President of Pinnacle Entertainment Group
George McAuliffe is the president of Pinnacle Entertainment Group, LLC. He began his career in location based entertainment in 1979 with Time-Out Family Amusement Centers, based in Fairfax, VA. Progressing through the ranks he served as regional manager from 1982 to 1986, and divisional sales manager from 1987 to 1989. In the latter position, Mr. McAuliffe was responsible for the operation of retail family amusement centers located primarily in shopping malls, and also handled the company’s real estate development and operations in Puerto Rico.
In 1989, he led the team which opened the first family entertainment center (FEC) in a U.S. shopping mall, a 70,000 square foot, diverse entertainment attraction. In 1990 Edison Brothers Stores, an publicly traded (NYSE) international retailer, acquired Time-Out. McAuliffe joined Edison as Director of Family Entertainment Centers. With the acquisition of other arcade chains and the Dave and Busters restaurant/entertainment concept, Edison Entertainment grew to become the third largest U.S. family entertainment chain with 130 stores located in shopping malls, casinos, specialty stores, and storefront venues in 38 states, Puerto Rico, and Mexico. The chain also included five family entertainment centers, averaging 50,000 square feet in size, and was in the forefront of location-based entertainment through its ownership of Dave and Busters. McAuliffe was promoted to Vice-President of Operations in 1991 and to chief executive officer of the entertainment division in 1994. Edison operated over 8,000 cranes, video and redemption games, along with other attractions including major rides, virtual reality, laser tag, and children’s entertainment centers. He was instrumental in the divestiture of the entertainment assets in 1996. Under McAuliffe’s leadership Edison was recognized as a leader in elevating the image and merchandising of family entertainment.
In 1996 Mr. McAuliffe founded Pinnacle Entertainment Group, Inc., a consulting firm, and Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc. an entertainment operating company. Pinnacle’s consulting clients range from the world renowned, such as the Walt Disney Company for the development of their DisneyQuest and ESPN Zone attractions to smaller companies such as Fun Enterprises, Inc. in the expansion of that company’s Stop-N-Play concept in Puerto Rico. Pinnacle sold its operating businesses to Coinstar, Inc. (NASDAQ OUTR) in 2005 and focused full time on consulting.
In 2007, Mr. McAuliffe merged Pinnacle Entertainment Group, Inc. into Redemption Plus, LLC. He helped establish the company’s “Customer Success” program and consulted on the establishment of over 125 family entertainment centers through March, 2016.
On April 1, 2016 he formed Pinnacle Entertainment Group, LLC as an independent company, continuing to serve the industry as a consultant to family entertainment centers.
Mr. McAuliffe is a founding director and past president of the International Association of Family Entertainment Centers (subsequently merged with the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions). He serves on the executive board of the FEC committee for the American Amusement Machine Association (AAMA). His speaking engagements have included IAAPA, AMOA, Bowl Expo, Fun EXPO, ATEI (London), the Gulf Leisure Expo (Middle East), and the Asia Pacific Attractions Conferences (Singapore and Australia). He is a featured columnist for Replay Magazine, the industry’s leading trade publication, International Bowling Industry Magazine, and has written for many other industry journals.