Big changes in store for Caesars | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Big changes in store for Caesars

Susan Wood
Dan Thrift / Tahoe Daily Tribune file / Columbia Sussex of Fort Mitchell, Ky., announced last week that it intends to purchase Caesars Tahoe, after Harrah's announced in July that it was buying the Caesars corporation for $9.44 billion.
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Horizon Casino Resort’s parent company owner said Wednesday that under his agreement to buy Caesars Tahoe announced last week, he plans to use its name for a year until the Stateline casino is “rethemed.”

That’s another way of saying a repositioning of the product – which is expected to cater to a younger demographic like The Palms in Las Vegas where MTV’s Real World show was set.

“Our primary goal is to hold the business while we change the name,” said William Yung, the founder of Columbia Sussex of Fort Mitchell, Ky. The company formed in 1972 runs 64 properties with affiliates that stretch to the Cayman Islands.

Robert Stewart of Caesars Entertainment in Las Vegas confirmed the concession.

Although the company has an extensive licensing agreement with Marriott Corp., that name won’t brand the Caesars property.

“It’s too stodgy and mature,” he said.

Columbia Sussex runs its operation with its hotels and casinos as separate entities.

Yung intends to bring in a chief executive from Kentucky. He doesn’t anticipate many, if any, department consolidations unless duplication of duties is obvious.

“It’s not like one person is going to do something for both properties, but I’m not saying there won’t be any layoffs either. Things will change,” he said.

In addition, a top-notch designer will be hired to do a floor-to-ceiling evaluation of the bars and restaurants at Caesars if the $45 million deal goes through.

He thinks the property owner, Park Cattle Co., will use all 60 days since Saturday to approve the sale. The Stateline company has not returned phone calls.

“They already did the hotel rooms,” he said of earlier remodeling efforts.

All the change for Columbia Sussex’s two casinos is in line to occur at Caesars. Horizon will remain as is.

The Caesars-Columbia deal – which is not contingent on Harrah’s Entertainment’s intent to buy the Caesars corporation for $9.44 billion – would place five of six Stateline properties in the hands of three companies. Lakeside Inn and Casino is run independently.

– Susan Wood can be reached at (530) 542-8009 or via e-mail at swood@tahoedailytribune.com


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