7/3/2014 12:05:00 PM Love of live entertainment is just one of his many 'Grand Casino stories'
by DENISE MARTIN
Wanted: Your Grand Casino story. When Stacy area resident Tony Olivolo saw the notice posted this spring at the casino seeking patron testimonials, he walked into the interview room and asked which of his stories they would like to hear. Apparently Olivolo has a host of stories, having frequently won playing machines at the casino, he has also won a motorcycle, a $9,000 drawing, a Bingo coverall for $1,199 and much more; although he doesn’t play cards at the casino because he prefers the free less formal Texas hold ‘em nights that area bars and veterans’ posts schedule. Olivolo swears (in his hybrid Boston-Minnesota accent) that he frequents the casino purely for the entertainment factor. He mentions he won a trophy for sinking the longest putt in a golf tournament on the casino course, but most of that story is about spending time with Viking football greats who played in the event.
Olivolo loves live entertainment of all types. He has been in the audience for hundreds of casino shows-- from Joan Rivers to Wayne Newton and everybody in between. “Honestly it’s not about the gambling,” he said, “I just like to be around the people and the experience.” Olivolo began collecting photos of himself with the casino entertainers around 2003. In the Grand Casino Story spot airing currently, you see him, talking about his favorite acts with a slew of photos in the background. These are only a fraction of what he has, he explains. To his disappointment the images of many entertainers are protected. The production company wasn’t authorized to use certain ones he framed.
Olivolo got $350 for making the T.V. spot which he said took hours to shoot, both at the Stacy car sales lot office and at the casino. So, why hang all those photos at the Stacy car sales office? It was the only place where he had enough empty wall space.