Treasure Island owner says MGM Resorts rejected $1.3B offer for Mirage

Treasure Island owner Phil Ruffin said Tuesday he offered $1.3 billion last month to buy The Mirage, but the neighboring casino’s owner, MGM Resorts International, rejected the deal.

Ruffin, 80, who acquired the 2,885-room Treasure Island from MGM in 2009 for $775 million, has long been interested in the resort.

“They turned it down and decided to go with this REIT,” Ruffin said. “We don’t have any interest in The Mirage now because we don’t pay rent.”

MGM Resorts announced on Oct. 29 that The Mirage would be one of 10 company-owned resorts included in MGM Growth Properties, a publicly traded real estate investment trust being created by the casino giant. The REIT will own the casinos and lease the properties back to MGM to operate them.

Ruffin said he was attracted to The Mirage’s 300,000 square feet of convention space, as well as the property’s 65 acres.

“The value is in the land,” he said.

Treasure Island and The Mirage were built by Steve Wynn and are connected by an above ground tram. MGM took over both properties when the company bought Mirage Resorts in 2000. Ruffin acquired Treasure Island when MGM was trying to complete the massive CityCenter complex during the heart of the recession and needed the cash.

In July, reports surfaced that Starwood Resorts wanted to buy The Mirage for between $1 billion and $1.5 billion. Ruffin said the Starwood interest “was never true.”

“We have a good relationship with The Mirage and we want to keep that,” Ruffin said. “(MGM Resorts Chairman) Jim (Murren) wrote us a nice letter thanking us for the offer, but I didn’t keep the letter.”

MGM Resorts spokesman Clark Dumont, asked about Ruffin’s offer, called The Mirage “a valued resort within the MGM Resorts International portfolio.”

Ruffin discussed The Mirage during a wide-ranging interview Tuesday in his Treasure Island office. He made his mark in Las Vegas owning the New Frontier, which was closed and imploded in 2007. He sold the Strip property for $1.24 billion to an Israeli group that never followed through in building a multi-billion resort on the site.

Despite losing out on The Mirage, Ruffin, is not letting money burn a hole in his pocket.

The long-time Wichita, Kan., businessman, who is currently No. 279 on the Forbes 400 list with a net worth of $2.4 billion, bought a downtown Wichita office tower in May and renamed it the Ruffin Building. In July, he purchased the Woodlands Racetrack in Kansas City, Kan.

Ruffin also said Tuesday he was the buyer of the Primm Ranch estate on Tomiyasu Lane in the southeast valley near Sunset Park. Published reports said the 10-acre property, which had been listed at between $14.5 million and $16 million, was sold to a buyer from outside the United States.

“It was me. I bought it,” said Ruffin, who already owns a large home next door to the site. Ruffin didn’t give a price for the purchase and said the deal would close on Nov. 20. He doesn’t plan on moving into the 15,000-square-foot main residence, but may demolish some of the other buildings, such as the equestrian center, a 1,500-square-foot caretaker’s house, and a 3,000-square-foot guest house.

“It’s a big spread. Maybe we’ll turn it into a park for the children,” Ruffin said. “Somebody wanted to buy it and put houses on it. I wouldn’t allow that.”

Ruffin is also a partner with Donald Trump, a billionaire developer and leading GOP presidential candidate, in the Trump International Hotel & Tower that opened in 2009. Ruffin said the building “is almost all paid for” after Trump sold roughly 300 condominium units to Hilton Worldwide’s timeshare division.

“He made $100 million on the timeshare deal,” Ruffin said. “We started out with $567 million in debt that’s now down to $12 million. We still have 400 units left to sell.”

Ruffin said it was “doubtful” that he and Trump would build a once-planned second tower on land adjacent to the building.

Meanwhile, Ruffin expressed his unabashed support for Trump’s presidential bid.

“We’ve been friends for a long time, 15 years, so certainly I support him,” said Ruffin, who introduced Trump at a rally last month at Treasure Island. “I love the guy and he’s a great friend. I just can’t say enough about him.”

Ruffin said he wasn’t going to try to encourage other Strip casino owners to support Trump.

“They can make up their own minds,” Ruffin said.

Contact reporter Howard Stutz at hstutz@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3871. Find him on Twitter: @howardstutz 

