Palms owner George Maloof was tight-lipped Thursday about a report that Harrah's Entertainment was involved in acquiring a stake in the Palms.
The business Web site www.DebtWire.com, citing sources close to the situation, said Texas Pacific Group, a private equity sponsor of Harrah's Entertainment, has been accumulating bank debt of Fiesta Palms, the parent company.
DebtWire said the Maloof family was in the process of selling its beer distributorship empire in New Mexico for $100 million to pay down $30 million of debt.
Maloof, in Chicago on Thursday, told Vegas Confidential, "We're a private company. Our debt is private. I've never responded to rumors regarding the Palms."
Harrah's acquired Planet Hollywood Resort recently through TPG and Apollo Management, Harrah's other sponsor.
Priscilla Presley says she was sticking up for Ann-Margret, not putting her down.
Turning to a member of the Memphis Mafia, Priscilla had Joe Esposito, Elvis Presley's longtime lieutenant, call on her behalf Thursday regarding what I characterized as a sensitive subject in this column last Saturday. The item suggested Priscilla was upset over a red-haired dancer in a scene during previews of Cirque du Soleil's "Viva Elvis" show at CityCenter.
Esposito said Priscilla indeed went to Cirque management about the red-haired dancer, but for a different reason. The reason Priscilla brought it up, said Esposito, was because she overheard a showgoer seated near her comment that the dancer bore a striking resemblance to Ann-Margret, who had a well-documented romance with Elvis.
"Priscilla went back and asked (management) if the dancer was supposed to represent Ann-Margret. She was told, 'No,'" said Esposito.
In the scene, Elvis was on the LED screen singing "Don't" before Elvis and Priscilla got married.
"She thought it made Ann-Margret look bad," Esposito said. "She also thought the (red) wig looked terrible.
Esposito said, "It bothered her tremendously" that people think there are hard feelings on her part. Priscilla had no objections when Ann-Margret, who starred opposite Elvis in "Viva Las Vegas," came to Elvis' funeral.
"Priscilla said she had nothing against Ann-Margret, and Ann-Margret had nothing against her," Esposito said. "She's never said anything bad about Ann-Margret and always thought she was a wonderful person."
NEWTONS' devastating day
On a day when process servers were turned away at their estate, Las Vegas headliner Wayne Newton and wife Kathleen were dealing with a life-and-death drama involving daughter Erin and her week-old baby. Erin, 33, is in a coma with liver and kidney failure, and the baby boy, born a month premature, was battling for his life, according to a report Thursday by Alicia Jacobs, entertainment reporter at KVBC-TV, Channel 3.
MAY I RECOMMEND ...
Tickets are still available for NASCAR Weekend at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, starting as low as $49, half of what some seats cost last year. Danica Patrick is competing in Saturday's Sam's Town 300, and homegrown star Kyle Busch is running in Sunday's Shelby American Sprint Cup race. Call the LVMS ticket office at 800-644-4444 or 702-644-4444 or go to LVMS.com
THE PUNCH LINE
"The Dalai Lama is now on Twitter. Today, he got to find out what Tila Tequila had for breakfast." -- Jimmy Kimmel