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April 25, 2015

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Wicked Whispers & Racy Rumors: New Strip hotel buyer? Plus, George Clooney and Ed Sheeran


Steve Marcus

A view of the Las Vegas Strip taken from a helicopter May 21, 2012.

George Clooney Launches Tequila at Andrea’s

Steve Wynn, Andrea Wynn and George Clooney celebrate the launch of Clooney's Casamigos Tequila at Andrea's in the Encore on Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013. Launch slideshow »

Nobu Hotel and Restaurant Ribbon Cutting

The Nobu Hotel and Restaurant ribbon-cutting opening with chef Nobu Matsuhisa and business partner and actor Robert De Niro in Caesars Palace on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013. Launch slideshow »

Louie Anderson on ABC's 'Splash'

Louie Anderson, Greg Louganis, Katherine Webb, Chuy Bravo, Drake Bell and Kendra Wilkinson-Baskett on ABC's Launch slideshow »

If rumblings out of Wall Street are true, it’ll be the biggest hotel shakeup on the Strip since Steve Wynn and Sheldon Adelson battled each other in 1999 to open Bellagio and The Venetian, respectively.

A local nightlife entertainment group involved with an East Coast banking group’s hotel is reportedly shoring up big hedge-fund investment dollars for a run at one of the Strip’s most prestigious hotels. The deal, which has a blessing from the seller depending on the $$$, could take three more months to produce.

It would help take the crushing debt off one of our hotel conglomerates. The deal is said to be larger than last week’s Genting Gaming acquisition of Echelon. The proposed buyer has established a foothold in the property and is expanding its venues in sister properties.

We know the names of the players but have promised to keep them secret until the planned acquisition is set. If it goes through, it will stun Las Vegas watchers, but it’s certain that all the puzzle pieces fit together and make economic sense for all parties involved.

* What surprises are George Clooney, Steven Spielberg, Cindy Crawford and husband Rande Gerber planning for the Keep Memory Alive gala auction April 13? They’re part of the star-studded salute with Barbra Streisand, Bono and many more to Quincy Jones and Sir Michael Caine celebrating their 80th birthdays at the fundraiser at MGM Grand. Another highlight will be when chef Gordon Ramsay auctions a private dinner for 20.

* British singer-songwriter sensation Ed Sheeran, who performed a stunning duet with Sir Elton John at the Grammys for his Song of the Year-nominated “A Team,” will headline the official VIP opening party of Nobu Hotel at Caesars Palace on April 28. Currently opening Taylor Swift’s “Red Tour,” Ed is featured on her fourth CD and also wrote hits for fellow countrymen One Direction.

* It’s difficult to believe that with all the new nightclub competition about to fire up that one of the current leaders is increasing its bottle prices rather than reducing them in the face of the challenges. Back in the good old days, vodka was $275 in 2002, but one of the nightclub industry leaders will charge a whopping $695 a bottle plus taxes and the automatic 20 percent gratuity.

* Are The Scintas, our favorite first family of Las Vegas music, about to announce their new residency at the Downtown D Hotel now that Chrissy Scinta has recovered from throat problems, as we first rumored in Strip Scribbles on Feb. 5?

* Even before the new ABC diving-challenge show “Splash” begins airing, there are injuries. Despite scary and worrying moments during training, our Louie Anderson is OK, but Chelsea Handler sidekick Chuy Bravo has been injured so badly that he’s being replaced by soccer stunner Brandi Chastain.

* Which gorgeous and glamorous Las Vegas beauty is getting romantic overtures from two rival sports titans who don’t know about each other?

* What major boxing blockbuster will disappoint U.S. fans by skipping Las Vegas for an overseas gaming destination because of the bigger purse, perks and financial incentives being offered? Some insiders are saying that this could start a trend with Las Vegas losing other key boxing battles.

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

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  1. well lets see,crushing debt.that'd likely be a harrahs or mgm property.gee,i wonder which 1.if it were ceasars or city center,bellagio that would qualify as an attention getter.if its 1 of the lesser tier properties,say mgm,mandaly ,rio ballys ect then no big whoop.kinda like the treasure island deal.please great swami,let us mortals know what your cystal ball says.

  2. MGM unloading CityCenter? Or if it's a "prestigious" property it could be the Bellagio, maybe Mirage.
    Interesting. Or Caesars unloading The Palace?
    Those two companies are mired in huge debt.

  3. what's the difference ? they will still do everything to part my money and i.

  4. City Center.
    And to make it profitable, Kerkorian will be moving 10,000 slot machines to fill all available space at CC.

  5. I could see Ceasars selling off several of their properties, as they have crushing debt, but the article does make a point to say "one of the strip's most prestigious hotels", and the properties I can see Caesars parting with (Planet Hollywood, Rio, and Paris) do not fit that bill.

    So that leaves me to think that it's MGM dumping something. While City Center seems like a good choice, I could see it being something less impressive (and much less prestigious) like the Mirage or Mandalay Bay.

    As for potential buyers, how about the Light Group and Morgan Hotels? The Light Group has their foothold in MGM owned properties, and if memory serves me correctly, the Morgan Hotel Group is the company behind the rebranding of theHotel at Mandalay Bay. In fact, I'm pretty sure the new restaurants there are being brought in by Morgan Hotels, and managed by the Light Group.

    Seems like a good pick for a buyer to me. Thoughts?

  6. Could be Caesars Entertainment as the sellers, with Deutsche Bank putting together the Hedge Fund investor?

    Could be MGM selling Mandalay Bay, Luxor, Excalibur, znd the Mirage?

    MGM is on way the up. Caesars Entertainment is in decline. More like Caesars Entertainment. But, who knows?