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Posted 08 Dec 2001   For week ended December 07, 2001
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Sent on Mormon-News: 03Dec01

By Rosemary Pollock

Marriott Name May Grace U.S. Casino for First Time

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA -- Marriott International may place its upscale JW Marriott name on the recently bankrupt Las Vegas Regent Resort at Summerlin, Nevada after Hotspur Resorts assumes control of the 541-room gaming property. Hundreds of workers at the Regent were laid off as a condition of the $80 million purchase by Vancouver, British Columbia-based Larco Investments, the parent company of Hotspur, which owns hotels and a mall in Canada.

"The ones that we'd like to rehire have by and large been notified," said Larco Senior Vice President Thad Alston. The Regent had an estimated 1,400 employees last spring but the figure at the time of the sale was about 1,200 with approximately 1,000 of them expected to be offered jobs by Hotspur. About five Regent executives and managers are expected to loose their jobs in the restructuring.

Marriott International's JW Marriott name is expected to be a more powerful draw than the Regent name, which is well known in Asia but not in the United States. "The JW Marriott affiliation makes sense," said Harry Curtis, a Robertson Stephens financial analyst. "The key is to be able to use the Marriott reservation system and drive people into the rooms."

The Bethesda, Md.-based Marriott company has a corporate policy against direct ownership of gambling businesses. Marriott family members belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints which opposes gambling. But even without direct ownership, the move is still only the second time that the Marriott name has been placed on a hotel associated with a casino. The other hotel is in Bermuda.

Hotspur will operate the property's hotel, but Swiss Casinos executives will continue to run the gaming operations for the short term. "We'll be making some dramatic changes in and around the casino," said Bill Paulos veteran Las Vegas casino executive. The Nevada Gaming Commission gave permission that will pave the way for Paulos' Millennium Management to assume control of daily operations as early as mid-January.


Regent Las Vegas changing hands
Las Vegas NV Review-Journal 20Nov01
By Jeff Simpson: GAMING WIRE
New owners expected to put JW Marriott label on resort


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