Tag Archives: business news

Lots of Las Vegas Casinos for Sale

If so, maybe now’s your time– IF you have the scratch!  

With Las Vegas continuing to face a stiff economic recession – primarily based on a sharply declining gambling economy where fewer players are wagering less money and staggering, near nation-leading unemployment – it’s significantly reduced a majority of Las Vegas-based company revenues and their ability to refinance their debt.   

Caught up in the financial maelstrom are Station Casinos owners, and brothers, Frank Fertitta III and Lorenzo Fertitta.  Station, which mainly runs casinos targeted toward residents of the Las Vegas area and has been struggling with managing debt ever since it finished going private in November 2007,  are now embarked on a quick mission to sell their 14 casinos in Las Vegas while keeping a minority 46 percent stake in four others. 

Their plan was disclosed last Thursday in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing by the Las Vegas-based casino operator calls for mortgage lenders holding debt to become the new majority owners of the Red Rock Casino Resort Spa, Palace Station, Boulder Station and Sunset Station. Station Casinos Inc. said the outstanding debt secured by the four casinos was $1.8 billion. 

Palace Station and Red Rock are the company’s two largest properties, with more than 1,800 hotel rooms combined. 

Station said the reorganization plan was filed with a federal bankruptcy court in Reno, Nev., where the privately held company’s case was originally filed last July. 

Under the new proposed plan, the Fertitta brothers will pay $85.6 million in cash for a 50 percent stake in the four casinos, and then sell a 4 percent share to Colony Capital LLC. 

The Fertittas would continue to manage the properties under a long-term deal, according to the plan. 

The casinos to be sold include Santa Fe Station, Texas Station, Fiesta casinos in two Las Vegas suburbs, and 50 percent stakes in Green Valley Ranch Resort Spa Casino and Aliante Station, among other properties. Seven of the properties do not have hotel rooms. 

The company said it hopes a judge will approve its plan by this summer so the casino operator can emerge from bankruptcy before the end of the year. 

Marc Falcone, chief financial officer for Fertitta Gaming, said the Fertittas would also try to buy the assets to be sold. 

As would be expected, rivals backed with significant financial resources are entering the Las Vegas casino feeding frenzy, aggressively pursuing the acquisition of the diminished valued assets.

One such rival, Las Vegas-based Boyd Gaming Corporation, reiterated its interest in buying all of Station’s casinos.

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Harrah’s Entertainment Plans to Buy Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas

Harrah’s Entertainment Inc. has filed an application to purchase the struggling Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, the Nevada Gaming Control Board said Monday. 

The casino giant has formed a new subsidiary, PHW Las Vegas LLC, with the intent of taking over the Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas. PHW filed the application to casino regulators last week, a person at the Control Board said. 

The Las Vegas Planet Hollywood is a separate entity from the restaurant chain, which has locations around the world. 

Harrah’s began pursuing Planet Hollywood in September when it purchased a $140 million piece of Planet Hollywood’s $870 million debt for an undisclosed amount from Goldman Sachs Group. 

A person close to the situation said that it appears the slice of debt Harrah’s purchased could give the casino giant enough influence over the other lenders to control the property. 

Harrah’s controls six contiguous Las Vegas casinos just north of Planet Hollywood. Those properties are across the street from City Center, the $8.5 billion MGM Mirage resort has been opening all this week in Las Vegas. 

In an email to employees last week, Harrah’s Chief Executive Gary Loveman reportedly said the location made the distressed Planet Hollywood an attractive acquisition. 

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. currently manages the project’s hotel and also has a minority stake in Planet Hollywood. 

Restaurateur Robert Earl, who developed the movie-themed Planet Hollywood restaurant chain, and investment manager Bay Harbour Management acquired the Las Vegas property in 2007.

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Hey, Steve Wynn, can you spare a dime?

As most everyone, casino mogul Steve Wynn has gone through some cash woes this year, what with his impending divorce and bad stock performance.  But things are apparently looking up for Stevie… 

Last week Wynn Resorts, Ltd. announced it will pay its shareholders a $4-per-share dividend on Dec. 3, which will earn Steve Wynn, the casino operator’s founder and largest shareholder, a payment of at least $88.6 million- that’s M-I-L-L-I-O-N. 

Yep, the company’s board of directors authorized the special one-time $4 payment for shareholders of record as of Nov. 19.

According to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Wynn, the chairman and chief executive officer, holds more than 22.15 million of the company’s 123.11 million outstanding shares. 

