Herbst closes Primm deal

Apr 17, 2007 7:15 AM

Travelers from Southern California will soon be greeted by a giant "Howdy, partner" cowboy as they drive into Primm at the Nevada border.

A 75-foot tall sign — similar to the Terrible Herbst cowboy near the intersection of U.S. 95 and Rancho Drive — is among the additions planned for the Primm Valley Resorts, recently purchased by Herbst Gaming.

Herbst bought the three casinos — Buffalo Bill’s, Whiskey Pete’s and Primm Valley Resort — for $400 million from MGM Mirage.

Last week, Herbst officials announced other plans earmarked for the stateline casinos.

Some of the immediate changes include introducing the Terrible’s brand throughout the properties, as well as "bringing the gaming floors up to speed" with a more modern selection of slot and video gaming machines.

The Primm casinos have more than 2,600 hotel rooms and 138,000 square feet of casino space. The purchase from MGM Mirage was the largest ever for Herbst, which earlier this year purchased the Sands Regency in Reno along with three other Northern Nevada casinos for $119.

"My brothers and I are extremely pleased about the acquisition of these three great assets," said Ed Herbst, president of Herbst Gaming. "We look forward to continuing and building upon the legacy started at these properties by the Primm family.

"We believe that the Buffalo Bill’s, Primm Valley and Whiskey Pete’s assets and their customer base fit in extremely well with our existing eight casino portfolio, and that the Terrible’s brand will bring added excitement to the I-15 corridor," Herbst continued. "We are also excited to welcome all of the great Primm Valley Resort employees to the Herbst Gaming family."

Ed Herbst operates the company with his brothers, Troy and Tim. Their father, Jerry Herbst, is the company’s chairman; the company was founded by their grandfather, Ed Herbst.

In Southern Nevada, Herbst operates Terrible’s Casino on the site of the old Continental Hotel, as well as two casinos in Pahrump, one in Henderson and one in Searchlight.

The company is also one of the state’s largest slot route operators with more than 8,400 machines in convenience stores, gas stations, bars and restaurants.