ad-high_impact_4
Business
MGM Grand Plans To Add Retail And Dining To Its Strip Facade
MGM Grand President and Chief Operating Officer Scott Sibella said executives are “discussing redeveloping that entire frontage of the building out to the Las Vegas Strip.” (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Boyd Gaming planning new corporate campus
Casino operator Boyd Gaming Corp. has filed plans to build a new corporate campus. The plans call for two 10-story office buildings and a six-level parking garage in the southwest Las Vegas Valley. Boyd Gaming operates The Orleans, the Suncoast, downtown's California Hotel and other properties. The new headquarters would be just a mile from its current main office building.
Bellagio Conservatory transformed to celebrate Year of the Pig
The Bellagio Conservatory Team transformed the 14,000 square foot conservatory to commemorate Chinese New Year, the holiday that marks the end of the coldest days of winter. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Intro uses sound to connect people
Intro, a startup that is part of the Future Worlds Accelerator in the UK, has an app that uses ultrasonic sound to find people and companies nearby.
CES 2019 Video: CES wraps up another year
Time-lapse video of the action at CES 2019 in Las Vegas. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Create your own beauty products
Beauty Mix by BeautyByMe is a product that lets you create your own cosmetics and beauty products. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Picobrew’s home brew machine
Picobrew brings automation to homebrewing. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Surviving CES
What it's like to spend four days working the mammoth tech convention. (Jason Bracelin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Haier’s smart home
Haier presented smart home technology at CES 2019.
CES 2019 VIDEO: Foldimate makes laundry day easy
Foldimate has created a machine that will fold your laundry for you. Just feed it anything you need folded and it will do the rest. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Opte device corrects skin spots
Opte from Proctor and Gamble is a device for correcting spots and freckles from skin. It analyzes the area for spots and then covers them with a serum of matching skin tone. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Circa hotel-casino in downtown Las Vegas unveiled
Derek Stevens reveals Circa hotel-casino in downtown Las Vegas. He plans open by the end of 2020. (K.M Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Circa, new casino coming to Fremont Street
Casino owner Derek Stevens announces his new property Circa, coming to Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas in late 2020. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dreenk My Oeno makes wine suggestions
At CES 2019 in Las Vegas, the Dreenk My Oeno tells you all about wine.
Polaroid One Step Plus camera unveiled at CES 2019
Polaroid has moved into the digital age with its One Step Plus camera with Bluetooth. With the connected app, it turns your smartphone into a remote for the camera, along with filters and features.
Amazon is everywhere at CES 2019 in Las Vegas
Seemingly everything works with Amazon Alexa
LG Smart Mirror helps you dress snazzy
LG’s Smart Mirror is less of a mirror but more of an assistant to help get you looking snazzy. It takes your image and recommends clothes for you or matches existing clothes with new clothes, which can be purchased right from the mirror. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Underwater robots make waves at CES 2019 in Las Vegas
Robosea is a company dedicated to underwater robotics. They produce consumer robots for underwater filming as well as commercial products which can be used for underwater research. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019 - Victrola record players spin in Las Vegas
A new spin on an old favorite, Victrola record players are meeting a demand for retro products. The brand is also making furnitures with built-in speakers.
CES 2019: Slamtec robots ready to serve
Slamtec is a robotics company out of China whose goal is to provide solutions for laser localization mapping and navigation. They have created two autonomous robots that can be used in areas such as bars, restaurants and malls. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Mixologiq drink maker appears at CES 2019 in Las Vegas.
This is the Mixologiq drink maker.
CES 2019: Veritable smart garden
Let’s face it; not all of us have green thumbs. And herbs are particularly difficult to grow, considering their constant need for sunshine. Enter the Veritable smart garden from Exky, which does it all for you. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bonnie Springs Ranch near Las Vegas being sold to developer
Bonnie Springs Ranch near Las Vegas is being sold to a developer, set to close in March. Bonnie Springs, west of Las Vegas off State Route 159 — next to Spring Mountain Ranch State Park — spans more than 60 acres and was on the market for $31 million. The developer and his project partner are under contract to buy the ranch and plan to chop it up mostly into custom-home lots. The plans includes a 25-room motel, a restaurant and a 5,400-square-foot event barn.
Bone-conduction headphones form Aftershokz
Aftershokz offers bone-conduction headphones - headphones that don’t go in the ear.
CES Happy Hour party at Hangover Suite at Caesars Palace
Conventioneers mingled during the Hardware Massive CES 2019 Happy Hour Bash at The Hangover Suite at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Autonomous Cars and Futuristic Aircraft Rule CES
Day two of CES was dominated by autonomous cars and futuristic aircraft in the North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center.
TekNekSavr fights neck problems caused by smart phones
Atiya Syverson invented the TekNekSavr to help fight neck and head problems caused by strains while typing on smart phones. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New eyeglasses know if you fall and call for help
The French company Abeye has created eye glasses that will detect if the wearer falls and call for help. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Company that creates vibrator-like device claims genders bias against CES
Lora DiCarlo is a women-run start-up that creates a vibrator-like device designed for female pleasure called the Osé. This year they were awarded the CES Innovation Award in the Robotics and Drone Category, but a month later the Consumer Technology Association, which runs CES, rescinded the award and their booth. Haddock and her team believe it is a reflection of gender bias and sexism in an industry with a long history of male domination.
CES-Wagz has new pet products
Wagz has three new products to help create better lives for your pets in a digital world. One is a collar with LTE tracking and an HD camera. Also a smart pet door that only lets your pet in and out. Lastly, a device to humanely keep Fluffy out of certain areas of your home. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like