Moulin Rouge investors hope 2017 is their year

2016 was another year of no return on a $19 million investment for over 300 people who sank money into the Moulin Rouge property in 2006.

“I’m probably a better litigator than I am an investor,” said Bernard Lanz, a commercial real estate attorney in Seattle, Washington.

Some, like Lanz, put down $50,000, while others shelled out $500,000 into the Moulin Rouge project. Some investors have already died without recouping their loss.

The 15.5-acre property was slated to become a hotel and casino in a historically African-American and underserved part of Las Vegas. Instead, the project fell apart amid 2008’s economic storm. The developer of the property went bankrupt in 2008. Then, the company that used investors’ money to loan the $19 million to the developer, Olympic Coast Investment, went bankrupt in 2012. The property ultimately went into receivership in 2013.

Kevin Hanchett, who as the receiver is charged with selling the property and helping those who invested recoup their losses, said he feels time is of the essence.

“A lot of these people are older. Age range is probably 55 on the low end up to 90 on the high end,” Hanchett said. “A few investors have died already.”

At the same time, Hanchett said he isn’t willing to make anything less than the best deal possible.

“I have a responsibility to the court (that appointed me as receiver) to try to get the buyers the value of the asset,” Hanchett said.

John Hoss, president of Olympic Coast Investment, said the 15.44 acres was appraised for $39 million in 2006. In 2015, the property was appraised for $6.67 million.

Lanz said he doesn’t know what 2017 has in store, but he said he has placed his full trust in Hanchett.

“If there’s any way to make a deal work, he’ll find it. That’s what I’m banking on: Kevin putting something together,” Lanz said. “The deal will happen. The only issue is how much money is it going to take to do the deal? I mean, you could probably do this deal for $4 million in a heartbeat, but nobody’s going to get much money out it for that price.”

Lanz said he knew in 2006 he was putting money into a risky investment.

“I was Olympic Coast’s lawyer for I don’t know, 15 years or something like that … all of the loans Olympic Coast made weren’t class-A loans, they were all class-C or whatever. They were high-risk (and high-return) loans.”

He said he believes everybody who invested knew that going in. But, as a commercial real-estate attorney who commonly litigated class-C and class-D deals, Lanz said he may have been more prepared than others for the way this investment turned out.

“I didn’t think they (a new buyer) were going to march in with a check and pay it up right away; I knew there’d be some litigation or something. Nothing ever totally works out like everybody likes it to in real estate deals,” Lanz said. “These (class-C and class-D) deals are long shots. And when the long shot comes through, you get a big return. It’s just like horse racing.”

Reflecting on the handful of developers who unsuccessfully tried to purchase the Moulin Rouge property in 2016, Lanz said “that’s typical of these class-D deals. There are always a bunch of flakes in on them. They don’t have any money; they’re using other people’s money and they try to get the deal first and then they go find the money. I’ve been litigating that type of investment for 25 years, and they’re pretty much charlatans, most of them.”

Lanz said he doesn’t know if he can expect anything different in 2017, but he thinks Hanchett is on the right track.

Since selling the 15.5 acres as a package deal doesn’t seem to be working, Hanchett said he will consider developers in 2017 who are interested in purchasing individual parcels of the property.

Lanz is hopeful that approach might even result in more money.

“When you sell smaller partial parcels you get more money for each parcel depending on the deal,” he said. “That’s happened before.”

Contact Nicole Raz at or 702-380-4512. Follow @JournalistNikki on Twitter.

