Houston billionaire Tilman Fertitta, the owner of the Golden Nugget Casinos brand and NBA’s Houston Rockets, is in the process of acquiring property on the Strip, according to a report Tuesday by Las Vegas Review-Journal. The tycoon is allegedly planning a new resort at the site, at the southeast corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Harmon Avenue. The report comes as the casino brand moves forward with plans to expand in Illinois and Colorado recently.
The cited publication reports that Fertitta intends to develop an upscale hotel at the site, which spans about 6 acres. It said the mogul is acquiring the spread, which currently features retail and restaurant space, for more than $200 million.
The property would be across from the CityCenter complex, which features the Aria, Vdara and Waldorf Astoria hotels. Fertitta is expected to close the purchase “within the next few months,” sources told Review-Journal.
Aria Resort & Casino
Alternative asset management firm Spectrum Group currently owns the property with other investors, the cited source says. Neither the seller nor the businessman have yet publicly announced the transaction plans.
Tilman Fertitta is the owner and CEO of Fertitta Entertainment, an empire spanning restaurants, hotels, pro sports teams. The mogul’s net worth is around $5.7 billion, and his holdings include the Golden Nugget casino brand, NBA’s Houston Rockets, and renowned restaurant chains such as Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. and Joe’s Crab Shack.
Fertitta’s Landry’s, Inc. multi-brand dining, hospitality, entertainment and gaming corporation first expanded to casinos in 2005, when it bought Golden Nugget Casinos in Las Vegas and Laughlin, Nevada. Since then, the company has taken the brand to New Jersey, Mississippi and Louisiana.
Fertitta's Golden Nugget casino in downtown Vegas
The billionaire already owns a property in Las Vegas: a downtown Golden Nugget casino with 2,419 hotel rooms and 38,000 sq ft of gaming space. However, a purchase on the Strip would place him right at the center of the gambling mecca, potentially leading to a ground-up project on the competitive tourist corridor of the Las Vegas Boulevard.
The proposed development site is also located next to a 9.5-acre site owned by Grindi Capital, which is planning a retail development, Review-Journal further reported. Las Vegas developer Brett Torino, who owns a three-story retail complex at the northeast corner of Las Vegas Boulevard, told the site a Fertitta luxury hotel would be “fantastic” for that stretch on the Strip.
He further confirmed to Review-Journal that he has been hearing from “a lot of people” that the billionaire would be acquiring property at the intersection, which he sees as offering opportunities for “a massive amount of construction and development.
Last week, Golden Nugget Casino Danville broke ground in Illinois, which would mark the sixth Golden Nugget casino in the United States. The plan is for the casino to open in March 2023, with other businesses to follow. Earlier this month, it was announced that Tilman Fertitta is purchasing the Wildwood Casino and Hotel in Cripple Creek, Colorado, for $43 million. The deal, expected to finalize by summer, is being carried out through the mogul’s Fertitta Entertainment company and will see the introduction of the iconic Golden Nugget brand to the state.