Friday, Aug. 22, 1997 | 9:54 a.m.
CARSON CITY -- A Swiss company that wants to build a plush, 600-room hotel-casino at Summerlin has gained a Nevada gaming license.
"This property is going to be a true resort like Palm Springs and Scottsdale but with the added kicker -- the casino," said Brian McMullan, president of the Seven Circle Resorts of Nevada, which is a subsidiary of Tivolino Holding AG of Zurich, Switzerland.
The company hopes to break ground by Oct. 15. It is buying the land from the Howard Hughes Corp., but it must first get a gaming license and financing for the project before the sale can take place.
The Nevada Gaming Commission approved a license for the corporation to act as a distributor of gaming devices. This is a foot in the door and the company will still have to return to state gaming regulators for a license to operate the resort, once it is completed.
Tivolino operates seven casinos in Switzerland and has gaming licenses in Colorado and North Dakota. It is purchasing 54 acres at Rampart and Summerlin Parkway in Clark County and has an option to buy 22 more acres.
Hans Jecklin is chairman of the board of Tivolino and holds 74.75 percent of the stock. Christiane Heidemarie Jecklin-Maeter is vice chairman with 25 percent.
The commission also approved a license for the Key Largo Casino, formerly the Quality Inn at 377 E. Flamingo Road in Las Vegas. It would have three table games and 240 slots and is ready to open after it gets Clark County approval, expected Aug. 29.
Stephen Bone, president of Ambassador Gaming Inc., which will run the hotel-casino, said it will have a new theme, new decor and a new casino inside the 320-room hotel.
If successful, Bone said, there is land to the west that will allow casino expansion and the addition of a hotel-tower.
The Robert L. Mayer Trust will hold 100 percent of the resort. Mayer is the trustee-beneficiary of the trust and has been the landlord at the property since 1987. His son, Robert Mayer Jr., will be treasurer.
The son is retiring from the Los Angeles Police Department. He told the commission that he was on loan from the police department to the state Bureau of Narcotics in California. There, he said, he discovered a "number of officers" involved in unethical or illegal behavior.
"I'm the whistle blower," he said, adding he has asked for permission to retire from the police department.