Hard Rock sale could close Aug. 25

Kurt Hildebrand / The Record-Courier

STATELINE, Nev. – Another pro sports team owner is buying into Douglas County as the owners of the Houston Rockets prepare to finalize the purchase of the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino at Stateline.

The casino will be renamed the Golden Nugget Lake Tahoe Hotel and Casino according to attorney Sonia Vermeys, who appeared before the Gaming Control Board on Wednesday.

The sale of the Hard Rock is expected to close Aug. 25, pending approval of the Nevada Gaming Commission at its Aug. 24 meeting.

Las Vegas Golden Knights pro hockey team owner Bill Foley purchased the Minden Mill Distillery in May and expects to have it open to the public next month.

On Wednesday, members of the Nevada Gaming Control Board approved the transfer of the property to Golden Landry’s LLC and GN NV Holdings.

President Tilman Joseph Fertitta described the plan for the transfer to board members.

“We’ve always liked the Tahoe market and we saw this as a great opportunity,” Fertitta said.

The transfer will start a complete rebranding that could take the next two years.

“We will take this property and totally transform it, as we always do,” Fertitta said. “If the Golden Nugget name is on it we expect it to be one of the top properties in the market.”

He said he expects the number of employees to increase to 30-40 percent and add numerous restaurants.

“We will revamp every single room,” he said. “Basically when we go in, we touch every square foot of the casino.”

The announcement that Paragon Gaming was selling to Golden Landry’s was made in late March.

Fertitta Entertainment owns Landry’s Inc., along with casinos in Atlantic City, Lake Charles, Las Vegas, Laughlin and Cripple Creek, in addition to the Houston Rockets and Charthouse dining franchise.

“We truly look forward to having another casino in Nevada,” Fertitta said. “It’s definitely the best place to do business if you’re in the gaming business.”

Gaming Control Board Chairman Kirk Hendricks observed application was approved very quickly.

“This application went through very fast,” Hendricks said on Wednesday. “It went very smoothly, and we got it all done and on today’s agenda in only a couple of months.”

The Hard Rock is located across Highway 50 from the Tahoe Blue Event Center, which is in the final stages of construction.

In the last three years, there as been a shift in ownership for every one of the major casino properties at Stateline starting with the 2020 merger involving Harrah’s and Harveys. That prompted the sale of the Mont Bleu, which was renamed Bally’s Lake Tahoe in 2021.

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