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Four Queens back on track?

Jul 23, 2002 7:38 AM

The deal for the Four Queens went bust when Downtown casinos negotiated a new contract with the Culinary Union.

But slot bar operator Terry Caudill is working to revive his purchase agreement of the club.

"The contract lopped a lot of dollars off the bottom line,’’ said broker David Atwell. "We’re trying to put it back together.’’

The new five-year Culinary contract will cost Downtown casinos $2.25 an hour more per worker. Though that’s roughly 30 percent less than the amount agreed to by Strip resorts it could be the difference between profit and loss for struggling clubs like the Four Queens.

Elsinore Corp., the hotel-casino’s parent company, reported without comment that its deal with Caudill fell through last month. Nevada regulators previously approved the sale of the 704-room property and awarded Caudill a license.

The local developer agreed in March to pay about $22 million, plus the value of cash on hand and assumption of some liabilities.

Atwell, president of Resort Properties of America, told GamingToday that Caudill is still very much in the game. "All the licensing has been done. Anyone else would have to start from scratch,’’ he said, noting that negotiations are proceeding quietly.

The 36-year-old Four Queens has been left at the altar before. Two years ago, PDS Gaming backed out of a $30 million deal to buy the property from Elsinore.

Another Downtown operator, speaking privately, calculates that Elsinore was asking too much before the Culinary talks. That price gap has only widened since the Culinary settlement, he said.