Tag Archives: bankruptcy

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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It’s not easy being Mr. Las Vegas

Entertainer Wayne Newton’s money woes and legal skirmishes are continuing at warp speed. 

Newton has had a long history of financial problems.  Newton famously declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy after becoming mired in roughly $20 million in debt about 18 years ago and the IRS said in 2005 that Newton owed $1.8 million in back taxes and penalties. 

Then, earlier this month it was learned that Newton abandoned his plane at the Oakland County International Airport three years ago and now owes more than $60,000 in storage fees and now faces lawsuits. 

Also this month, a civil lawsuit was filed in Clark County District Court by Bruton Smith, chairman and founder of Speedway Motorsports Inc. Smith is seeking to seize Newton’s home for repayment of a $3.35 million loan. 

Smith alleges Newton and his wife intentionally defrauded him and misrepresented their ability to repay the loan. 

A lawsuit was also filed last summer for nonpayment of $32,000 worth of hay for his horses. 

To top that off (if that’s possible), yesterday a large posse of Clark County sheriff’s process servers and moving vans showed up in the morning at Newton’s 38-acre ranch at Pecos and Sunset roads in Las Vegas, trying to serve the entertainer with judgment documents and take his property pertaining to a civil lawsuit brought by his former pilot, Monty Ward.  

Clark County District Judge Michelle Leavitt in September ordered Newton to pay Ward about $455,000 in back wages with interest accruing at the rate of roughly $129 per day. Court records show Newton paid less than $4,000 to Ward as of September. 

A similar action by Ward is simultaneously being pursued in U.S. District Court. 

Ward filed a federal breach-of-contract lawsuit in 2006 against Newton and a Nevada company called Desert Eagle. 

According to the lawsuit, the defendants asked Ward around February 2003 to work as their private pilot for the next decade. He was to start at a minimum annual salary of $92,000, plus medical and dental benefits, according to the complaint. 

“In reliance on assurances of continued employment and payment from defendants for a minimum of 10 years, Ward left his employment of 16 years as a captain and pilot with Horizon Airlines and became defendants’ private pilot,” the lawsuit alleges. 

Then, around August 2005, according to the document, Newton and Desert Eagle decided to discontinue using their private aircraft. The lawsuit claims Ward sent the defendants invoices for his services and benefits for periods after they decided to discontinue using their private aircraft, but despite repeated demands, they refused to pay him. 

In January 2009, then-U.S. District Judge Brian Sandoval ruled that Newton and Desert Eagle had breached a settlement agreement they had reached with Ward, and Sandoval entered a judgment of about $455,000 against the defendants.

Late last month, a writ of execution was issued in the case by the U.S. District Court clerk. The writ directed the U.S. Marshals Service to enforce the judgment, which, with interest, has grown to more than $500,000. 

This Tuesday, Ward filed a notice of his intention to take Newton’s deposition on March 4 in Las Vegas.

Yesterday, deputies left Newton’s compound without being able to properly serve him  The documents were returned to District Court marked “unexecuted,” and no further service will be attempted pending civil court actions, police said. 

The Wayne Newton saga is hardly over.   If anything, it will be rapidly ramping up in the next few months.  Please stay tuned to Las Vegas Backstage Access for developments.

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Station Casinos in Nevada Files for Bankruptcy; Boyd Gaming in Pursuit

Station Casinos in Nevada filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after reaching an impasse in months-long negotiations with creditors on a plan to restructure the gaming company’s $6.5 billion debt. 

The bankruptcy case, which includes parent company Station Casinos Inc. and 17 of its noncasino affiliates, was filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Reno, Nevada.  The noncasino subsidiaries control the company’s landholdings in Reno and other nongaming assets. 

The company’s 18 casino properties and their affiliates were not included in the filing, and company executives stress that those properties will continue to operate like they do today.

 As this is going on, Boyd Gaming Corp. remains “actively engaged” in discussions to acquire some of the assets of Stations Casinos. 

Boyd in February offered to acquire several of Station Casinos’ properties for $950 million, but Station Casinos summarily rejected the offer, though it was a major focus of their earnings call.

