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Bally’s buying Tropicana hotel on Las Vegas Strip for $308M

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
                                Sunlight illuminated a sign, in Aug. 2015, at the Tropicana hotel and casino in Las Vegas. The Tropicana Las Vegas Hotel and Casino is being sold.

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Sunlight illuminated a sign, in Aug. 2015, at the Tropicana hotel and casino in Las Vegas. The Tropicana Las Vegas Hotel and Casino is being sold.

LAS VEGAS >> The Tropicana Las Vegas Hotel and Casino, a Sin City namesake, is being sold to a new entrant among Las Vegas Boulevard resort owners.

Rhode Island-based Bally’s Corp. announced today it will acquire the iconic Strip property from Gaming and Leisure Properties Inc. for about $308 million.

The agreement for the nearly 1,500-room hotel, casino, theater and convention property also involves a sale-and-leaseback transaction relating to Bally’s Black Hawk, Colorado and Rock Island, Illinois, casino properties, the company said.

“Landing a preeminent spot on the Las Vegas Strip is a key step for us,” George Papanier, Bally’s president and CEO, said in a statement.

Bally’s Corp. does not own Bally’s Las Vegas on the Strip. That 2,800-room property at Flamingo Road is owned and operated by Caesars Entertainment Inc.

Papanier noted that Las Vegas draws more than 40 million tourists a year and said owning the Tropicana will boost Bally’s customer and player databases, unlock marketing opportunities and benefit Bally’s online and interactive business.

The transaction is expected to close early next year. Bally’s said the price for Tropicana property non-land assets was $150 million. Bally’s plans to lease the land underlying the Tropicana property from Gaming and Leisure Properties for an initial term of 50 years at $10.5 million in annual rent.

The sale-and-leaseback transaction relating to Bally’s Black Hawk and Rock Island has Gaming and Leisure Properties paying $150 million and an initial annual fixed rent of $12 million.

Bally’s owns and manages 12 casinos in eight states, including Bally’s Atlantic City in New Jersey, and said it is set to own and manage 15 casinos in 11 states after several acquisitions are completed.

The Tropicana Atlantic City is owned by Caesars Entertainment.

Bally’s is already licensed as a casino operator in Nevada. It purchased the MontBleu Resort near Lake Tahoe from Caesars earlier this month.

The Tropicana Las Vegas opened in April 1957. It has two towers of 22 and 21 stories on a 35-acre (14-hectare) parcel at a Las Vegas Boulevard intersection with a major thoroughfare named for it. The hotel has been operated in recent years as a DoubleTree by Hilton.

The property was purchased by Penn National Gaming in 2015 for $360 million, and Penn last year sold the land occupied by the Tropicana to its spin-off company, Gaming and Leisure Properties, for $337.5 million in rent credits.

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