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Most Recent Online Casino News

Closed Casino: Castaways Likely Finished

LAS VEGAS — The Castaways is unlikely to reopen, Las Vegas casino industry executives predicted on Monday after the 49-year-old hotel-casino was sold to Vestin Mortgage, the property’s biggest creditor.

Vestin was the lone bidder in Monday morning’s foreclosure auction held in the lobby of Vestin’s El Camino Avenue offices, winning the property with a bid of $20.7 million.

The Castaways closed Thursday afternoon after Vestin exercised its right to foreclose on the property and collect its cash as collateral for its $22 million-plus mortgage note.

The closure put an estimated 800 people out of work.

Vestin plans to sell the Castaways quickly, company spokesman Steve Stern said after the auction.

"Vestin owns the property and they’re going to sell it as soon as possible," Stern said, declining to be more specific about Vestin’s timetable.

He also declined to speculate on the future of the property and whether it has seen its last days as a hotel-casino site.

Casino industry insiders doubted the property’s future as a casino, and said the big three locals operators, Station Casinos, Coast Casinos and Boyd Gaming, almost certainly would pass on an opportunity to buy and operate the Fremont Street hotel-casino.

"It’s hard to imagine that someone would want to operate at that location," said one knowledgeable executive who spoke on condition of anonymity. "It’s in a dreadful location."

Another top casino executive who declined to be named said the Castaways’ contract with the Culinary union includes successorship clauses that would force a new owner to hire the property’s union maids, cooks and porters.

"The unions are one of the big reasons the property’s closed," said the executive, who noted that the Castaways’ nearest competitors in the Boulder Strip market don’t have union contracts. "Boulder Station, Sam’s Town and Arizona Charlie’s don’t have Culinary contracts, and cleaned the Castaways’ clock."

That executive suggested that Station or Boyd may want to buy the property and its grandfathered casino gaming entitlement, and then sell the site with a stipulation that it not be used for gaming.

Read the entire article at: RGT Online 

2004 Online Casino News Archive


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