Elad Group plans The Plaza’s class for the Las Vegas Strip

Sep 4, 2007 5:41 AM

In New York City, The Plaza Hotel is highly-regarded as one of the world’s classiest hostelries, attracting the upper crust from around the globe.

That’s what the $5 billion hotel/casino/resort planned by The Plaza Hotel’s owners, the Elad Group, and its partners, IDB Development Corp. Ltd., have in mind for the site of the recently-purchased New Frontier, across the Las Vegas Strip from the Wynn Resorts Ltd. properties.

The message was given last week by Danny Wade, the longtime Las Vegas casino executive who spent a number of years in the pinstripes of MGM Mirage Inc. (MGM) and who played a key role in the 2000 merger of MGM and Mirage Resorts Inc.

Speaking of Yitzhak Tshuva, the billionaire owner of Elad, and IDB, Israel’s largest investment company, Wade said, "They’re confident this project will continue on schedule. Both companies are very solvent and we can continue on as we are right now. The financing will be put in place as needed. And, we feel very comfortable on our timeline."

The project is expected to be operational by late 2011.

Neutral position

Infinity World Investments LLC, a subsidiary of Dubai World, announced last week that it was making a cash tender offer for up to 14.2 million share of MGM Mirage Inc. at a price of $84 per share.

In a filing with the SEC, the company announced that it was making no recommendation about whether its stockholders should tender their shares in the offer and is remaining neutral.

The board of directors indicated it would express its reasons for the neutral position in a mailing to stockholders.

Profitable moves

The recent upswing in the share price of MGM Mirage Inc. (MGM) stock has been a bonanza for some of the company’s executives.

Gary N. Jacobs, executive vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary of the company, has exercised options for 50,000 shares at $16.66 each and then sold them for prices ranging from $82.50 to $83.04 per share.

Bryan Wright, a vice president, exercised 4,000 options at $12.74 each and sold them for $83.52 each.

Rose McKinney-James, a member of the board of directors, exercised 3,000 options at $40.57 and sold the share at $82.84 each.

Also selling shares was Phyllis James, a vice president, who received $83.74 each for 4,000 shares.

Deal extended

Citing the need for more time to complete the legal work, Progressive Gaming International Corporation (PGIC) and Shuffle Master Inc. (SHFL) have agreed to extend the timeline for the purchase of the former’s Table Game Division to Sept. 7.

The announcement by Progressive Gaming that it planned to transition itself into a company that would focus on providing advanced systems for the gaming industry was made on July 12.

The company said it planned to use the cash proceeds from the sale to repay debt and add to its working capital.

In a separate announcement, Shuffle Master said it would hold a conference call to discuss its operating results for the third quarter that ended on July 31 on Monday, Sept. 10, at 2 p.m. PDT.

No slam dunk

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick was expected to announce his decision relative to casino gambling in that state by Labor Day. But, it didn’t happen.

Upon returning Monday from a two-week vacation, Patrick told newsmen that he still hadn’t decided whether he would support casino gambling.

The more he studied the issue, he said, the more complex it became.

He added that his decision would not affect his goals of reducing property taxes and adding 1,000 police officers.

His decision is eagerly awaited by the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe, who has plans for a casino in Middleborough; the Mohegan Sun, the Connecticut tribe that would like to build a $1 billion casino complex in Palmer, and Sheldon Adelson, chairman and CEO of Las Vegas Sands Corp. (LVS), a Massachusetts native who would like to spend $1.1 billion for a casino/entertainment center in Marlboro.

THE INSIDER: There were different results to recent voting by casino workers in Atlantic City. Dealers at the Tropicana Casino and Resort approved a union by a vote of 626-157 while the cashiers at Caesars Atlantic City rejected the union’s bid by a vote of 77-42.

A suite at the grand Sierra Resort and Casino in Reno where President George W. Bush spent the night last week will be renamed in his honor.

Penn National Gaming Inc. (PENN) has filed an application for a casino license in Kansas where a new law will permit a casino in each of four areas. Also, PENN has appointed Frank Quigley as the new general manager of the Empress Joliet Casino in Illinois.