Wednesday, April 1, 2009 | 10:33 p.m.
It's probably not as ominous as it sounds, but a dispute over a bagel business at the Suncoast hotel-casino in Las Vegas has led to the filing of a racketeering lawsuit.
Attorneys Noel Gage and Janelle Lavigne hit Coast Hotels and Casinos Inc. with the suit March 30 in Clark County District Court. Their clients, the Bagel Cafe at the casino and its owners, claim the Suncoast has been falsifying reimbursements for gamblers' slot club points the cafe accepts for food and beverage purchases. The lawsuit also claims the Suncoast has been trying to pirate away key employees.
The lawsuit indicates the Suncoast and the Bagel Cafe have been in disputes over whether the cafe should be open 24 hours a day and over allegations that the Bagel Cafe owners were deprived of an opportunity to open an outlet at the South Coast hotel-casino developed by Coast. That property was sold to Michael Gaughan and is now called the South Point.
"Defendants engaged in a 'pattern of racketeering activity,'" the lawsuit charges.
Boyd Gaming Corp., owner of Coast Resorts, has not yet responded to the allegations and a spokesman declined comment.
Some homebuilders in Las Vegas have folded up their tents and stopped building because of the recession. KB Home is one of the companies sticking with the market and Regional President Jim Widner said that this year, he expects the company to maintain its share of the local market -- normally 10 to 14 percent.
The company, based in Los Angeles, sold about 1,220 homes locally in 2008, down from about 2,155 in 2007 as the recession dramatically slowed new home sales. KB Home is currently active in nine communities around Las Vegas.
In Las Vegas and around the country, KB Home is excited about its new Open Series of homes that it says are extremely affordable, energy-efficient, warranty-protected and are built to order. KB Home sees the new product as being competitive against foreclosures, resales and apartment renting.
KB Home has introduced the Open Series at its Manchester Park development in the Providence planned community in northwest Las Vegas and soon will bring it to a development in Mountain's Edge in southwest Las Vegas.
With a down payment of 3.5 percent for an FHA loan, homebuyers can get into an Open Series home for less than $800 per month, Widner said.
"These homes are designed to be extremely affordable," he said, adding they were developed as part of KB Home's extensive market research in which it attempts to interview every homebuyer, including buyers of resale homes.
The Open Series homes at Manchester Park, which range in price from $119,990 to $179,900, have flexible floor plans so buyers can add or subtract bedrooms, multi-use spaces and storage areas. The Open Series enables homebuyers to add up to 40 percent more living space to the base model of a home on the same size lot. KB Home plans to build this series on about 90 lots at Manchester Park.
Looking forward, with the Open Series and other types of homes, Widner said he expects the home-building market to return to more conventional lot sizes -- meaning bigger -- and that consumers more and more will seek out energy-efficient features. Today's new homes, he noted, are as much as 45 percent more energy efficient than those built just a decade ago -- giving them a big competitive advantage over older resales.
The commercial services desk at the Lowe's home improvement store in Summerlin is having a customer appreciation event April 17. Coffee and doughnuts will be served in the morning, with pizza in the afternoon. Customers are encouraged to bring aluminum cans that will be recycled to benefit Habitat for Humanity, and vendors will be on hand showing off their goods.
The store is at 851 S. Pavilion Center Drive.
Congresswoman Dina Titus, along with Clark County Commissioners Rory Reid and Susan Brager, joined Vons Foundation representatives on March 27 to present a $250,000 check to the Nevada Cancer Institute. The donation is the result of the grocery chain's annual October fundraising campaign, which encourages customers to make checkstand donations at its 21 Southern Nevada stores. The Institute plans to use the funds to support breast cancer research and awareness initiatives.
The Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood and Best Buddies Nevada are hosting the Buddy Two Shoes "Footsteps for Friendship" Walk April 11 at the shops to benefit Best Buddies of Nevada, with proceeds to help raise awareness, open more programs in schools and to send students to leadership conferences during the summer.
The event is being held in conjunction with the Miss USA pageant, airing live on April 19 on NBC, with the 51 Miss USA contestants walking side-by-side with Best Buddies participants.
Walkers can learn more about the event and register at www.bestbuddiesnevada.org and clicking on the "Buddy Two Shoes" icon.
Best Buddies is a nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of people with intellectual disabilities by providing opportunities for one-to-one friendships and integrated employment. The Best Buddies Nevada division started in July 2008 and consists of 11 high school chapters, a UNLV chapter and more than 400 area participants.
Chef Enrique Tinoco's new Tinoco's Kitchen restaurant in the Vegas Club in downtown Las Vegas is having an "Art Fiasco" dinner party April 4. The event features local artist, designer and celebrity photographer Carlo Roncancio. The party will benefit the Shade Tree, a shelter for abused women and children; and the Miley Achievement Center, which has a school for troubled children.