59°F
weather icon Partly Cloudy

Artisan Hotel gets new life

Local hospitality operator Siegel Group acquired the Artisan Hotel on Friday, adding the troubled property to the company’s growing portfolio of local boutique hotels.

In addition to the 64-room property on Sahara Avenue, Siegel Group owns the 62-room Resort on Mount Charleston and the 150-room St. Tropez on Harmon Avenue.

Siegel Group’s first order of business for the Artisan is to restore the property’s reputation among its customers and remaining employees, Stephen Siegel said. He said the previous owner’s cost-cutting measures and bankruptcy filing caused significant damage to the property’s reputation. Additionally, the property was hit with numerous health-code violations late last year.

Although only 12 employees were on the payroll when Siegel Group foreclosed on the property Friday, the property is open and all rooms are available, said Michael Crandall, Siegel Group director of business affairs.

The restaurant will reopen by Feb. 1, he added.

Siegel said he plans to improve the nongaming hotel’s customer service and correct any longstanding operational issues.

The Artisan, known for its framed reproductions of famous art work throughout the property and the large fountain in the lobby, will retain the “same theme, same feel, same name.”

Siegel added: “We’re just modernizing and bringing it up to our standards.”

The Siegel Group acquired the property’s bank note for $1.4 million from the Artisan’s lender, the Citizens Banks of Oregon in Missouri.

The hotel filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in December 2008, listing more than $10 million in assets against Citizen Bank’s $1.8 million bank note. The bank filed a secured claim that month for an additional $6 million.

Crandall said the company started to take over the property in late November after the bank decided it did not want to continue talks with the former owner, Doug Da Silva, to restructure his debts. Da Silva also owns a second Artisan Hotel in El Paso, Texas, which is also in bankruptcy.

Da Silva bought the 1.35 acre property, which was a Travelodge, in late 2001. He added hundreds of reproductions of artwork by classic artists such as Paul Cézanne, Leonardo da Vinci, Vincent Van Gogh to Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” throughout the hotel.

The property’s served as the backdrop for many television shows, including “Criss Angel Mindfreak,” Cinemax’s “Sin City Diaries” and a photo shoot for the Las Vegas-based band Panic at the Disco.

Siegel said his company will launch an extensive advertising campaign to bring back customers who frequented the Artisan before its sharp decline last year.

The Southern Nevada Health District temporarily closed the restaurant in October after the agency found numerous problems, including spoiled food, dirty food surfaces, a broken dishwasher and mouse droppings on the floor in food storage.

The agency also found insects in the liquor, mold in the ice machine, and dirty linens in rooms.

Crandall said the property has been issued temporary licenses by the health district. Final inspections are scheduled for Friday.

“We have an unbelievable relationship with the agency,” Crandall said. “They know when we come in we don’t mess around.”

Crews have been working to prepare the kitchen for reopening within the next two weeks, and Crandall said the remaining liquor was tossed out and replaced.

Many of the Artisan’s vendors had stopped delivering products and services to the hotel for lack of payment by the old owner.

But Crandall said Siegel Group’s good relationship with vendors — the company also owns the refurbished Gold Spike downtown and Siegel Suites flexible-stay apartment complexes — have helped the company move quickly to address the Artisan’s problems.

Beyond restocking the bar, Siegel has already added televisions to the bar, upgraded the property’s sound system, replaced the boiler and addressed extensive cleaning and landscaping needs.

Immediate plans include reopening the restaurant by Feb. 1, hiring nearly 60 additional staff, including a general manager, chef, bartenders and cocktail servers.

The Siegel Group plans to spend nearly $400,000 on the property to add a secured valet parking area, replace some air conditioning units, add a smoke extraction system and purchase new bedding.

Siegel’s plans include renovating the pool furniture, marketing an indoor chapel and outdoor area for weddings, building a second bar and opening a hair and tanning salon.

“We’re planning with some different concepts,” Siegel said. “Gaming, nongaming and some retail components that will drive more traffic here.”

