Issue 216
November 8- 14, 2004
Volume 4
page 2

Key Largo Casino Gains Approval for Condo Tower
As reported by Las Vegas Sun

LAS VEGAS, Nevada - Another small, off-Strip casino has plans for a residential condominium tower.

The Quality Inn Key Largo Casino on Flamingo Road received Planning Commission approval last month to build a 196-foot condo tower with 905 units in addition to a 70-foot hotel tower with 344 rooms. The hotel units would replace the existing 314-room hotel. The plans don't specify whether the property's casino would be torn down or redeveloped.

The Planning Commission approval marked the final hearing on the change, which does not require approval by the Board of County Commissioners because it is not a zoning change and because the Planning Commission decision was not appealed to the board.
John Gilbert, who identified himself Monday as one of the owners of the Key Largo, declined to comment on the plans approved by the county or say who filed them. He said only that he was not involved in filing the plans nor was he part of the redevelopment entity.

The Robert L. Mayer Trust of 1982, based in Newport Beach, Calif., is listed as the owner of the property, which dates from 1974, county records show. The 4.85-acre property was purchased in 1982 for $9.5 million and was recently assessed at $10.3 million. The county plans were filed by "Quality Inn Key Largo Casino" and reference the Robert L. Mayer trust.

A land-use attorney who is assisting the redevelopment group could not be reached for comment.

The condo tower would be built atop a four-level parking garage along the west and south sides of the property. The tower would feature one-, two- and three-bedroom units, according to plans submitted with the county.

The property's casino is about 9,100 square feet, according to state records.
Also recently, another nearby property, the Ellis Island Casino & Brewery on Koval Lane, received county approvals to build a 36-story condo hotel tower with about 800 units.

Both The Ellis Island and Key Largo plans indicate that older neighborhoods near the Strip are responding to demand for high-rise condos, said Anthony Curtis, publisher of the Las Vegas Advisor newsletter.

Both properties are known for catering to local gamblers with casino and meal deals. But their redevelopment strategies are probably very different, Curtis said.
While the Ellis Island's future plans will likely still involve its lucrative casino, the Key Largo's casino isn't as much of a draw and the property may gravitate toward the hotel business as an alternative, he said.

Ellis Island has probably maxed out its casino performance but could improve its hotel business by upgrading rooms, he said.

"The hotel could do better because it's close to the Strip," he said. "They're looking for another stream of revenue."

Owner Gary Ellis could not be reached for comment on his plans for the property.

The plans are among some 80-plus condominium, hotel or timeshare high-rises that have been proposed so far in Las Vegas. Only a handful are under construction.

Curtis said the projects are a positive sign of progress and said local gamblers will still have plenty of places to congregate even if some smaller casinos go away.

"We've gotten burned on some of these pie-in-the-sky ideas, so we don't really know what's going to happen until we see dirt move," he said.




Hollywood Casino Shreveport Agrees to Bankruptcy
As reported by Bloomberg News

SHREVEPORT, Louisiana - Hollywood Casino Shreveport, a riverboat casino operator whose creditors forced it into bankruptcy in September, agreed to reorganize and sell its assets under court protection.

Hollywood Casino Shreveport agreed to sell its assets to Eldorado Resorts LLC. The deal is contingent upon court approval of its reorganization plan.

Black Diamond CLO 2000-1 Ltd., a noteholder that unsuccessfully tried to buy Hollywood Casino Shreveport, and two construction contractors who sued the company filed the petition to force the company into bankruptcy.

Hollywood Casino Shreveport, which opened on the Red River in Louisiana in 2000, began seeking a buyer in February, according to court papers. It defaulted on its bonds in 2003 and has accrued $36.9 million of interest on missed bond debt payments..."

Last year, Penn National Gaming Inc. paid $673 million for Hollywood Casino Corp., parent company of Hollywood Casino Shreveport and its affiliates. Hollywood Casino Shreveport's debt holders didn't consent to waivers requested by Penn National to buy the property's notes under a change of ownership provision.

Washington State Tribe Reveals Casino Plans
As reported by Longview, Washington Daily News

Washington - The Cowlitz Indian Tribe Wednesday unveiled plans for a vastly larger casino than it had envisioned earlier, and a tribal leader said it would include a hotel/restaurant, convention center, retail complex and tribal cultural center.

Tribal consultant David Barnett described the colossal project near LaCenter in newspaper ads and an interview with The Daily News. He said it would be built in phases over several years, starting with the casino. It would include:

- A 160,000-square-foot casino, four times larger than the casino the tribe described earlier this year.

- Convention and entertainment buildings up to 150,000 square feet.

- Tribal government offices, a tribal cultural center and about 10 to 25 tribal housing units used mostly by tribal elders.

The Cowlitz tribe, which has a membership of 1,400 to 2,700 people, inhabited the upper Cowlitz Valley and other local areas before white settlers arrived. Wednesday's announcement follows years of speculation about the scope of the project the tribe would undertake since it received federal recognition in 2000…"


Caesars Atlantic City: Cher returns to Atlantic City on her farewell Never Can Say Goodbye tour. Touring in support of her latest album, "Living Proof," which which debuted in the Top 10 on the Billboard album charts, Cher performs material from the entire span of her monumental career.

Date: November 27, 2004

Price: from $49.75

Time: 8:00pm


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