Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog

December 6, 2007

Crown Las Vegas Moves Forward; Two Towers

Posted by Hunter

Another piece of news from the recent press, the Wet N' Wild Crown Las Vegas project is moving past the Planning Commission after slashing their height, which may mean that they will end up with two towers.


Read archived comments (12 so far)
December 6, 2007 4:38 PM Posted by Dave

Two towers...that gets me thinking. Why hasn't anyone ever done a Tolkien-themed casino project? Besides the fact that LOTR and Hobbit fans don't like to gamble, I mean.

December 10, 2007 9:03 AM Posted by doc_al

Two towers? Grim association #1, LoTR. Grim association #2, NYC.

I sort of thought once this couldn't be "the tallest" it would die on the vine, but it seems they're still clinging to "tallest hotel".

December 10, 2007 1:03 PM Posted by Mike T

Denial of the original plan was never going to lead to failure of the project as a whole because there is simply too much money to be made here in Vegas for the developers to walk away from it.

December 10, 2007 3:48 PM Posted by Jeff in OKC

It looks like a game of chicken. I think I read Milam makes interest and option payments without paying on the principal. It seems like he is moving with the most obnoxious plan he can to get Fountainbleau or Sahara to give him a nice profit to go back to the Pioneer in Laughlin.

December 10, 2007 4:51 PM Posted by Mark D

Rose Rotana hotel in Dubai will still be the tallest hotel, if only by 29 feet.

According to Greg Borgel, their attorney at the planning hearing, they were paying $70,000 in interest a day on the land deal while waiting for an acceptable FAA decision. That's why the price increased $25 million. LVT1 made a forty million dollar principal payment on the land last May after York Capital and PBL became partners. PBL also already has a percentage ownership in Fontainebleau. Archon, the company selling the site, is not involved with developing the Crown project.

December 10, 2007 5:31 PM Posted by Mark D

Also should note that Crown was split off from PBL last week and is now a pure casino stock play, though only on the Australian Securities Exchange right now. They have over $2 billion in cash for development.
Their Macau partnership with Lawrence Ho, Melco PBL, is available on NASDAQ as MPEL, but they recently reported a huge loss.

December 11, 2007 6:57 AM Posted by Jeff in OKC

Man, was I confused! Thanks for setting me straight. The project just seems odd, though. Why do they spend so much time (Not to mention money) on a height proposal that looks DOA to outside observers. It creats ill will and doubts about their clarity of vision in the market.

December 12, 2007 5:16 AM Posted by detroit1051

Cannery and Crown:

December 12, 2007 10:53 AM Posted by Dave

Interesting transaction. I wonder if Wortman and Paulos will remain affiliated with Cannery/Crown after the sale--they certainly know what they're doing, and would be good voices to have around the table as the Crown project goes forward.

December 12, 2007 1:47 PM Posted by mike_ch

Bizarre. What would Packer want with a few little locals resorts that are so small they hardly register on STN's radar.

I've only been to Cannery once, and what I surmised was that it was a nice little place in the wrong neighborhood for a nice little place.

December 12, 2007 1:53 PM Posted by Hunter

Well, it lets his company start the licensing process in Nevada which would let them be more nimble with future projects.

December 12, 2007 1:56 PM Posted by Dave

According to Arnold Knightly at the RJ, Wortman and Paulos will stay with the company for 2 years, with "options open" after that.

Paulos worked for Kerry Packer in the 1990s, and was in charge of the Crown Melbourne when it opened. So he probably knows James Packer pretty well, and I'm guessing that Packer respects his judgment. This could be more of a "reverse acquisition" along the lines of Circus Circus buying Gold Strike Resorts (with the principles in GSR taking leadership positions at Circus) than a straight-out acquisition.

With the dollar weak, American casino companies are probably good investments. With relatively deep pockets, could this mean assembling a "Crown Empire" in the US? With a foothold in Las Vegas, acquisitions in AC and the riverboat markets could be next.