Four Queens sale OK’d

Jul 29, 2003 6:28 AM

The third time indeed proved to be the charm as regulators approved Terry Caudill’s purchase of the Four Queens last week.

Caudill, who owns a string of Magoo’s taverns in southern Nevada, reportedly paid about $20 million in cash and stock to Elsinore Corp., the Four Queens owner.

Industry observers noted that the the price for the 690-room hotel casino was a "red tag" bargain.

The Golden Nugget, by contrast, recently announced it and its Laughlin counterpart were sold for about $215 million, or six times cash flow.

The Four Queens price represents about four times cash flow.

Elsinore had inked two previous deals to sell the aging downtown hotel-casino, but those deals fell through.

Caudill is expected to take possession of the Four Queens this week.

At last week’s Nevada Gaming Commission meeting, Caudill said he didn’t plan many major alterations of the property because it’s "recognizable ”¦ there’s no reason to change it."

In previous reports, Caudill said he plans to refurbish the aging casino, convert the casino’s 1,200 slots to ticket-in, ticket-out technology and "heavily market" to both locals and tourists alike.

"We’re really excited about the opportunity to help revitalize downtown," said Caudill. "The local customer and the downtown customer are both very value-oriented."

Caudill began his career as a craps dealer in Reno 28 years ago. He worked his way up the ladder, finally reaching the position of corporate vice president and chief accounting officer for Circus Circus Enterprises, now Mandalay Resort Group.

He started Magoo’s chain in 1989, and left his Circus Circus post in 1994 to devote all his efforts to building the Magoo’s string of taverns, which now numbers 15 in southern Nevada.