Fertitta executive: ‘No decision’ on development of Las Vegas Strip resort
A top executive for casino operator Tilman Fertitta said Wednesday no decision has been made on the future development of six acres on the Strip that the Texas billionaire acquired last year in anticipation of developing a hotel-casino.
“It's very expensive to build right in an inflationary environment,” Steven Scheinthal, a vice president with Fertitta Entertainment, said in a brief interview with The Nevada Independent following an appearance in front of the Nevada Gaming Control Board.
“What we're doing is going through with our options and trying to understand what the development process would entail,” Scheinthal said. “Tilman, at some point, can decide whether he wants to go forward or not.”
Fertitta, whose holdings include the Golden Nugget casino chain, said last year he intends to build a 43-story, 2,420-room hotel-casino on a plot at the southeast corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Harmon Avenue that he purchased for $270 million.
In October, the Clark County Commission approved Fertitta’s plans.
Scheinthal said some of the closed buildings on the site have been cleared, but other buildings where tenants are operating businesses have not been vacated.
Scheinthal’s comments about Fertitta’s future plans came after the control board recommended approval for a holding company that will control the Golden Nugget casinos downtown and in Laughlin. A requirement that Fertitta appear in person was waived by the board. The Nevada Gaming Commission will make a final decision on the matter on March 23.
In November, Fertitta became the second-largest individual shareholder in Wynn Resorts after acquiring more than 6.9 million shares – a 6.1 percent stake – of the casino company for more than $377 million. As of Wednesday, the value of Fertitta’s shares had increased to almost $773 million.
Fertitta trails only Elaine Wynn, who owns more than 8.8 percent of the casino company’s stock, as the largest individual shareholder in the company that owns Wynn Las Vegas and Encore on the Strip, Encore Boston Harbor and three casinos in Macau.
Through his Houston-based, privately held company Fertitta Entertainment, Fertitta owns the NBA’s Houston Rockets and Landry’s hospitality divisions that include restaurants and entertainment attractions. Fertitta also owns Golden Nugget casinos in Louisiana, Mississippi and Atlantic City.
Fertitta is a cousin of Frank Fertitta III and Lorenzo Fertitta, the majority owners of Red Rock Resorts, which operates Station Casinos.