Two bidders submit final offers for M Resort

Sources confirmed a Bloomberg News Service report Thursday that two entities — regional casino giant Penn National Gaming and Los Angeles-based private equity firm Leonard Green & Partners — have submitted competing offers to acquire the debt in M Resort.

Two people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private, said Leonard Green’s bid is in partnership with the Marnell family. The Marnells built the 390-room hotel-casino, which opened in March 2009 at the far southern end of the Las Vegas Valley.

If Penn National is successful, the transaction could lead to a change in ownership.

M Resort is operated by Anthony Marnell III, who built the hotel-casino at a cost of $1 billion — $300 million for the 93-acre site at the corner of Las Vegas Boulevard South and St. Rose Parkway and $700 million for construction.

According to people with knowledge of the sale, M Resort is set to be sold for a fraction of its cost. The resort owes about $700 million to HBOS, formerly the Bank of Scotland, which was acquired by London-based Lloyds Banking Group.

The Review-Journal reported in August that Blackstone Group, a global investment firm, solicited bids for the property. According to gaming sources, 12 companies, partnerships or individuals expressed interest in M Resort.

Marnell and his family, including his father, casino construction pioneer Tony Marnell Jr., made one of the offers for the debt.

Bloomberg reported that the competing bidders submitted final offers after multiple auction rounds, according to people who asked not to be identified because the negotiations are private.

Representatives of Blackstone and Lloyds declined to comment. A spokesman for Leonard Green didn’t respond to a request for comment.

“While Penn maintains interest in establishing a presence in Las Vegas, the company doesn’t comment on rumor or speculation,” Joe Jaffoni, a Penn spokesman, said Thursday.

A spokeswoman for M Resort did not return a phone message seeking comment.

Penn National, based in Wyomissing, Pa., operates racetracks and 16 casinos in U.S. cities other than Las Vegas and Atlantic City. In June, Penn National received a Nevada gaming license after acquiring 1 percent of a small Nevada slot machine manufacturer.

The move cleared the path for the company to move quickly and buy a Las
Vegas-based resort.

According to its website, Leonard Green & Partners manages about $9 billion of equity capital. Its investments include fitness club operator Equinox and Whole Foods Market Inc.

M Resort was funded through an equity investment by the Marnell family, loans from the Bank of Scotland, and $160 million investment by MGM Resorts International.

A year ago, MGM Resorts wrote down its investment on M Resort when the casino was just a few months old. Company CFO Dan D’Arrigo said the accounting adjustment was taken because of the economic climate.

M Resort opened at the height of the economic downturn following a year-and-a-half building process. The operators had been banking on planned nearby housing communities and businesses to fuel the customer base. The sour economy halted or canceled those projects.

M Resort opened to large crowds enticed by a massive marketing effort. The heavy business forced M Resort to hire 250 more workers to its 1,800-person work force. When the newness wore off, business slowed.

Lately, there have been other changes, both in personnel and cosmetic.

In July, former Station Casinos executive Jody Lake was named general manager, replacing Joseph Magliarditi, who left to become CEO of the Hard Rock Hotel. Last month, M Resort closed the Red Cup Cafe, the casino’s 24-hour coffee shop, which will be replaced by Hash House A Go Go. The restaurant was a change in business strategy. When M Resort opened, Marnell said in interviews the property would operate its nine restaurants in order to better control pricing.

Review-Journal reporter Howard Stutz and Bloomberg News Service contributed to this report.

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)
Zillow is getting into house flipping in Las Vegas
Las Vegas Review-Journal real estate reporter Eli Segall says flipping houses has waned in popularity after the housing bubble burst.
Ellis Island Buys Mt. Charleston Lodge
Ellis Island, which operates a casino, brewery and hotel just off the Strip, purchased the Mt. Charleston Lodge in early April.
Casinos to be penalized for allowing drug-impaired customers to gamble
Nevada Gaming Commission Chairman Tony Alamo talks about an amendment making casinos subject to the same disciplinary standards of preventing people to gamble if impaired by drugs as they are for letting them play while intoxicated by alcohol.
Terrible Herbst to open large travel center in Southern Nevada
The 50,000-square-foot commercial travel center will include 96 fuel pumps and the third White Castle restaurant in Southern Nevada. Wade Tyler Millward reports.
Art Bell’s Top 10 Shows
A selection of radio host Art Bell’s most popular shows.
Hooters owner talks about room upgrades at his hotel-casino
George Ruff, founder and senior principal of Trinity Hotel Investors L.L.C., owner of Hooters Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, talks about recent room upgrades at the hotel. K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Passengers Discuss Allegiant Air
Allegiant Air passengers voice their views on the airline at McCarran International Airport on April 16, 2018. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Longtime Las Vegas attorney John Momot dies at age 74
Criminal defense attorney John Momot, who represented mob figures and even played himself in the movie “Casino,” has died.
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like