New owners set to polish Nugget

Jan 27, 2004 8:12 AM

MGM MIRAGE announced on Monday that it had completed the sale of the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas and Laughlin to the Poster Financial Group (PFG), Inc. for approximately $215 million.

"We have enjoyed our relationship with the Golden Nugget properties and are very proud of their employees," said Terry Lanni, chairman and CEO of MGM MIRAGE. "We wish the new owners great success in the future."

Lanni added that the proceeds from the sale "will enable us to deploy capital in several high return growth opportunities we see developing both domestically and internationally."

The new owners, Timothy Poster and Thomas Breitling, are newcomers to the gaming industry, but have expressed optimism about resurrecting the former glory of downtown Las Vegas.

"We are eager to begin implementing our plans for the Golden Nugget properties and reinvigorate them with an ”˜old Vegas’ feel," said Tim Poster, PFG’s Chairman and CEO. "As owner-operators, we will bring a hands-on approach to the management of these hotel-casinos."

Poster added that it was his goal that the hotels focus on delivering personalized customer service and creating a Las Vegas experience that takes guests back to the city’s past glory.

"We will be supported by the hotels’ existing management, one that we believe is the best in the industry and has already done exceptional things with these properties," Poster said. "We do not expect any layoffs as a result of the acquisition and are excited to begin working alongside the entire Golden Nugget employee team."

Poster’s partner, Tom Breitling, added that even though the Golden Nugget name is already well-recognized, he planned to enhance the hotel with new amenities and entertainment options.

"The Golden Nugget is among the most well known brands in gaming. We intend to make improvements over the coming months to the entertainment, dining and gaming options we offer in order to further build the brand and enhance the customer experience," Breitling said. "The Golden Nugget casinos have long been a top choice for gamers and we intend to grow this reputation and further improve the gambling experience that these hotel-casinos are known for."

The Golden Nugget Las Vegas is the leading downtown hotel-casino and the largest in terms of guestrooms. The property occupies 7.5 acres on the Fremont Street Experience.

It is an AAA Four-Diamond property and the most luxurious in downtown, benefiting from approximately $30 million in renovations in 2001 and 2002. The hotel has 1,907 guest rooms, all of which were completely renovated over the past two years, a 38,000 square foot casino space containing approximately 1,260 slot machines and approximately 58 gaming tables and 29,000 square feet of meeting and banquet space. The property also includes a new restaurant and has undergone additional improvements throughout the hotel and casino.

The Golden Nugget Laughlin, a 300-room property on 13 acres, has 600 feet of Colorado River frontage near the center of the tourist strip in Laughlin, about 90 miles from downtown Las Vegas in southern Clark County. The property’s 32,000 square foot casino features more than 1,000 slot machines and approximately 12 gaming tables, a variety of restaurants and bars, a nightclub, and retail shops.
The new owners made their fortune in the online travel business. They are the entrepreneurs who founded the revolutionary travel website Travelscape.com and later sold it to Expedia.