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Mashantuckets name Jason Guyot president and CEO of Foxwoods

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Mashantucket — It wasn’t the gaming news many here were expecting Tuesday, but it was big nonetheless.

On the day the state and the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes were expected to go public with an agreement authorizing the tribes to provide sports wagering and online gaming, the Mashantuckets announced they were elevating Jason Guyot, a tribal member, to Foxwoods’ top post.

Nearly a year after being named interim chief executive officer, the 42-year-old Guyot was named Foxwoods’ president and chief executive officer.

Word of the gaming agreement would wait a day or so.

“What Jason has done over the past 12 months has been remarkable, taking the helm of Foxwoods at the onset of the pandemic, building safety guidelines from the ground up to ensure guests feel safe, and championing a new kind of culture for our team members," Rodney Butler, the Mashantucket chairman, said in a release issued at the end of the day. “This is a special milestone for Foxwoods as well as our tribal family. There is simply no one more qualified, passionate or worthy to advance our growth strategies and position Foxwoods for a brighter, successful future.”

“Jason Guyot is the right leader with the right vision to drive Foxwoods through its next phase of evolution, and we are equally proud that Jason is our first Pequot CEO," Butler said.

Guyot, who had held onto the title of senior vice president of resort operations after being named interim CEO last April, succeeded John James, who abruptly resigned after eight months in the job. Foxwoods was closed when James departed, having shut down weeks earlier due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

With Guyot at the helm, Foxwoods, forced to furlough thousands of workers, prepared to reopen, developing safety protocols and launching a partial reopening on June 1. It's been gradually expanding its offerings ever since, bringing back gaming space, hotel and restaurant capacity and its signature bingo and poker rooms while reinstating employees.

In his previous position as senior vice president of resort operations, Guyot was instrumental in accelerating Foxwoods' evolution from a gaming-centric facility to a destination resort, introducing such attractions as the HighFlyer Zipline, MONZA World-Class Indoor Karting, Guy Fieri's Kitchen + Bar and Sugar Factory.

"I am very honored to be appointed Foxwoods' president and CEO — a role that means everything to me," Guyot, who was not immediately available for an interview, said in the release. "I've been very fortunate to have been afforded the unique opportunity to begin and advance my career at Foxwoods ... As a tribal member, I'm equally grateful for the opportunity to contribute toward the future success of our tribal nation."

A lifelong Connecticut resident, Guyot, who lives in Stonington, began his career at Foxwoods in 2003, starting as an employment and diversity manager and working his way through senior roles in human resources, marketing, gaming and hotel operations. He oversaw the opening of The Fox Tower in 2008 before becoming senior vice president of resort operations.

Guyot has a bachelor's degree from Mitchell College, and attended the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University, where he completed the general manager's program. He's a member of the board of directors of Connecticut Special Olympics and Connecticut's Tourism Advisory Council.

b.hallenbeck@theday.com

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