Siegel said he has not decided if he will bring limited gaming to the property’s bar. Nonrestricted gaming was reinstated at the Resort on Mount Charleston with 10 slot machines in September, and will be available when the renovated St. Tropez reopens in April.

“We can bring games in here, but we’re teetering back-and-forth with it,” Siegel said. “There’s a big following here that doesn’t want video games here. We’re talking maybe three or four on the backside of the bar.”

Siegel said the hotel’s room rate will likely fluctuate between $79 and $129 per night.

“The property’s location to the Strip is unbelievable,” Crandall said. “There’s a lot of people out there in this country or around the world who love coming to Vegas but aren’t necessarily coming to Vegas for the gambling. So this will be a place for them to stay and have an unbelievable experience, and still go to the Strip and enjoy it.”

Contact reporter Arnold M. Knightly at aknightly@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Business Videos
How much do Las Vegas casino CEOs make?
Las Vegas gaming CEOs made anywhere between $1 million and $24 million last year, according to company filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. ((Las Vegas Review-Journal)
30-year-old Rio needs a little TLC
Nearly 30 years after the Rio opened, the red and blue jewel that helped catapult Las Vegas to a new level with its buffet and nightclub has lost its status along with its shine.
The latest on the Drew Las Vegas - VIDEO
Eli Segall recounts his tour of the Drew Las Vegas, formerly the Fontainebleau, on the Las Vegas Strip. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pinball Hall of Fame to move near south Strip
Operators of the Pinball Hall of Fame have been approved to build a new, larger arcade near the south edge of the Strip on Las Vegas Boulevard near Russel Road. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
National Hardware Show underway Las Vegas
The National Hardware Show kicked off Tuesday at the Las Vegas Convention Center (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Caesars for sale?
Caesars Entertainment Corp. has been swept up in takeover speculation since the company’s share price tumbled last year amid disappointing earnings and concerns over a recession. Amid the decline, hedge funds scooped up shares. Billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn began buying shares of Caesars as early as January. Icahn acquired nearly 18 percent by mid-March. In February Icahn called on the Caesars board to study a sale as a way to boost shareholder value.
Las Vegas home prices
Las Vegas home prices grew fastest among major markets in February for the ninth straight month. But amid affordability concerns, the growth rate has slowed down. Southern Nevada prices in February were up 9.7% from a year earlier, according to the latest S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller index. The last time Las Vegas' price growth fell below 10% was in September 2017, S&P Dow Jones Indices reported.
Free Parking Coming To Wynn
Free parking will come to the Wynn and Encore resorts on May 1, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Founding Venetian employees talk about 20 years at the Strip resort
The Venetian, which opened May 3, 1999, is celebrating 20 years on the Las Vegas Strip. Seven original employees talk about opening the luxury resort and working there for two decades. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Circa aiming for December 2020 opening
The 1.25-million-square-foot property will have 44-stories and 777-rooms. It will also have a separate nine-story, 1,201-space parking garage.
Boxabl official explains the building concept
Boxabl business development manager Galiano Tiramani shows off a room built by his company. (Blake Apgar/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TI/Mirage Tram reopens
The tram that shuttles guests between TI and Mirage reopened this week after being closed for much of 2018.
Las Vegas Convention Center expansion taking shape
Renderings and actual footage show how the Las Vegas Convention Center is evolving.
Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz at Las Vegas convention
Former Starbucks CEO and potential presidential candidate Howard Schultz spoke at the Epicor Insights user conference at Mandalay Bay Convention Center Wednesday, April 17, 2019. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Drew Las Vegas to open in the second quarter of 2022
The 67-story Drew Las Vegas is slated to open in the second quarter of 2022 at the north end of the Las Vegas Strip. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
NAB Day 1 (Time Lapse)
NAB kicked off at the Las Vegas Convention Center on Monday, April 8, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
National Association of Broadcasters Show shows 1mm thick 8K TV with 22.2 channel digital sound
Japan’s NHK Science & Technology Research Laboratories booth featured a 1mm thick 8K TV system used in conjunction with a 22.2 channel digital sound system at the National Association of Broadcasters Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Nevada shoppers react to Smith’s no longer accepting Visa credit cards
