Executive Snapshot: Stephen Siegel, Founder, The Siegel Group Nevada

March 3, 2008

By Benjamin Spillman

Stephen Siegel shares a surname with one of the most notorious casino owners in the annals of Las Vegas history.

Unlike Bugsy Siegel, the paranoid developer of the Flamingo who was assassinated in Los Angeles in 1947, Stephen Siegel is taking a low-key approach on his way up the Las Vegas food chain.

Siegel, 37, founded the Siegel Group in Studio City, Calif., in 2001 and made his first deal in Las Vegas in 2004 on an apartment complex at Sierra Vista Drive and Swenson Street.

Since then he’s snapped up about a dozen dilapidated extended-stay apartment buildings, fixed them up and branded them as Siegel Suites. The upgraded suites still operate under a flexible-stay business model, meaning they rent by the week or month. They are cleaner, safer and have fewer tenant-related problems.

Siegel became a Nevada resident in July and recently made his first casino deal when he and business partner John Tippins paid $21 million for the Gold Spike downtown.

Do you have a favorite restaurant?
Lunch: Jerry’s Nugget has great food and is close to downtown. Dinner: N9ne Steakhouse (at the Palms). I love the atmosphere.

Has anyone influenced your business career?
There is not a single person, but people like (Wynn Resorts Ltd. Chairman Steve) Wynn, (developer Donald) Trump, (Wal-Mart founder) Sam Walton and (McDonald’s Corp. founder) Ray Kroc have all gone against the odds and won. They have succeeded at the top of their industry. I look up to guys like them.

What book has most influenced your career and why?
“Rich Dad, Poor Dad” (by Robert Kiyosaki) is a book I enjoyed. It teaches people how to understand investing and making money, which is not taught in school.

What do you collect?
Cigar paraphernalia, autographed sports memorabilia and commercial properties.

If money were no object, what would you buy you to reward yourself for making it in business?
I would buy an NBA team and move it to Las Vegas.

What’s your favorite vacation spot?
Costa Rica.

What’s your favorite show on the Strip?
I haven’t seen one in years. Any suggestions?

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would that be?
Las Vegas, there is no better place to do business.

Benjamin Spillman writes for the Business Press’ sister publication, the Las Vegas Review-Journal. He can be reached at 477-3861 or bspillman@reviewjournal.com.