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July 1, 2015

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Company plans to rebrand closed Ritz-Carlton at Lake Las Vegas

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Erin Dostal

The courtyard at the Ritz-Carlton Lake Las Vegas is shown just before the hotel closed its doors in May 2010.

Updated Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2010 | 5:19 p.m.

Why in the worst local economy in memory would a company want to reopen the closed Ritz-Carlton hotel at Lake Las Vegas in Henderson?

The answer, says Dolce Hotels and Resorts CEO Steven A. Rudnitsky, is that the property represents a great opportunity for Dolce as the economy recovers.

That’s because the hotel is well-suited to Dolce’s main line of business: Accommodating business retreats, strategic planning meetings and other corporate-sponsored activities.

"We’re delighted and excited to be in Nevada and to be part of the Lake Las Vegas community," Rudnitsky said. “We look forward to managing our first Las Vegas property and working with the Lake Las Vegas community to help revitalize this charming destination.”

Dolce, pronounced dol-chey, today announced it’s entering the Southern Nevada market by reopening and rebranding the hotel 20 miles southeast of the Las Vegas Strip. Headquartered in Montvale, N.J., and Paris, Dolce said it was selected by hotel owner Village Hospitality LLC to manage the 349-room property that closed in May. The property, sitting on 15 acres, is due to reopen in the first quarter of 2011.

Dolce said it specializes in accommodating meetings, weddings and other “social event” experiences and in an interview Rudnitsky said corporate meetings make up 60 percent of the company’s business.

That may have given Dolce an edge among hotel operators competing for the hotel management contract, though Rudnitsky said Dolce also has a strong track record attracting transient leisure and business travelers -- those not part of group meetings.

“The Lake Las Vegas resort is a natural fit for Dolce’s portfolio, which focuses on properties situated just outside major metropolitan areas on sprawling grounds where guests can recharge and reconnect. A leader in the meetings industry, Dolce hosts approximately 30,000 events and 4 million group clients throughout its 27 properties in North America and Europe,” the company said in a statement.

Rudnitsky said the hotel will be a Dolce Hotel and Resort, but it’s actual new name has not yet been determined. It will likely hire at least a couple hundred employees, he said.

The property’s owner is looking for a casino operator to reopen the attached Casino MonteLago and Dolce won’t be involved in managing that part of the business, Rudnitsky said.

Dolce said the Lake Las Vegas resort can accommodate gatherings ranging in size from 10 to 1,000 attendees. It said it has advanced meeting space features including an 11,841-square-foot ballroom with 7,423 square feet of pre-function area, a smaller 4,700-square-foot junior ballroom and 10 function rooms that include two luxury ballrooms.

Dolce is majority-owned by Broadreach Capital Partners of Palo Alto, Calif. In the western United States, Dolce has hotels in Napa and San Jose, Calif., and in Aspen, Colo.

The resort is owned by Village Hospitality LLC, which is an arm of Deutsche Bank.

Village Hospitality LLC purchased the property in March 2009. The prior owner of The Ritz-Carlton Lake Las Vegas sought reorganization in April 2008 to stop foreclosure on a $103 million mortgage.

The hotel opened on Feb. 11, 2003. Before Village Hospitality purchased the property, Village Hotel Investors LLC had owned it since it opened.

About 350 employees lost their jobs when the Ritz-Carlton closed in May.

Casino MonteLago, which is attached to the resort through a walkway, closed in March. The casino’s owners said the closure was a direct result of the Ritz-Carlton’s announcement to close. The casino was owned by CIRI Lakeside Gaming Investors LLC and leased through Village Hospitality LLC.

Sun reporter Amanda Finnegan contributed to this report.

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