Las Vegas Sun

September 24, 2018

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LV firm plans new tower at Polo Towers

A company partnering with the new owners of ITT Sheraton intends to be the world's leading developer of time-share properties.

Las Vegas-based WorldStar Resorts, a privately held company owned by Stephen Cloobeck, intends to build a new 24-story tower at Polo Towers later this year and will develop properties in Florida's Tampa Bay and in Tucson, Ariz., with Starwood Capital, a private real estate investment firm.

Starwood is affiliated with Starwood Lodging, a real estate investment trust that recently completed the acquisition of ITT.

The foundation of WorldStar's properties was the company's acquisition of Cloobeck Enterprises, owned by Stephen Cloobeck's father, Sheldon. Cloobeck Enterprises has owned and operated Polo Resorts Inc. and International Resort Group Inc., which has operated Polo Towers and the Jockey Club as time-share resorts.

Cloobeck has held a 42 percent market share of Las Vegas' time-share industry.

Terms of WorldStar's acquisition of Cloobeck Enterprises were not announced. Stephen Cloobeck said today the companies associated with Cloobeck Enterprises would cease operations and he would be co-chief executive officer of the new company, handling marketing, sales, construction and operations of the time-share activities.

The other co-CEO, Jon Simon, a former partner with KPMG Peat Marwick in its national vacation ownership consulting group, will concentrate on acquisition, development, finance and treasury functions.

Cloobeck said a third tower would be built at Polo Towers in the fourth quarter of this year, housing 200 new suites. Polo Towers currently consists of a 20- and 22-story towers and the new 24-story addition would form a stairstep design. The current operation has 330 suites.

He said there may also be a new phase of development at the Jockey Club, which is sold out with 14,000 time-share ownerships.

Cloobeck said that while the Starwood REIT is not directly related with the operations of WorldStar, they may work on some joint ventures in the future.

"We're now very well financed with this partnership," Cloobeck said, "and we look forward to working with Starwood in the future."