Lady Luck sold, expansion planned

May 10, 2005 4:50 AM

The Lady Luck Casino Hotel announced last week it had been purchased by the Henry Brent Company, a closely-held local company owned by Andrew B. Donner, Robert H. O’Neil and Keith E. Grossman.

The Henry Brent Company has operated the casino portion of business since September 2003. The former owner, California-based Steadfast Companies, bought the property from Isle of Capri in late 2002 and had been operating the hotel since.

Details of the sale were not released.

"This is a very exciting time for our company, especially being in downtown Las Vegas," said Grossman, one of Henry Brent’s managing partners. "The Henry Brent Company is developing additional property adjacent to the Lady Luck for restaurants, bars, clubs and shops. We believe in downtown and look forward to an urbanization effort like so many great cities."

The "additional property" that Grossman alluded to is a shopping, dining and entertainment mall located across Third Street from the Lady Luck, between Ogden and Stewart avenues.

Called The Block, the commercial promenade will be home to Hogs and Heifers, a New York-based bar made famous by the movie Coyote Ugly, a couple of nightclubs and restaurants. The new facilities are expected to be open by June, Grossman said.

Andrew Donner stated that the company’s goal is to expand the amenities at the Lady Luck as well.

"Going vertical is about all that is left in the downtown market," Donner said. "We plan to expand the casino and add additional rooms, as well as ancillary services such as food and beverage, entertainment and convention. We are about entertainment and offering a quality experience."

In addition to expanding the hotel and its attractions, the new owners plan to create customer-friendly parking, something that has been notoriously lacking in downtown Las Vegas.

"We have successfully vacated Third Street between Stewart and Ogden with the help of the city”¦ and plan on turning this into a ”˜power valet’ that is one block long and four lanes wide," said managing partner Robert H. O’Neil. "It will be the largest and coolest valet downtown."

O’Neil added that the block-long parking lot will permit patrons "to drive into a well-lit, safe environment and get out of their car and go into the casino or into any one of our great new venues on Third Street."

Resort Gaming Group, a business and real estate operator owned by Donner, will manage the Lady Luck Casino Hotel. Resort also owns and manages eight Timbers Bar and Grills throughout the valley. Six additional taverns are under construction.

Henry Brent officials said the time was right to purchase the Lady Luck.

"We’re showing double-digit growth over last year," Grossman said. "We’re betting on downtown Las Vegas, and we’re betting with our own money."