Cosmo in Las Vegas still looking for financial partner

Jan 20, 2009 5:02 PM
Gaming Insider by Phil Hevener |

Those Cosmo bankers have been everywhere, straining to whip up interest among resorts for getting involved at the Cosmopolitan Resort & Casino.

The bankers have talked to MGM, Harrah’s and Jack Binion and explored the possibilities for linking the Cosmo with reservation systems maintained by companies such as Hilton and Hyatt.

Penn National was even taking a close look at the Cosmo as recently as late last week. A source with a long record of providing good information explained, "Everyone knows Penn has money to spend but they don’t seem to be in a hurry to pull the trigger and they have been looking at everything."

Larry Woolf, who operates casinos through his Navegante Group for owners without a gaming license, is another of those who have taken a close look at the Cosmo and the possibilities for this hotel and casino wedged into 8½ acres between Bellagio and CityCenter.

Deutsche Bank, which has kept the Cosmo on life support systems even as it looks for an operator, is studying the possibilities for running the Cosmo as a do-it-yourself venture, taking the money that might be paid to a reservation system and hiring its own managers. The strategy seems to have been opened up to include the broadest possible audience of managers or potential buyers.

Let’s not forget the Cosmo-related saga involving brothers Barry and Larry Lewin, two veterans of the hotel business, sons of the late "Mr. Hotel" Henri Lewin, a top official with Hilton Hotels for many years. As previously reported in this space, they remain part of separate efforts involving Hyatt and Hilton that could see them playing pivotal roles in the Cosmo’s future.