On March 1, Smith’s announced that it would no longer be accepting Visa credit cards at any of its 142 supermarkets, including the 45 in Nevada.
Massachusetts Gaming Commission asks how long Wynn executives knew about misconduct
Business reporter Rick Velotta gives an update on the adjudicatory hearing on the suitability of Wynn Resorts to retain its gaming license in Massachusetts.
Henderson app developer part of Startup in Residence
Henderson based developers of the app On Point Barricade are taking part in Startup in Residence, a North America program dedicated to pairing tech companies with governments. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Sam's Town employees and customers talk of their love for the iconic casino
Longtime Sam's Town employees and customers love each other and love their casino. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Las Vegas apartments rents
Las Vegas’ apartment market has accelerated in recent years. Developers are packing the suburbs with projects, landlords are on a buying spree, and tenants have filled buildings.
William Boyd talks about the birth of Sam's Town
On the eve of the 40th anniversary of Sam's Town, William Boyd, executive chairman of Boyd Gaming and son of hotel namesake Sam Boyd, talks about how the casino became one of the first local properties in Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
High Roller observation wheel turns five
The world’s tallest observation wheel celebrates it’s fifth year on Sunday, March 31, 2019. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @Vegas88s
Escape Room Industry Growing In Las Vegas
Escapology employees discuss the growing escape room industry in the U.S. and Las Vegas. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Impact of parking fees on visiting the Las Vegas Strip
There are no data showing a relationship between Strip resort and parking fees and the number of out-of-state visitors to Las Vegas. But there are data showing a relationship between Strip parking fees and the number of local visitors to the the Strip. ‘’As a local, I find myself picking hotels I visit for dinner or entertainment, based on whether they charge for parking or not,”’ said David Perisset, the owner of Exotics Racing. ‘’It is not a matter of money, more of principle.’’ A 2018 survey by the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance found 36.9 percent of Clark County residents reported avoiding parking at Strip casinos that charge for parking. 29.1 percent reported avoiding using any services from a Strip casino that charges for parking.
MGM's sports betting deals
MGM Resorts International signed a sports betting sponsorship agreement with the NBA in July It was the first professional sports league to have official ties with a legal sports betting house. The deal came just two months after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a law prohibiting sports betting in most states. In October, MGM became the first gaming company to sign a sports betting partnership with the NHL. In November, MGM became the first gaming company to sign a sports betting partnership with the MLB. Financial terms of Tuesday’s deal and earlier partnerships have not been announced.
Faraday puts Las Vegas land on the market
Nearly two years after Faraday Future bailed on its North Las Vegas auto factory, the company has put its land up for sale. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
El Cortez owner Kenny Epstein on running the iconic property
Kenny Epstein, owner of the El Cortez Hotel in downtown Las Vegas, talks about Jackie Gaughan mentorship and answers rumors about bodies in the basement at the mob-era casino. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
LVCVA recommends construction of underground people mover
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority announced the recommendation for an underground people mover for the convention center. The system would have the potential to expand and connect Downtown and the resort corridor all the way to McCarran. (Michael Quine/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
THE LATEST
Lucky Dragon’s foreign investors demand refund

The Lucky Dragon’s developers and prior management are facing lawsuits from Chinese investors, the project’s main lender and a Canadian high-roller who paid a $400,000 deposit to lease the casino just one month before it abruptly closed.

Trump removes tariffs on Mexico, Canada, delays auto tariffs

President Donald Trump took steps Friday to ease tensions with America’s allies — lifting import taxes on Canadian and Mexican steel and aluminum and delaying auto tariffs that would have hurt Japan and Europe.

Boeing finishes software update for grounded 737 Max jet

Boeing says it has finished updates to the flight-control software implicated in two deadly crashes involving its 737 Max, moving a step closer to getting the plane back in the sky.