Gaming giant Harrah’s to take over Planet Hollywood Resort hotel

Harrah’s Entertainment will take over management of Planet Hollywood Resort’s hotel operations at midnight tonight while the gaming giant continues to work on buying the property.

Harrah’s will replace Sheraton Operating Corp., a subsidiary of Starwood Hotel & Resorts Worldwide, which signed a 20-year management contract for the hotel in 2004.

Harrah’s will operate the 2,496-room hotel tower as well and take over some of the property’s food and beverage operations. The management agreement does not include the newly opened 1,201-room PH Tower, which is owned by Westgate.

Planet Hollywood’s rooms will not be offered in Harrah’s customer reward system, Total Rewards, at this time.

Planet Hollywood will continue to operate the property’s casino.

Harrah’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Gary Loveman said the company is continuing discussions with Planet Hollywood and its lender group to take ownership of the resort.

“We continue to work on a plan that would allow Harrah’s to own and manage the entire casino-resort property,” Loveman said in a statement. “In the meantime, we are pleased to take on the management of the Planet Hollywood hotel for the current owners.”

In a memo to employees Friday morning, current co-owner and Planet Hollywood founder Robert Earl said it will be “business as usual for all of us, enhanced by the Harrah’s executive team and the tools and skills they bring to further improve our property.”

He emphasized in the memo that he will continue to have a role at the property. Hotel operations will be overseen by the management team of Bally’s and Paris Las Vegas, which borders the 35-acre Planet Hollywood on the north.

Harrah’s Regional President Marilyn Winn gave up her duties overseeing the Rio on Jan. 1 in anticipation of taking over as Planet Hollywood president later this year. Joining Winn from the two properties will be Steve Opdyke, vice president of hotel operations; Shawn Ritchie, vice president of food and beverage; and David Hoenemeyer, general manager.

The management changes will not affect the employment status of current Planet Hollywood employees, Harrah’s spokeswoman Jacqueline Peterson said. She referred questions about the status of Sheraton’s managers at Planet Hollywood to Starwood.

Starwood has not returned inquiries for comment.

Starwood will continue to have a minority ownership stake in the resort, reported at 11.39 percent on Sept. 30, according to a Starwood memo.

Two top executives at Planet Hollywood Resort, however, left in December. President and CEO Tom McCartney and Thomas Recine, senior vice president of property operations and food and beverage, departed for similar positions at Tropicana Las Vegas.

The addition of the Planet Hollywood rooms gives Harrah’s 22,866 rooms on the Strip across nine hotels including Caesars Palace, Rio, Harrah’s Las Vegas and the Flamingo Las Vegas. Competitor MGM Mirage control nearly 41,000 rooms across nine hotels and CityCenter.

Harrah’s has been trying to acquire Planet Hollywood Resort through a debt purchase since last year.

The company has been negotiating to acquire more of the resort’s $860 million debt, which is in default. In September, Harrah’s controlled nearly $140 million of the debt. In November, the operator filed applications with the Nevada Gaming Control Board seeking approval to acquire Planet Hollywood Resort.

The resort is owned by a partnership between Earl and private equity firm Bay Harbour Management.

Planet Hollywood’s majority owners defaulted on a management contract in the third quarter by failing to pay Sheraton $3.7 million in fees, a November filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission shows.

Lenders took over the property’s finances the same month, according to a November filing with the commission.

Contact reporter Arnold M. Knightly at aknightly @reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893.

ad-high_impact_4
Business
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.
Star Wars VR Comes to Las Vegas
Sneak peak at the new "Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire" VR experience at the Grand Canal Shoppes.
Elaine Wynn continues her fight to change Wynn Resorts board
Elaine Wynn, the largest shareholder of Wynn Resorts Ltd., is seeking to kick a friend of her ex-husband Steve Wynn off the company’s board of directors. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like