Fertitta Acquiring Hard Rock Tahoe, Plans Golden Nugget Conversion

Fertitta Acquiring Hard Rock Tahoe, Plans Golden Nugget Conversion

Posted on: March 26, 2023, 04:57h. 

Last updated on: March 26, 2023, 04:57h.

Tilman Fertitta’s Fertitta Entertainment is acquiring Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe from Paragon Gaming and could ultimately rebrand the property to a Golden Nugget venue.

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe
The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe. Tilman Feritta’s Fertitta Entertainment is buying the venue. (Image: SFGate)

Financial terms of the transaction, which is slated to close in the next seven to 12 months, weren’t revealed. Fertitta Entertainment controls the Golden Nugget casino empire, making Hard Rock Tahoe’s conversion to that brand likely in the future. The deal marks the operator’s first move into the Reno-Lake Tahoe market.

We are thrilled to be welcoming the Lake Tahoe property to the Golden Nugget family,” said Fertitta in a statement. “This acquisition represents a significant opportunity for us to expand our footprint into the Northern Nevada marketplace.”

The venue will be the third Golden Nugget in Nevada, joining one in downtown Las Vegas and another in Laughlin. Other properties bearing that name are located in Atlantic City, NJ, Lake Charles, La. and Biloxi, Miss. A recently acquired casino-hotel in Cripple Creek, Colo. will likely be transitioned to Golden Nugget branding and the operator recently broke ground on a new venue Illinois.

Paragon Pares Portfolio

When it comes to casinos, the Hard Rock brand is most synonymous with venues controlled and operated by the Seminole Tribe of Florida.

Las Vegas-based Paragaon Gaming rebranded the Lake Tahoe property to Hard Rock in January 2015, licensing that name from Seminole. The venue opened in 1965 as Sahara Tahoe. The brand changed to High Sierra in 1983 and in 1990, the name was altered to Horizon Lake Tahoe.

With the sale, Paragon’s property portfolio will be reduced to two — OYO Hotel and Casino Las Vegas and The Den Las Vegas.

“We have had an incredible run over the last seven years in Lake Tahoe and couldn’t be more excited for what the future holds for our amazing team members. It’s been a privilege to own this historic property and we look forward to seeing the next chapter under the guidance of Fertitta Entertainment,” said Diana Bennett, CEO of Paragon Gaming, in the statement.

Hard Rock Sale Extends Busy Period in Reno-Tahoe Market

Fertitta’s purchase of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe extends what’s been a brisk stretch of acquisitions and openings in the Reno-Tahoe market.

Last week, Nevada regulators signed off on Century Casinos’ $195 million purchase of the Nugget Sparks — a deal announced 13 months ago.

Last November, Elevation Entertainment announced plans for the Firecreek Crossing Resort-Casino in Reno. Firecreek Crossing Resort-Casino will be the newest casino in Reno, following the debut of Legends Bay Casino in Sparks last year. Legends Bay is the first from-the-ground-up casino in Sparks in nearly three decades. Reno-Tahoe isn’t competitive with Las Vegas from a gross gaming revenue (GGR) perspective, but the former is increasingly attractive to operators.

While nearby Lake Tahoe is home to famed ski resorts and other outdoor recreation, Reno is attracting companies, such as Amazon, Alphabet, Apple and Tesla, contributing to an unemployment rate below three percent — far below Nevada and national averages.

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Source: casino.org

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