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)
President Trump’s tariffs could raise costs for real estate developers, analysts say
President Donald Trump made his fortune in real estate, but by slapping tariffs on imports from close allies, developers in Las Vegas and other cities could get hit hard.
Las Vegas business and tariffs
Barry Yost, co-owner of Precision Tube Laser, LLC, places a metal pipe into the TruLaser Tube 5000 laser cutting machine on Wednesday, June 20, 2018, in Las Vegas. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Nevada Film Office Connects Businesses To Producers
The director of the Nevada Film Office discusses its revamped locations database and how it will affect local businesses. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Opendoor isn't the typical house flipping company
Unlike most house flippers, the company aims to make money from transaction costs rather than from selling homes for more than their purchase price.
The Venetian gondoliers sing Italian songs
Gondolier Marciano sings a the classic Italian song "Volare" as he leads guests through the canals of The Venetian in Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Building In Logandale
Texas homebuilder D.R. Horton bought 43 lots in rural Logandale. (Eli Segall/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Indoor farming in Southern Nevada
Experts discuss Nevada's indoor farming industry. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former Fontainebleau could have become a Waldorf Astoria
Months after developer Steve Witkoff bought the Fontainebleau last summer, he unveiled plans to turn the mothballed hotel into a Marriott-managed resort called The Drew. But if Richard “Boz” Bosworth’s plans didn’t fall through, the north Las Vegas Strip tower could have become a Waldorf Astoria with several floors of timeshare units. (Eli Segall/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
LVCVA CEO Rossi Ralenkotter announces plans to retire
Rossi Ralenkotter, CEO of the LVCVA, on Tuesday confirmed a Las Vegas Review-Journal report that he is preparing to retire. Richard N. Velotta/ Las Vegas Review-Journal
Cousins Maine Lobster to open inside 2 Las Vegas Smith’s stores
Cousins Maine Lobster food truck company will open inside Las Vegas’ two newest Smith’s at Skye Canyon Park Drive and U.S. Highway 95, and at Warm Springs Road and Durango Drive. Cousins currently sells outside some Las Vegas Smith’s stores and at Fremont Street and Las Vegas Boulevard. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas home prices to continue to rise, expert says
Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors, gives homebuyers a pulse on the Las Vegas housing market. (Eli Segall/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
NV Energy announces clean energy investment
The company is planning to add six solar projects in Nevada, along with the state's first major battery energy storage capacity. Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal
3 Mario Batali restaurants on Las Vegas Strip to close
Days after new sexual misconduct allegations were made against celebrity chef Mario Batali, his company announced Friday that it will close its three Las Vegas restaurants July 27. Employees of Carnevino Italian Steakhouse, B&B Ristorante and Otto Enoteca e Pizzeria, all located in The Venetian and Palazzo resorts, were informed of the decision Friday morning. Bastianich is scheduled to visit the restaurants Friday to speak to employees about the next two months of operation as well as how the company plans to help them transition to new positions.
Nevada has its first cybersecurity apprenticeship program
The Learning Center education company in Las Vegas has launched the first apprenticeship program for cybersecurity in Nevada. It was approved by the State Apprenticeship Council on May 15. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas union members voting to authorize the right to strike
Thousands of Las Vegas union members voting Tuesday morning to authorize the right to strike. A “yes” vote would give the union negotiating committee the power to call a strike anytime after June 1 at the resorts that fail to reach an agreement. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Small businesses struggle to find qualified candidates
A 2018 survey found that over two-thirds of small businesses in Nevada find it somewhat to very difficult to recruit qualified candidates. Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Nevada secretary of state website offers little protection against fraudulent business filings
Property developer Andy Pham tells how control of his business was easily seized by another person using the secretary of state website.
Caesars may be going solo in its marijuana policy
Several Southern Nevada casino companies aren’t following Caesars Entertainment’s lead on marijuana testing.
How much is the Lucky Dragon worth?
Less than a year-and-a-half after it opened, the Lucky Dragon was in bankruptcy.
Gyms and discount stores take over empty retail spaces
Grocery stores used to draw people to shopping centers. But many large retail spaces have been vacant since 2008. Discount stores like goodwill and gyms like EOS Fitness are filling those empty spaces, and helping to draw shoppers back in. K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Funding source of Las Vegas stadium for the Raiders is sound, expert says
The stadium is funded in part by $750 million of room taxes, the biggest such tax subsidy ever for a professional sports stadium. Robert Lang, executive director of Brookings Mountain West and The Lincy Institute at UNLV, says that is a good use of public funds. (Richard Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas needs light rail, expert says
Robert Lang, executive director of Brookings Mountain West and the Lincy Institute said he is afraid of a "congestion mobility crisis." Las Vegas needs a light rail system, he said, to accommodate the city's growing number of attractions. (Richard Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Three takeaways from Wynn Resorts' Earnings Call
Matt Maddox came out swinging in his first earnings conference call as Wynn Resorts chief executive officer, boasting of record Las Vegas quarterly revenues and applicants lining up for work.
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like