The company, which operates Wynn Las Vegas, Encore, Wynn Macau, is building the $650 million Encore at Wynn Macau, and announced it was starting a regular cash dividend program next year.  It expects to pay 20 cents per share dividend in the first quarter. 

The one-time $4 payment will reportedly cost Wynn Resorts more than $492 million. 

The rich get richer.

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Study Says Business Travel to Las Vegas Stimulates the Economy

At a time when companies are scaling back travel and attended costs, a new study shows it pays to invest in travel. It’s not only a win for those businesses, but a win for Las Vegas, which banks on those travel dollars. 

Las Vegas is not only the entertainment capital of the world, but it has long been the top destination for conventions, meetings, and trade shows which brings in an estimated $8 billion annually. That is until now. 

“When economy took a dip and there was some bashing of meetings by some federal officials, it really hurt Las Vegas,” said Cathy Tull with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Association. 

Las Vegas saw a 26-percent drop in convention travelers this year compared to last. But there’s hope things will soon turn around, thanks to a new study. 

Adam Sacks of Oxford Economics, a global research firm, has established a clear link between business travel and business growth. “For every dollar a company spends on business travel, incrementally that drives $12.50 in revenue and almost $4 in profits,” he said. 

The study simply states that business travel will stimulate the American economy. The study also points out that for the average U.S. business that does not travel in the first year sees a 17-percent drop in profits. 

And that’s not a chance business owners like Mike Weeks gamble on. “When you specialize like I do in personal injury attorneys and you are looking for the premiere firms, you have to go where they go,” he said. Weeks owns an advertising company and is in Las Vegas for a four-day convention to network and stimulate business– which is what the LVCVA says corporations should keep doing in this economy.

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Nevada Tells California: “Kiss Your Assets Goodbye”

The Nevada Development Authority is on their annual search and destroy hunt, or so it seems, to lure recession-strapped California businesses to Nevada, away from having to settle for IOUs from the government as paycheck substitutes. 

Nevada is now waging a vicious $300,000 advertising blitz, themed “Kiss Your Assets Goodbye,” complete with flying pigs and chimps, that pits Nevada’s lack of personal and corporate income tax and its lower workers’ compensation insurance rates against California’s hearty tax structure and extensive regulatory regime. 

On top of the chimp spots, there’s a print ad claiming California will be more pro-business when pigs fly, as well as a radio spot with an actor portraying a businessman getting the shaft, as the announcer says:  “We’re all learning to bend over and kiss our assets goodbye.” 

Not relying on ads alone to shill new business, there’s also a public relations campaign deploying social-networking Web sites, including Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In- and even an original pop song that will air on YouTube.com later this week. 

Some, though, are going fighting bonkers over the stomach-churning campaign, refusing to run the ads. KABC, the ABC affiliate in Los Angeles, California has refused to air the ads, saying they don’t want to encourage businesses to leave California. 

The campaign will run for 90 days, after which the authority will develop and launch a new campaign.  They have $700,000 more in the Nevada budget to spend on advertising in the next 10 months.

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Camelot Selects Las Vegas for New Film Studio Complex

Camelot Entertainment Group, Inc. has selected Las Vegas as the site for its next studio project. Negotiations for the acquisition of the proposed studio site are underway. Further details are expected to be released during this quarter. 

“Las Vegas is the entertainment capital of the world,” Camelot Chairman Robert Atwell stated. “It already is one of the top states in film and television production activity. We feel it is the perfect place to build a modern, state of the art, major studio complex.” 

Camelot Entertainment Group, Inc. has three major divisions: Camelot Film Group, Camelot Studio Group and Camelot Production Services Group.

Camelot is building a different kind of motion picture studio infrastructure by redefining the development, financing, production, and distribution process.

For information about Camelot Entertainment Group, Inc., please visit www.camelotfilms.com

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Starbucks to ‘Barbucks’?

Today, some Starbuck lattes will take on a whole new distinctive flavor offering- – brewskies and wine.  

Adding to the intrigue, their distinctive logo is also being dropped- and even their name. 

Three Seattle Starbuck stores are closing today and being rebranded as “15th Avenue Coffee & Tea,” in an effort to give their profits a boost in a tepid economy, according to Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz. 

The haute coffee general is attempting to use these pilot stores as a means to craft methods to get closer to their dwindling customer base.  More than just offering liquor options, they are also expanding their service mix to include art events and poetry reading.  Anything goes to bring in the business.

It’s anticipated that if this pilot test is successful, Starbucks around the U.S. will soon take on a whole new look and feel.

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