Friday, November 10, 2000

By DAVE BERNS Gaming Wire

   Despite rumors to the contrary, Los Angeles real estate developer 
Ed Roski Jr. continues to work toward the completion of his announced 
$365 million purchase of the Las Vegas Hilton, a source said Friday.
   Word spread last week throughout the off-Strip megaresort that 
Roski was having trouble raising financing for the property and paid 
$5 million to Park Place Entertainment for a 90-day extension of the 
pending purchase.
   While Roski did wire $5 million last week to the Las Vegas Hilton 
owner, the money transfer was a part of a sales agreement reached in 
July, the source said.

   The developer of the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles and 
owner of the Silverton hotel-casino, just south of Las Vegas, Roski 
has until the first week of February to complete the Hilton deal.
   Until then, he's required to pay Park Place $5 million in the first 
weeks of November, December and January to show that he's "still 
serious" about the purchase, the source said.
   Roski failed to return a Friday phone message left at his Los Angeles office.
   Park Place Entertainment Chief Financial Officer Scott LaPorta said 
the deal's moving along and he is unaware of any problems with Roski 
raising the needed financing. The transaction recently received 
Nevada regulatory approval.

   Bank of America is Roski's lead financier in the bond deal he is 
attempting to arrange and is simply using the remaining three months 
to find the best interest rate.
   "Wouldn't you?" the source said. "He's going to have to pay that 
for several years."
   Roski's Majestic Realty Co. is valued more than $1 billion with an 
estimated 40 million square feet of office space nationally, 
including 3 million square feet of Las Vegas holdings.
   He's a co-owner of the National Basketball Association's Los 
Angeles Lakers and owner of the National Hockey League's Los Angeles 
Kings. League rules would forbid a Roski-owned Las Vegas Hilton from 
handling wagers on both leagues.

   Shortly the purchase agreement was announced for the 30-year-old 
hotel-casino, Roski said he hoped to transform the Hilton into a 
convention-and-entertainment-driven setting that would appeal to the 
Mandalay Bay-Rio-Hard Rock crowd.
   He said he would gut the three 15,000-square-foot high roller 
villas at the top of the Las Vegas Hilton to replace them with a name 
brand restaurant and night club. Playboy has been mentioned as a 
potential operator of that club.
   Roski also plans to turn his back on the volatile world of high-end 
gaming, with Park Place retaining the names of the Las Vegas Hilton's 
best casino customers, moving them to the company's Caesars Palace.
   The new owner would use space bordering the property's 
84,000-square-foot casino to double the number of slot machines to 
about 2,500.
   And he would build a separate hotel-casino with as many as 2,000 
rooms and a time share complex on 30 acres of land that sit between 
the Hilton and Paradise Road and is
primarily used for parking.

Dave Berns
Editor/Writer Gaming Wire
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