Niagara Falls Redevelopment (NFR).
And for good reason: NFR owns or controls more than 100 acres of downtown land adjacent to the Seneca Niagara Casino and at the gateway to the city. In addition to the land, there is the qualifications of NFR's Chief Executive Officer, Anthony Bergamo, to actually conceive and develop such a project.
For instance, in 1978, Bergamo was the Chief Operating Officer for Greyhound Exposition Services and Greyhound Exhibit Group, perhaps the premier trade show company in the world. Headquartered in Las Vegas, Greyhound has more than 3,000 employees.
Bergamo is also a lawyer. His legal background includes overseeing numerous union negotiations which made him a frequent flyer to Las Vegas to settle contracts, and, at one time, working with former FBI Director Judge Louis Freeh as a trustee for a major union case that Bergamo, himself, settled.
The Federal Law Enforcement Foundation Board, founded and chaired by Bergamo is another interesting tie in, curiously enough. The foundation Bergamo started, which gives grants to injured officers and the families of fallen officers, has, ironically, among its long term board members, one of the most influential people in the casino industry. He is Paul Steelman, the world class architect with offices in Las Vegas, Macau and Vietnam. Steelman designed a major destination plan on the NFR-held property in Niagara Falls and obviously a casino entertainment complex could fit in precisely with the plan.
Bergamo is also the Managing Director of the Milstein Hotel Group. Among his duties was that he managed the Milford Plaza in Times Square where he led turnaround efforts until the property was sold in 2003. Bergamo also chaired the Audit Committee for Lone Star Steakhouse as a member of the Board of Directors where he was headquartered at the 300-restaurant chain's New York City flagship restaurant Del Frisco's.
With these kind of credentials and the land to boot, if there is to be a new casino in Niagara Falls, it seems not improbable that the front runner will be NFR and its CEO Anthony Bergamo.