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: lasvegas.com GAMING WIRE
New owners expected to put JW Marriott label on resort