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Elvis Investors All Shook Up in Las Vegas

The Elvis-themed resort planned for the Las Vegas Strip may not become a reality.  A group of investors who had planned to build the resort on the 18 acres across from CityCenter could be forced to sell their property because of a default on a $475 million mortgage loan. 

New York-based FX Real Estate and Entertainment said its lenders informed the company on April 9 of the bank’s intention to sell the land “to satisfy the principal amount…owed to them under the mortgage loan and secured by the property.” 

FX said it would not be able to resolve the default issue by the May 18 deadline and “is considering all legal options, including bankruptcy proceedings” to prevent the sale of the property.

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Las Vegas Buying Spree Led to General Growth Properties $27.3 Billion Downfall

Long predicted and now a reality, General Growth Properties has finally collapsed under nearly $27.3 billion in debt, much of it attributed to a Las Vegas property buying spree. 

In Las Vegas, General Growth and its subsidiaries own three malls on the Las Vegas Strip; retail, residential and office real estate in Summerlin; and two regional malls for locals- Meadows and Boulevard malls.  Strip properties are the Fashion Show mall, Grand Canal Shoppes, and the Shoppes at the Palazzo.  Their Summerlin holdings include The Hughes Corporation, which owns the stalled-in-construction Summerlin Centre retail, office and residential development.

The Chicago-based real estate investment trust on Thursday filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in New York federal court, leaving judges, lawyers and creditors haggle over holdings in about 200 complex properties in 22 states, including pending cases for 360 separate entities, including at least 16 with Las Vegas connections. 

The malls will continue to operate during bankruptcy proceedings, which experts say could drag on for years.

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Fifteen Bankrupt Casinos

Operating 15 casinos in Nevada, Iowa and Missouri and a 600-location, 6,800-machine Nevada slot route, and herbstcontinuing to be hammered by a sour economy, Herbst Gaming has filed a prepackaged Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization plan that will result in the company losing ownership of its casinos but retaining control of its Nevada slot machine route.  

The current management team is planned to remain in place and employees will receive pay and benefits, and suppliers will be paid regularly vows Herbst Gaming CEO Troy Herbst, who owns the gaming company with his brothers.

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Las Vegas Topless Strip Clubs Rain Cash-For-Customers

As former topless cabaret mogul and government informant Michael Galardi walks the Las Vegas Strip schmoozing and looking for a new gig, a high-stakes strip poker match of a different type is agressively being played out at many Las Vegas topless adult entertainment clubs. 

Long a “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” accepted business practice, Las Vegas strip clubs handsomely tipped cabbies that delivered lusty patrons to their doorstep.  Fifty bucks was the norm for over a decade.strip-clubs1

Until now.  

As home prices and sales continue to plummet and people try to find jobs or at least hold on to their employment, many Las Vegas topless strip clubs have seen fit to double the cab tip ante to at least $100 per customer.   That new ransom could equates to an average estimated payout of $5 million a year by each participating strip club.  A C-note buy in for participating in the cash-for-customers game is commonly paid by Ricks’ Cabaret Gentlemen’s Club, Treasures, Sapphire Gentlemen’s Club, and many more- at least the ones that aren’t secretly looking for new owners or staving off their bankruptcy. 

No end appears in sight for the advancing Taxi Topless War.  Many clubs are trying to recoup rising “acquisition” costs by charging higher cover charges and drink prices.   Rick’s CEO and President Eric Langan mirrors the intentions of many strip club owners, saying he has no intention to be outbid by his Sin City bretheren and is willing to write off the expenses as the cost of marketing. 

As Las Vegas cab and limo drivers rake in record amounts of dough, they’re also arguing more with doormen to cut ever higher deals.   And it’s not uncommon to see cab drivers pass up picking up ladies waiting for a ride on the street in favor of waiting gents that can bring them more revenue.

Casino hosts, too, are also rapidly buying in to the very lucrative cash-for-customers game.   They’re not just referring their clients to the strip clubs, but hosting them inside the caverns of lust.

And, of course, you can bet your last dollar that the IRS will eventually come sniffing around and look for its due.

Recession hitting the Las Vegas topless clubs?  Pshaw!

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