Ruffins buy royal home at discount

Billionaire Phil Ruffin has made another big-ticket transaction.

Four years after selling the New Frontier for $1.2 billion and two years after purchasing Treasure Island resort for $775 million, Ruffin has bought the second largest home in Nevada.

Sources confirm Ruffin, 76, and his wife, Oleksandra, are the new owners of the Sultan of Brunei's 73,000-square-foot home on prestigious Tomiyasu Lane.

Ruffin got the royal compound for a steep discount. Reflective of Las Vegas' housing market woes, the listing price has fallen from $60 million in November 2009, to $48 million a year ago and $37 million last fall.

The latest markdown: $24.9 million. The purchase price is expected to top the $9.5 million boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. paid for a home in Southern Highlands in 2009.

The property, which was sold last week by businessman Eric Peterson, is about half the size of the sultan's home at Spanish Trail.

Zar Zanganeh of Luxe Estates Collection had been marketing the Tomiyasu mansion. He declined comment.

The home was known for legendary parties held by part-time resident Prince Jefri, the sultan's brother. Included in the sale was a gigantic bed in the prince's bedroom.


The Dallas Mavericks' golden game on Sunday reminded me to check in with Elaine Wynn on the status of the Olympic gold medal given to her by Mavs' guard Jason Kidd.

"I still have it!" she said in an email. "It is in my Sun Valley house where I still share it with all my ski buddies. He never expected it back but I will return it at some point. It should go to his kids."

Kidd presented it to Wynn after Team U.S.A., a.k.a. the Redeem Team, won the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

They had struck up a friendship during Team U.S.A.'s three-week stay at Wynn Las Vegas before the Olympics.

"It's a not a (gambling) marker or anything like that," Kidd told the Arizona Republic.

"The way they treated us at the Wynn, it was the least I could do," said Kidd, who hopes to add an NBA championship ring to his collection. Dallas advanced to the NBA Western Conference finals with a sweep-completing 122-86 rout of the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday.


At the Manny Pacquiao-Shane Mosley fight (MGM Grand Garden) on Saturday: Laila Ali, Filipino recording artist and actress Charice, LL Cool J, Jamie Foxx, Paris Hilton, Lennox Lewis, George Lopez, Cal Ripken and Tyrese Gibson.... At Marquee Nightclub (Cosmopolitan) on Saturday: Nicky Hilton, with Paris; Stacy Keibler, Kelly Osbourne and pro snowboarder Louie Vito, who both competed on season nine of "Dancing with the Stars," Bridget Marquardt and Angel Porrino, actor Aaron Paul, celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, Kevin Federline and Oshiomogho Atogwe of the Washington Redskins, with a group of NFL players. ... Recording artist Chris Brown, celebrating his 22nd birthday during a shirtless performance at Pure (Caesars Palace) on Saturday. He was sporting a short-cut blond look. ... At Chateau (Paris) on Saturday: Recording artist Ke$ha, Levi Johnston, celebrating his 21st birthday for the second night and Floyd Mayweather Sr., the father and former trainer of five-division boxing champion Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and retired NFL star Michael Strahan. ... At N9NE Steakhouse (Palms) on Saturday: NFL all-pro running back Steven Jackson and, at another table, Osbourne and Vito. ... Jamie Foxx hosted a post-fight party at Tao (Venetian) on Saturday.


"What on earth could be interrupting 'Celebrity Apprentice?' " -- From David Letterman's Top Ten list of Osama bin Laden's final words

Norm Clarke can be reached at (702) 383-0244 or Find additional sightings and more online at Follow Norm on Twitter @Norm_Clarke.