An interview with Caesar Dinucci – Eye on Las Vegas

An Eye-on-Las-Vegas interview with Caesar Dinucci
Today, Eye on Las Vegas is in the office of Caesar Mathius Dinucci, thirty-six year old founder and developer of downtown’s Creative Village, and manager of Sports-World Casino. He is noted also for his philanthropical work with Habitat for Humanity, Children’s Hospital, and UNLV. He is the recipient of a number of awards including Businessman-of-the-Year, winner in the sixth yearly Las Vegas Innovation Awards competition, and a number of others, too many to count, including a decree from the Roman Catholic Church. Everyone, it seems, wants suddenly to know what he is doing. (Archived from 2003)

LVE: Good afternoon Mr. Dinucci. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy day for this chat.
Caesar Dinucci: You are very welcome. You said you wanted to learn about what I am doing. Shoot.

LVE: What are you REALLY doing?
Caesar Dinucci: What am I really doing? At the core? My answer is — and this is what I’ve learned — you’re basically getting people to trust you. Trust is the lubrication that makes it possible for organizations to work. It is mutual trust, even more than mutual interest, that holds people together.

LVE: You have come into a lot of money very suddenly. Some say you have done better than winning the lotto. Are you any happier?
Caesar Dinucci: Money doesn’t make people happy. People make people happy.

LVE: We couldn’t help but notice the size and scope of your wonderful office. You have a lot of eye-candy here. It’s very impressive.
Caesar Dinucci: Is there a question in there somewhere? This office is smaller than the last one I had. If my guests find my office comfortable and interesting, then it is serving a purpose. I’m not trying to impress people. I want to be close to them.

LVE: What advice would you give to others who may want to walk in your footsteps?
Caesar Dinucci: Keep it simple. Tell the truth. People can smell the truth.

LVE: Don’t you think that’s a bit glib? Do you have any common sense advice?
Caesar Dinucci: I’ll trade glib for so-called “common sense advice” any day.

LVE: Very well, do you have anything that is perhaps more poetic?
Caesar Dinucci: Getting things straight in your head is a major achievement because there’s so much clutter out there. You’ve got to push aside the static to really hear the music. The world inundates you with a ton of useless nonsense. To be a success you need to learn to tune all of that out. from birth we are programmed to believe in certain things, via television, the media, the education system, and society in general. A successful person needs to be able to un-learn almost everything they THINK they know…if they want to have the ability to look at things in new ways.

LVE: Thank you. Where do you get your ideas? Do you have some sort of secret?
Caesar Dinucci: The ideas . . . that’s a private thing. You muddle around. You drift off and your mouth hangs half open. Sometimes you stare at the wall like you’re in a trance. That’s when the good stuff happens.

LVE: You have only touched on your father, and your relationship with him, publicly. Is there anything you would like to say?
Caesar Dinucci: I wouldn’t be sitting on this couch if my dad hadn’t died. There never would have been a Creative Village, or probably a renovated downtown for that matter, at least not in it’s present form…it shows you how a single contingent event changes the course of someone’s life — and many other lives. I remember sitting in the waiting room when the doctor walked in. I said to myself, The worst possible thing just happened. What will you do? I don’t know how, I am sure that God was protecting me emotionally, but I stepped outside myself. I had to call one of my father’s friends to tell him. When I did, he let out a wail. I remember listening to this wail. The pain in this wail could never be dramatized or duplicated. I didn’t cry. I was too busy being horrified, but at the same time fascinated, by the extraordinary effect that that kind of misery has on people. It was an epiphany. The state of Nevada has publicized the fact that for every casino job created, there are many others created. When you consider the families of all the people who came to work at the various casinos where I have created jobs, Creative Village, and here at Sports World, then multiply that number by all of the resulting add-ons, my father’s death might have touched the lives of over 50,000 people.

LVE: What about your alleged mob connections? It’s a well-known fact that your father and other family members…
Caesar Dinucci: Let me stop you right there. I was wondering when you would drop that little question into this interview. Yes, I’m Italian. Yes, my family has been here since the forties…but this interview is supposed to be about me and my projects, not those of my deceased father and others in my family. If this interview isn’t going to be about my efforts, there’s no point in having it. I’m just sayin’.

LVE: Apologies. Just, given the rumors, how do you posture yourself when conducting business?
Caesar Dinucci: Posturing is counterproductive. It’s almost the same as lying. Posturing only works if things are really screwed up.

LVE: How threatened do you feel about all of the changes in Las vegas lately?
Caesar Dinucci: Change is not threatening.

LVE: How do you resonate with the human aspiration?
Caesar Dinucci: How do you resonate with the human aspiration? And just what the hell does that mean? I’m not sure what you were looking for with that question. It seems an odd thing to ask. I’m not even sure how a human being could resonate anyway, but if I could resonate with the human aspiration, I suppose I’d be plugged in to the big juice.

LVE: Well, you said at the ground breaking ceremony that you hoped your Creative Village project would resonate with the human aspiration…
Caesar Dinucci: Oh that! Well, a downtown development project is a lot different from a human being, you know. It’s a dead structure that we all hope will reflect life. The comment was from a study I made once. I do a lot of esoteric studying in my off time. I was referring to all of the glasswork and fountains that were planned for the project’s various buildings. There are two primordial forces of life — sunlight and water, and mankind is the pinnacle of life…So I thought: I’m going to look to sunlight and water to create a system that resonates with the human aspiration.

LVE: You seem very comfortable on your couch there. Is that where you do most of your work?
Caesar Dinucci: I’m not a couch person, but I always take this seat so I can look across the room at that painting. It’s by a local artist. Look at it — it’s sublime. There were five people in my office when I hit it. I was standing in front of the painting, giving a history, and I backed up. I didn’t realize I was so close to the wall, and I turned around and caught the painting with my elbow. It’s got a thin canvas, and it went pop, like shrink-wrap. I hit it in the middle of the white just beneath her left elbow. You can see exactly where I hit it in that eight-by-ten photo over there. I had the painting up for sale, but that was nixxed the moment I damaged it, and I was so angry with myself. Look at the painting now. Nothing. They put each fiber together, one at a time, using a microscope over an eleven-week period, until there was no more tear. The people who did the repair are artists themselves, they repair a lot of expensive artwork, and they are the ones who put me in touch with my present financial backers. I almost made the biggest mistake of my life selling that painting, but I got lucky and poked a hole in it.

LVE: Mr. Dinucci, thank you for your time, and for these exclusive insights into you and your work.
Caesar Dinucci: The pleasure has been all mine. Be well. – See more at: