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Barrick set to upgrade
downtown properties

Mar 9, 2004 6:40 AM

The Nevada Gaming Control Board last week recommended approval for Barrick Gaming’s proposed purchase of Jackie Gaughan’s downtown properties, the Plaza, Las Vegas Club, Gold Spike and Western Hotel.

Final approval is expected to be granted later this month at the Nevada Gaming Commission’s meeting.

"The Gaming Control Board was very thorough in its consideration of our license application and we are pleased with the outcome," said Stephen A. Crystal, vice chairman and president of Barrick Gaming. "We’re excited to be part of the future of the city of Las Vegas."

If approved by the Gaming Commission, the pending purchase will put Barrick Gaming in control of about 1,850 hotel rooms and suites, 3,000 slot machines, and 1,900 employees in the four hotel-casinos.

The deal also includes other undeveloped property in downtown, and first right of refusal to purchase the El Cortez.

At last week’s Board meeting Barrick officials outlined lofty plans to renovate, expand and redevelop the four hotels and adjacent real estate.

Under the proposal, the Plaza will be upgraded with 1,200 new hotel rooms and 1,200 timeshare units, and a link to the Las Vegas Club across Main Street.

In addition, a "themed street" representing Old Las Vegas is planned on the acreage behind the Plaza.

Barrick added it has plans to upgrade the Western with a Latino theme, and possibly buy the nearby Nevada Hotel and Queen of Hearts motel.