Binion arranges loanfor Phoenix Leisure

Apr 16, 2002 7:49 AM

After taking his lumps from an investment in a company that unsuccessfully attempted to install modified slot ­­machines in Mexico City, Las Vegas entrepreneur Eric Nelson has reached out to a former Downtown Las Vegas gaming guru for help.

Nelson, chairman and president of Phoenix Leisure ­­Corporation, has arranged a $2 million loan from Jack ­­Binion, founder and CEO of Horseshoe Gaming, a privately-held company that has gaming operations in Louisiana and ­­Mississippi.

The agreement provides that the $2 million will be converted to a term loan due March 29, 2003 with interest of 12%. Under certain conditions, the loan may be extended for an additional year. The loan is secured by a deed of trust against Phoenix Leisure’s Colorado land holdings and a first preferred ship mortgage held on the company’s gaming ­­vessel in Mississippi.

Nelson recently invested in Viva Gaming & Resorts Inc. (VIGA) with the hope of developing lottery entertainment centers in Mexico. Despite initial approvals, the company’s first location in Mexico City was shut down by authorities.

Nelson, one of Las Vegas’ leading auctioneers and real ­­estate developers, founded Phoenix Leisure to acquire and operate facilities such as four Cleopatra’s mini-casinos in Washington State, the Wyoming Downs horse racetrack with four off-track wagering facilities and other properties to be developed in Mississippi and Colorado.