Caesars Entertainment and VICI Properties have reached an agreement to sell Harrah’s Reno Hotel and Casino to CAI Investments for $50 million, the companies announced on Wednesday.
The property will eventually be redeveloped into a non-gaming hotel and mixed-use development.
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As part of the deal, Caesars will continue to operate Harrah’s Reno under a short-term lease through the first half of 2020. The proceeds of the transaction will be split, with VICI receiving 75 percent and Caesars receiving the remaining 25 percent.
Harrah’s Reno is the first-ever Harrah’s casino, originally opening as a bingo parlor in 1937.
“We recognize the long legacy of Harrah’s in Reno, where the brand began 82 years ago and our role in the community. We are pleased the buyer is committed to the community and supports the redevelopment of this wonderful asset,” said Tony Rodio, CEO of Caesars Entertainment, in a statement. “We have worked closely with the buyer to provide a reasonable closure plan that allows our great staff in Reno ample time to secure their next jobs, including priority consideration for relevant openings at our other properties in Nevada, including Lake Tahoe and Las Vegas.”
“The sale of Harrah’s Reno demonstrates our ability to continuously work constructively with our tenants to improve our individual businesses,” added John Payne, President and COO of VICI Properties. “This disposition will allow VICI to optimize the quality of our real estate portfolio and redeploy the proceeds toward other attractive growth opportunities while maintaining the existing financial terms of the Non-CPLV Master Lease with Caesars.”
The transaction is subject to the closing of Eldorado Resorts’ acquisition of Caesars, regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.
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MGM Resorts’ Entertainment Partners Donate to COVID-19 Employee Fund
MGM Resorts International is publicly thanking the many resident entertainment partners who have donated generously to the company’s Employee Emergency Grant Fund in order to counteract the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on its workforce members.
Among the entertainers who have made donations to the MGM Employee Emergency Grant Fund over the past week are David Copperfield, Jay Leno, Bill Maher, Kathleen Madigan, David Spade, Boyz II Men, Brad Garrett, Carrot Top, Terry Fator, Ray Romano, Jabbawockeez, Shin Lim, Thunder from Down Under, Hans Klok, Australian Bee Gees, Fantasy and Bill Blumenreich Presents.
When its properties shuttered in mid-March in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, MGM Resorts said that it planned to pay those full-time employees who were being furloughed or laid off or for two weeks from their last date of work and maintain all health plans through June 30, 2020. Now, Nevada has extended the mandatory closure of all non-essential businesses through April 30.
“We are incredibly humbled by the support of our entertainment partners, who have come together to assist the people who, during normal times, are committed to creating incredible experiences for our guests from around the world,” said Bill Hornbuckle, MGM Resorts’ Acting CEO and President. “During these difficult and uncertain days, weeks and months, we are working tirelessly to support the tens of thousands of employees who were furloughed or laid off due to the closures of our properties across the country,”
On March 23, MGM Resorts International had already announced its own pledge of $1 million to its newly-created MGM Employee Emergency Grant Fund, which is designed to provide short-term financial assistance for MGM employees and their immediate families during emergencies and unexpected hardships.
The Grant Fund may also provide, “disaster relief assistance to furloughed or laid-off employees whose compensation is suspended or employment terminated as a result of an extraordinary event…such as the COVID-19 public health crisis,” MGM said in a statement.
Thank you to all the MGM resident entertainment partners who have so generously donated to the MGM Resorts Foundation Employee Emergency Grant Fund! The show will go on. #onlyvegas #togetherathome https://t.co/tuZESTdw74 pic.twitter.com/V8SuwwlHx8
— MGM Resorts (@MGMResortsIntl) April 8, 2020
On March 26, Award-winning musical artist Bruno Mars, who has performed a series of limited dates at the Park MGM theater, also personally donated $1 million to the MGM Resorts Foundation to aid MGM employees who’re being impacted economically by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
A representative for Mars said, “With the closures across Las Vegas, Bruno wanted to show his appreciation to the amazing employees who help make these shows possible in hopes that we’ll all be out of this situation and having fun together again very soon.”
Hornbuckle today announced that, with these donations from its outstanding family of entertainers, plus pledges from MGM Resorts and its leadership team, its own employees and a number of other contributions, the Employee Emergency Grant Fund has already raised approximately $11 million to buoy up its employees during these tumultuous times.
For more information, visit mgmresorts.com.
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