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July 26, 2021

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Lawsuit: Roadhouse casino owner interfered with proposed sale

Roadhouse Casino

A new lawsuit claims the owner of the closed Roadhouse casino in Henderson interfered with and blocked the proposed sale of the property for $14 million in 2007.

Creekside Holdings Inc., which is owned by a California real estate broker, filed suit last month in Clark County District Court against Roadhouse owner Robert McMackin and his company Marengo Inc.

This is at least the second pending lawsuit in that court between Creekside and McMackin.

Creekside and the real estate broker, John Culton of Hemet, Calif., are associated with California's Soboba Band of Luiseño Indians, which has been interested in acquiring the Roadhouse.

Creekside says in the new lawsuit that a 2005 lawsuit in Clark County District Court over Creekside's sale and lease option for the Roadhouse was settled in December 2007.

The 2005 suit involved Creekside's failed offer to buy the casino for $11 million and its claim that after Creekside renovated the property and secured its gaming permit, McMackin refused to sell it to Creekside by falsely claiming Creekside was in breach of the lease "so that Marengo might solely profit from the increased value of the Roadhouse."

Court papers say the 2007 settlement included a deal in which McMackin -- during the next two years -- would sell the Roadhouse if a qualified buyer agreed to buy it for at least $12.75 million. Of that, $11.25 million would go to McMackin and $1.5 million to Creekside. If the sale was for more than $12.75 million, the extra money would be similarly apportioned.

Creekside says that just after the settlement was reached, Creekside's broker Penn Realty found a buyer. First Capital Financial Corp., headed by David Larroyoz and Gregory Navone, offered to buy the property at Sunset Road and Boulder Highway for $14 million in cash, the suit says.

But during a court hearing to enforce the settlement agreement, McMackin and his company "curiously produced a facsimile" from a real estate agency canceling the sales agreement, the lawsuit says.

"Creekside believes that ... McMackin, unbeknownst to Creekside, entered into negotiations with First Capital. Defendants, through their own negotiations, significantly changed the terms of the qualified offer from First Capital and prompted the officers/directors of First Capital to cancel their efforts to purchase the Roadhouse," the new lawsuit charges.

The suit says the would-be buyers, Larroyoz and Navone, then entered into negotiations with McMackin under the name Boulder Sunset LLP to buy the Roadhouse -- with Penn Realty receiving no commission -- and that because of a confidentiality agreement Creekside was unaware of this at the time.

The suit charges breach of contract, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, fraud, intentional misrepresentation, intentional interference with prospective economic advantage and intentional interference with contractual relations and seeks unspecified damages.

The 2005 lawsuit remains open, with attorneys for Creekside last year asking the court to schedule a trial and impose sanctions of $250,000 against Marengo and McMackin, charging they had defrauded Creekside and the court.

"Recently, Creekside learned that Marengo improperly contacted First Capital before the court's (settlement) hearing and convinced First Capital to revoke its purchase offer by offering the principals of First Capital a more favorable deal if they agreed to negotiate with Marengo and agreed not to deal with Creekside any further," last year's motion says.

"There can be no doubt ... that Marengo has engaged in fraud upon the court," the motion says, adding attorneys for Marengo had read the terms of the settlement into the court record.

But in an affidavit, McMackin said he had good reason to reject the initial purchase offer from Larroyoz and Navone. One was that Marengo would have to pay a 6 percent commission to Penn Realty rather than the 5 percent in the settlement terms. Also, Creekside was a party to the proposed sale, which McMackin said was not necessary or appropriate as Creekside relinquished all rights in the property in the settlement.

While sales efforts "ultimately failed," "the lack of successful closing was not my or Marengo Inc.'s fault because I was always ready and willing to perform under the agreements that were negotiated and put in place," McMackin said in the affidavit.

Records indicate the court has not yet ruled on the motion for sanctions.

Asked about the new lawsuit, Roadhouse spokeswoman Elizabeth Trosper said: "This lawsuit was settled in 2007 with a court-ordered settlement agreement that expired in December of 2009. During this period, any purchase agreement that may have existed never reached closing. Absent a closing, a real estate agent does not receive commission. Bob McMackin is and remains the owner of the Roadhouse today."

Yet another lawsuit, filed last year against Marengo and the city of Henderson by Station Casinos Inc.'s Sunset Station, is pending. That suit challenges the property's valuable nonrestricted gaming status.

The Roadhouse has been closed for years but reopens once a year for one day to maintain its state nonrestricted gaming license.

McMackin initially closed the Roadhouse in 2002, though it was leased out from 2004-2007.

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