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CR88-p02&03-international:SJC-Casino Review 21/1/10 17:39 Page 2
Harrah’s to keep movie theme at Planet Hollywood
Harrah’s has confirmed its intention to buy Planet Hollywood, having
bought $140m of its $870m debt at a discount, but has said the brand
will be kept to appeal to younger visitors. “This is an attractive
proposition because of Planet Hollywood’s proximity to our other
resorts on the Strip, its high-quality product offering and its strong
brand name,” Harrah’s chief executive Gary Loveman said. “If you were
to start building it today it would cost an awful lot of money. We can do
much, much better with it than a standalone operator could do.”
The end of one decade and the start of another often stimulates
bold predictions for the future. Vegas veteran Phil Ruffin believes
that in ten year’s time the cranes hanging over the city’s stalled
projects will have completed their jobs, that the casinos will be full
and that Las Vegas will once again be booming.
There’s life in
the old town yet
Recession-ravaged it may be,
but Las Vegas’ resilience will
see it return to the fore of
global tourism if not to the
hedonistic and monopolis-
tic days of a time gone by,
according to Vegas stalwart
Phil Ruffin.
The normally media-shy,
Kansas born, billionaire con-
tacted a local Las Vegas news-
paper to offer his prediction
that in just a few years the
recession would be behind
Las Vegas and it would once
again be a boom town and a
magnet for global tourism.
Speaking in the Las Vegas
Sun, Ruffin said: “I figure the
Strip is going to continue to
be the place in Las Vegas,
and there’s only one Las
Las Vegas welcomed The downtown Fremont
Vegas so people from
315,000 revellers for Street Experience hosted
around the world will con- New Year’s Eve 35,000 partygoers
tinue to come here. The
traffic at the airport will be
45m to 50m people a year MGM Mirage for around some properties. By 2020, and operating as will major resort will be on that be a downscale operation.
and by 2020, all the room US$775m and is the joint Harrah’s and MGM Mirage Echelon,” he predicted. site in 10 years.” Downtown can’t possibly
inventory will be absorbed. owner in Trump Interna- will have their debt prob- “Somebody will develop the There were some down- compete with the Strip, but
I think international traffic tional Towers. Referring to lems ironed out because property I used to own, the sides to Ruffin’s predictions that means there could be
is going to grow and far more the purchase of Treasure they’re both led by some Frontier site, either the for the new decade. Whilst some real bargains there. I
people will visit from over- Island, Ruffin said: “I bet really smart people.” current owner or somebody The Strip will remain king, think the locals market will
seas. With all the rooms three-quarters of a billion He also believes that much else because the location is he believes that downtown come back strong and that
absorbed, rates will go up dollars that things will be of the development just too good to stay Las Vegas may shrink in size. Boyd Gaming and Station
and in 10 years be substan- good on the Las Vegas Strip headaches which have been dormant. MGM Mirage and “It’s been tough for down- Casinos will be key players.
tially higher than they are.” by 2020, so I hope I’m right. symptomatic of the credit Sol Kerzner had a magnifi- town areas across the Boyd is a great operator, and
Ruffin is the new owner I don’t see a lot of consolida- crunching recession will cent plan for a joint venture country and I don’t think Station has some great loca-
of Treasure Island having tion on the Strip, but some of also be left behind. on 40 acres at Sahara and Las ours will be an exception. tions. Both of them will be
bought the property off the big players may spin off “Fontainebleau will be open Vegas Boulevard. I think a It’ll still be there, but it will just fine.”
Austrians reorganise board for international expansion
internationalfixture of Casinos Austria AG at the financial director at Austrian meeting: “I am really
AUSTRIA end of 2009 to focus primarily Lotteries GmbH assumes delighted we have such a
on the Group’s international the role of financial director competent management duo
At a meeting in December business. Likewise, Paul at Casinos Austria AG with as Paul Herzfeld and Josef
2009, the Supervisory Herzfeld will step down from effect from 1 January 2010, Leutgeb heading up our
Boards of Casinos Austria his function as Deputy Direc- consolidating responsibility international business activi-
AG and Casinos Austria tor General of Casinos Austria for the Group’s finances. ties, and Bettina Glatz-Krem-
International Holding AG in mid-2010 to concen- Supervisory board presi- sner will now handle finance
approved the Group’s inter- trate first and foremost on the dent Walter Rothensteiner for the whole Group. These
national expansion plans. Group’s continued interna- confirmed his approval for are two important steps
The first step in this strategic tional expansion activities. the realignment: “I am con- towards a lean and efficient
realignment is the reorgani- There were also changes vinced that this new man- management structure.”
sation of responsibilities at on the CAI Board, with Karl agement structure provides With regard to the time
Board level. Stoss and Dietmar Hoscher us with a strong and sus- horizon in the search for a
The future positioning of stepping down from their tainable basis for a suc- potential partner for CAI
Casinos Austria International respective roles as chairman cessful future.” Stoss commented: “Our goal
Holding (CAI) requires a clear and director from 1 January Karl Stoss, director is to find the best, not the
division of Board responsibili-
Paul Herzfeld
2010 to concentrate on general of Casinos Austria quickest solution. Good
ties. Accordingly, Josef
and Josef
activities at the parent AG and Chairman of the things sometimes take time,
Leutgeb stepped down from
company, Casinos Austria Board of Austrian Lotteries and luckily we are not under
his role as Financial Director AG. Bettina Glatz-Kremsner, GmbH, said after the any time pressure.”
February 2010 • internationalnews 3
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