Cooper group eyes
Reno Hilton

Mar 7, 2006 5:16 AM

Dual Cooper, long-time Las Vegas casino executive and prominent figure in the development of the Pechanga Tribal Casino in Temecula, Cal., is returning to Nevada as part of an investor group that has an option to acquire a majority interest in Grand Sierra Resort Group.

Grand Sierra is affiliated with Navegante Group in its bid to acquire the Reno Hilton property in Reno, Nev., from Harrah’s Entertainment Inc. (HET).

Cooper and his partners, Island Residences Club, Inc. and Richard Woods affiliates, have purchased 70% of the outstanding common shares of DTLL Inc. of Bloomington, Minn. DTLL has an option to purchase the outstanding shares of Angela Wichard Inc. (AWI), a company that is a shareholder in Grand Sierra Resort Corp. and has certain rights to acquire up to 51% of the company.

DTLL, through its investment banker, Rich Woods, has advised Grand Sierra that it is in the process of reviewing its option with respect to its investment in Grand Sierra Resort Corp. and it intends to assist Grand Sierra’s management in completing the acquisition of the Reno Hilton property.

Cooper, named president and CEO of DTLL following the majority acquisition, has been active in the gaming industry for three decades. He spent a number of years with the Desert Inn and Bally’s in Las Vegas before becoming involved with Casino Magic, Inc., and later with Grand Casinos Inc., a company that Lyle Berman and Tim Cope formed to develop casinos along the Gulf Coast of Mississippi before selling to Park Place Entertainment Inc., now part of Harrah’s Entertainment.

He served as the principal officer in developing and operating the Pechanga property and also was involved in the development of the Tulalip Casinos in Washington State.