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Tilman Fertitta buying hotel-casino in Northern Nevada

Tilman Fertitta is expanding the Golden Nugget brand to Northern Nevada.

The Houston billionaire announced he is acquiring the Hard Rock hotel-casino at Lake Tahoe for an undisclosed price and will transform it into a Golden Nugget-branded property.

The sale, by Las Vegas-based Paragon Gaming, is expected to close in the next seven to 12 months.

“We are thrilled to be welcoming the Lake Tahoe property to the Golden Nugget family,” Fertitta, owner and CEO of Fertitta Entertainment, said in a news release Friday. “This acquisition represents a significant opportunity for us to expand our footprint into the Northern Nevada marketplace.”

Fertitta, 65, oversees a corporate empire that includes dozens of restaurant brands, the NBA’s Houston Rockets, the upscale Post Oak Hotel in Houston and an oceanfront luxury resort in Laguna Beach, California.

He also owns several Golden Nugget casinos, with locations in downtown Las Vegas; Laughlin; Atlantic City, New Jersey; Biloxi, Mississippi; and Lake Charles, Louisiana.

Fertitta purchased a chunk of the Strip last year, too, buying around 6 acres of real estate at the southeast corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Harmon Avenue for $270 million in June.

Clark County commissioners in October approved his plans to develop a 43-story hotel-casino on the site.

Fertitta has since torn down some buildings there but hasn’t announced when he would start construction on the proposed resort.

Plans have called for the upscale, 2,420-room project to feature restaurants, convention space, spa, wedding chapel, auto showroom and a roughly 2,500-seat theater.

It would also include suites and villas, VIP salons, and a bar and lounge for high-limit gamblers, building plans indicate.

Contact Eli Segall at esegall@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0342. Follow @eli_segall on Twitter.

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