Bye, bye Aladdin; hooray for Hollywood

The Aladdin name will finally disappear from the Strip.

A two-year effort by OpBiz, the partnership that purchased the bankrupt Aladdin for $496 million, culminates Tuesday afternoon when the property is rechristened as Planet Hollywood Resort.

OpBiz executives said they spent close to $1 billion to update and redefine all aspects of the property, removing all elements of the Arabian nights theme.

Herbst Gaming President Ed Herbst and his brothers, Tim and Troy, are longtime off-road automobile racing competitors.

Long before closing a $400 million deal last week to purchase the three Primm casinos from MGM Mirage, the Herbst family admitted to a long acquaintance with the Interstate 15 site at the Nevada-California border.

Off-road events often took the brothers right past the Primm casinos. In the 1980s, Whiskey Pete’s was the only Primm property.

“We probably broke down right here a few times,” Ed Herbst said, standing in the porte cochere of Buffalo Bill’s.

The Boston Herald reported last week that Massachusetts lawmakers may be thinking about legalizing slot machines at racetracks operating in the state.

The idea has piqued the interest of several casino operators, notably Penn National Gaming, which operates racetracks and racetrack casinos in neighboring states.

Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman Sheldon Adelson, a native of the Boston suburb of Dorchester, Mass., has been floated as a possible operator.

Jeffrey Fine bought the Silver Nugget and Opera House casinos in January for $19.5 million. And he’s been relatively quiet about any redevelopment plans for the small North Las Vegas gambling halls.

North Las Vegas city officials, however, said there are several plans for the Silver Nugget site, including a new City Hall complex that would replace a recreational vehicle park.

Also, a California development company bought a 32-acre parcel across the street from the casino in January for $19.9 million.

The city is trying to arrange meetings to coordinate a unified development in the historically economically depressed area.

Hard Rock Hotel owner Morgans Hotel Group may be one of the suitors considering joining the Edge Group, which is shopping for a joint venture partner to help develop 50 acres on Harmon Avenue.

A Morgans representative, however, said the boutique hotel operator is more focused on expansion plans at the Hard Rock and developing its Delano and Mondrian brands at Boyd Gaming Corp.’s $4.4 billion Echelon site on the Strip.

The Inside Gaming column is compiled by Review-Journal gaming and tourism writers Howard Stutz, Benjamin Spillman and Arnold M. Knightly. Send your tips about the gaming and tourism industry to

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