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Revenues decline for Stratosphere parent company

The parent company of the Stratosphere saw revenues decline last year due to lower visitor numbers and declining customer spending.

American Casino & Entertainment Properties posted a revenue decline of 4.5 percent for the year ended Dec. 31, to $424.4 million from $444.2 million in 2007, a morning filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission shows.

Goldman Sachs affiliate Whitehall Street Real Estate Funds purchased the company, which includes both Arizona Charlie’s and the Aquarius in Laughlin, from billionaire investor Carl Ichan in February for $1.2 billion.

The company posted a net loss of $31.4 million since the deal closed on Feb. 20, driven by $62.5 million in interest expenses mostly tied to a $1.1 billion term loan issued at the closing of the buyout.

Whitehall replaced the majority of the executive team that had run the company under Ichan, including former President and Chief Executive Officer Richard P. Brown. Brown joined the company in 2000 and had overseen the company since June 2002.

The decline in revenue was driven by an 8 percent decrease in hotel revenue to $81.2 million in 2008 from $88.2 million the year previous.

Casino revenues declined 3.3 percent to $256.5 million from $265.1 million in 2007.

The company reduced staffing levels 5.7 percent to approximately 5,000 employees from 5,300 employees in 2007.

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