James Packers Crown Resorts Ltd buys land on the Vegas Strip

crownIn a first of a kind of land deal, the James Packer led Crown Resorts Ltd has secured a 34.6 acre vacant land on the Las Vegas Strip sparking speculation about the spread of the Australian Gaming and entertainment conglomerate’s expanse to the hub of gambling. It was announced through a press release that Crown Resorts Limited, along with former President and COO of Wynn Las Vegas Andrew Pascal, had secured financial support from Oaktree Capital Management and formed a new resort company. 

The site, on the “Las Vegas Strip”, was formerly occupied by the New Frontier casino and was acquired through a foreclosure auction initiated by lenders to the former owner of the site. “For over 25 years, I’ve studied the ever‐shifting Las Vegas landscape,” said Pascal in a press release. “I’ve always been inspired by this city’s capacity for reinvention.  I’m excited to have my hand in crafting something new and fresh for the resurgent Las Vegas market.”

James Packer, Chairman of Crown Resorts Limited, and Co‐Chairman of the new company said: “You can’t be in the gaming industry and not have a special reverence for Las Vegas – that’s where it all began. As we have built Crown Resorts into a thriving international company with successful casino ventures in Australia, Macau, and London, we’ve always kept our eye on Las Vegas. And while we fell short in past attempts to enter that market, we now have the ideal opportunity ‐ with a great local partner in Andrew, a leading financial investor in Oaktree, and the perfect piece of property.”

Bruce Karsh, President of Oaktree said, “We acquired our interest in the storied Frontier site because we believed it was the best piece of undeveloped land on the Las Vegas Strip. When Andrew approached us and shared his vision for the site and his partnership with Crown, we were eager to reinvest a portion of the proceeds from our debt investment and become an equity partner in their exciting new venture.” While the plans for the new development are still being finalized, the company expects to break ground in the latter part of 2015 and complete the project in 2018.

If this attempt by Crown to prosper in Vegas succeeds then it might be their third such venture after the failure of the Fontainebleau Resorts LLC and Cannery Casino Resorts LLC. Crown is currently one of the biggest entertainement companies in Asia-PAcific with casinos in Australia and Macau. Crown is also the corporation responsible for the very successful and prestigious Aussie Millions poker tournament.