Phil Ruffin solves one headache, fights another and does lots of business in between

WICHITA — As always, Phil Ruffin has a lot on his plate, and some things are going better than others.

This week, a federal judge threw out an age discrimination lawsuit against Ruffin’s Treasure Island hotel and casino in Las Vegas.

“We wanted to put a first-class spa in,” Ruffin says of his wife’s namesake Oleksandra Spa & Salon. “Oleksandra was very familiar with that business and wanted a bunch of new things put in.”

That included hiring people with the necessary skill sets, he says.

“The ones who didn’t have the skills sued us,” Ruffin says.

He describes it as a typical headache.

“You get those things all the time. You try not to, but you can’t help it sometimes.”

He’s also added a second Starbucks on his property along with the Margarita Bar, both of which are near Treasure Island’s pirate show on the strip.

“Nine thousand people a night look at that,” Ruffin says. He wants to accommodate each of them with a drink.

Ruffin also is working with Cirque Du Soleil to revamp “Mystere,” one of the most popular Vegas shows, which also is at Treasure Island.

The new show debuts Feb. 12.

“It should be an even better show,” Ruffin says.

Back in Wichita, Ruffin is once again working on getting slots at his closed Wichita Greyhound Park.

“We keep trying,” he says.

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Country-western bar coming to former Davis Furniture building in Delano

WICHITA — Ever since his father bought the former Davis Furniture building in Delano in 2007, Chris Ruffin knew there would have to be extensive renovation.

“I needed to gut it and make it leasable at least,” says Ruffin, who is director of real estate for his father Phil Ruffin’s Ruffin Properties.

The younger Ruffin had another idea, though, for a country-western bar.

“I’ve been trying to sell this one idea for a while,” he says.

His father was in Wichita Tuesday.

“He saw it and was like, ‘Let’s do it,’ ” Chris Ruffin says.

There’s no name for the bar, nor is it finalized who will own and run it.

“This is all real, real new,” Chris Ruffin says.

The 15,000-square-foot West Douglas space will feature western-themed things like a mechanical bull and saddles for bar stools.

“It’s going to be a live music venue for touring country bands as well,” Ruffin says.

“It’s going to be a country-western bar much in the vein of our Gilley’s,” he says of the bar that’s in his father’s Treasure Island in Las Vegas.

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