Alabama Indian tribe buys Sands Bethlehem for $1.3B

Updated March 8, 2018 - 4:35 pm

An Alabama Indian tribe with diverse casino holdings, including a property in Gardnerville, is buying the Sands Bethlehem in eastern Pennsylvania for $1.3 billion from Las Vegas Sands Corp.

Representatives of Wind Creek Hospitality, an affiliate of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians in Alabama, said Thursday they are acquiring the property with a 139,000-square-foot casino, 300 hotel rooms and an adjacent outlet shopping mall.

The companies didn’t set a closing date for the sale, but said it would be subject to customary regulatory reviews.

Reports have long circulated that Las Vegas Sands was preparing to sell the property that opened in May 2009 on the site of the defunct Bethlehem Steel plant.

Sands Bethlehem’s casino floor features 3,000 slot machines and 200 table games and the property also has three restaurants affiliated with celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse — Emeril’s Chop House, Emeril’s Fish House and Burgers and More by Emeril.

Wind Creek’s nine properties

It will join Wind Creek Hospitality’s group of nine casinos and racetracks located mostly in the South and the Caribbean.

The company’s list of properties includes the Wind Creek-branded Atmore, Montgomery and Wetumpka in Alabama; the Renaissance Aruba and Renaissance Curacao, which are branded affiliates of the Renaissance Las Vegas; the Pensacola Greyhound Track and Poker Room in Florida and the Mobile Greyhound Track in Alabama; and Creek Entertainment Gretna, a poker room in Gretna, Florida.

The company also operates the Wa She Shu Casino in Gardnerville in Northern Nevada.

Las Vegas Sands Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Patrick Dumont said use of the sale proceeds would “be consistent with the company’s long-held strategic direction when it comes to deploying capital.”

Sands Bethlehem President Brian Carr said in a statement issued Thursday that he expects a seamless transition to new ownership and that employee focus would not change “regardless of what the sign on the top of the building might read.”

For the tribe, Sands Bethlehem represents a diversification into a new market.

“The quality of the property and dedication of the team members to genuinely engage with customers was evident from the first time we visited the property,” Stephanie Bryant, tribal chair and CEO of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, said in a statement. “The addition of this fantastic team and property to our portfolio furthers our desire to secure a long and prosperous future for our tribe.”

Odd fit

While Sands Bethlehem is positioned as the premier regional gaming operation in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley, many analysts viewed it as an odd fit for Las Vegas Sands with its megaresort presence on the Las Vegas Strip and as the dominant player in Macau and Singapore.

It has been the only U.S. property to maintain the Sands legacy name after the company imploded the Sands in Las Vegas to make way for The Venetian and Palazzo and the Sands Atlantic City was demolished.

The Sands name remains in Asia with the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore and the Sands Macao, the first U.S. presence to open in China.

Las Vegas Sands stock closed up $3.58, 4.9 percent, to $76.62 a share and was unchanged in after-hours trading on volume about 1½ times the daily average.

The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Business
Lehman Brothers bet big on Las Vegas
Lehman Brothers collapsed 10 years ago, helping send the country into the Great Recession.
Fremont9 opens downtown
Fremont9 apartment complex has opened in downtown Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Ross & Snow launches in Las Vegas
Luxury shoe brand Ross & Snow has opened in Las Vegas, featuring "functional luxury" with premium shearling footwear. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Remote Identification and Drones
DJI vice president of policy and public affairs discusses using remote identification on drones. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Drones and public safety in Nevada
Two representatives in the drone industry discuss UAV's impact on public safety. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Frontier Airlines to launch flights from Las Vegas to Mexico
Frontier, a Denver-based ultra-low-cost carrier, will become the first airline in more than a decade to offer international service to Canada and Mexico from Las Vegas when flights to Cancun and Los Cabos begin Dec. 15. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International CEO Jim Murren addresses Oct. 1 lawsuits
MGM Resorts International Chairman and CEO Jim Murren addresses criticism his company has received for filing a lawsuit against the survivors of the Oct. 1 shooting. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International opens the doors on MGM Springfield
Massachusetts’ first hotel-casino opens in downtown Springfield. The $960 million MGM Springfield has 252 rooms and 125,000-square-feet of casino. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International prepares to open MGM Springfield
Las Vegas-based MGM Resorts International gave news media and invited guests a preview of the $960 million MGM Springfield casino in Massachusetts. The commonwealth's first resort casino will open Friday, Aug. 24. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
A Walk Through Circus Circus
It only takes a short walk through Circus Circus to realize it attracts a demographic like no other casino on the Strip: families with young children. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Morphy Auctions, a vintage slot machines seller, wants gaming license
Vice president Don Grimmer talks about Morphy Auctions at the company's warehouse located at 4520 Arville Street in Las Vegas on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada's venture capital money doesn't stay in state
Zach Miles, associate vice president for economic development for UNLV, said there’s venture money in Southern Nevada, “but trying to find the right groups to tap into for that money is different.” According to a 2017 report from the Kauffman Foundation, Las Vegas ranked number 34 out of 40 metropolitan areas for growth entrepreneurship, a metric of how much startups grow. With a lack of growing startups in Las Vegas, investment money is being sent outside of state borders. The southwest region of the U.S. received $386 million in funding in the second quarter, with about $25.2 million in Nevada. The San Francisco area alone received about $5.6 billion. (source: CB Insights)
Neon wraps can light up the night for advertising
Vinyl wrap company 5150 Wraps talks about neon wraps, a new technology that the company believes can boost advertising at night. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Nevada on the forefront of drone safety
Dr. Chris Walach, senior director of Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems, talks to a reporter at NIAS's new Nevada Drone Center for Excellence of Public Safety, located inside the Switch Innevation Center in Las Vegas. K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal @KMCannonPhoto
Motel 8 on south Strip will become site of hotel-casino
Israeli hoteliers Asher Gabay and Benny Zerah bought Motel 8 on the south Strip for $7.4 million, records show. They plan to bulldoze the property and build a hotel-casino. Motel 8 was built in the 1960s and used to be one of several roadside inns on what's now the south Strip. But it looks out of place today, dwarfed by the towering Mandalay Bay right across the street.
Project billed as one of the world's largest marijuana dispensaries plans to open Nov. 1
Planet 13 co-CEO Larry Scheffler talks about what to expect from the new marijuana dispensary, Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Oasis Biotech opens in Las Vegas
Brock Leach, chief operating officer of Oasis Biotech, discusses the new plant factory at its grand opening on July 18. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UNLV Tech Park innovation building breaks ground
Construction on the first innovation building at the UNLV Tech Park is underway. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Caesars Forum Meeting Center
Caesars broke ground Monday on its $375 million Caesars Forum Meeting Center (convention center) just east of the High Roller observation wheel. (Caesars Entertainment)
Technology reshapes the pawn shop industry
Devin Battersby attaches a black-colored device to the back of her iPhone and snaps several of the inside and outside of a Louis Vuitton wallet. The device, installed with artificial intelligence capabilities, analyzes the images using a patented microscopic technology. Within a few minutes, Battersby receives an answer on her app. The designer item is authentic.
Recreational marijuana has been legal in Nevada for one year
Exhale Nevada CEO Pete Findley talks about the one year anniversary of the legalization of recreational marijuana in Nevada. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Young adults aren't saving for retirement
Financial advisors talk about saving trends among young adults. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like