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Innerwest expands to Phoenix

John Seelmeyer

Expansion of Indian gaming in Arizona may be a challenge to southern Nevada casinos, but it’s also an opportunity for a northern Nevada company with gaming expertise.

Exhibit A: Innerwest Advertising and Public Relations of Reno.

The company said last week it will open an office in Phoenix, its first beachhead out of Reno in the agency’s two-decade history.

Dan Morgan, president of Innerwest, said the November decision by Arizona voters to allow up to 29 Indian casinos in the state was a key factor in his decision to expand.

Morgan figured his company’s extensive experience with the gaming industry would pay off in Arizona.

At the same time that Morgan was considering his options in Arizona, he heard from a longtime friend who had recently moved to the state from Reno Kevin Crotchfelt, a five-year veteran as marketing manager of Fitzgerald’s Casino/Hotel in Reno.

The availability of a veteran of the gaming marketing wars nailed Morgan’s decision.

“The two things came together,” Morgan said.

Crotchfelt will serve as vice president and general manager of the Phoenix office.

Along with gaming, two other areas of expertise at Innerwest real-estate development and golf courses also are big elements of the Phoenix-area economy, Morgan said.

While this is the company’s first office outside of Reno, Innerwest Advertising and PR has worked with clients in California,Washington, Colorado, as well as Nevada.

Its clients have included banking, real estate, gaming, retail and nonprofit organizations.

While Crotchfelt was at Fitzgerald’s, he managed all print, radio and inhouse advertising for promotions, table games and slots and managed marketing and business plans.

A native of Mississippi, Crotchfelt earned a degree in business from Drexel University in Philadelphia.