Tilman Fertitta to transform Hard Rock Lake Tahoe into a Golden Nugget Casino

March 27, 2023
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The billionaire has acquired Hard Rock Lake Tahoe through Fertitta Entertainment from Paragon Gaming.

Tilman Fertitta owns five Golden Nugget Casinos, across Las Vegas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Jersey, but he’s about to add a sixth to that list. In 2022, Fertitta Entertainment also acquired the Wildwood Casino and Hotel in Colorado for $43m, but the price of his most recent acquisition is currently undisclosed.

Fertitta said in a statement, “We are thrilled to be welcoming the Lake Tahoe property to the Golden Nugget family. This acquisition represents a significant opportunity for us to expand our footprint into the Northern Nevada marketplace.”

Previous owner, Paragon, has operated the casino since 2015 and licensed the Hard Rock name from the Seminole Indian Tribe of Florida. Paragon’s earlier remodel of the property included its 25,000-square-foot casino. Its hundreds of music memorabilia items will now be returned to Hard Rock.

The South Lake Tahoe Market saw gaming revenue increase to $263.6m in 2022. The area also has plans for the development of an $80m Tahoe South Events Center, which will host conferences, tournaments and concerts.

This purchase marks the first northern Nevada casino for Fertitta, who owns NBA’s Houston Rockets and Landry’s hospitality divisions including a restaurant segment with roughly 520 outlets. However, Fertitta Entertainment is also planning to develop a 2,420-room casino at Harmon Avenue on the Las Vegas Strip after a $270m purchase last year.

Fertitta also owns a stake in Wynn Resorts and more than 13 million shares in DraftKings.

The company stated it hopes to close on the purchase in the next 7-12 months, but Nevada gaming regulators still need to approve the transaction. The 539-room Lake Tahoe Hard Rock currently sits on 24 acres adjacent to Lake Tahoe and across from Bally’s Lake Tahoe.

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