LAS VEGAS ENTERTAINMENT NETWORK PLANS PURCHASE OF EL RANCHO HOTEL/CASINO; DEVELOP IT AS 'COUNTRY LAND U.S.A.'
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., Aug. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- A preliminary agreement to purchase the El Rancho Hotel and Casino -- one of the original Las Vegas casinos -- has been signed by the Las Vegas Entertainment Network (NASDAQ: LVEN), which would mark another move into Las Vegas real estate for the gaming and entertainment media company. LVEN intends to make dramatic changes to the El Rancho, re-opening the 22-acre facility as "Country Land U.S.A. Hotel & Casino." LVEN Development Chief Byron Lasky said: "It will be a full-time family resort destination and we plan to draw on our experience in creating Country Music Television (CMT), the first-all-country, all music satellite-delivered video programming service, to bring this new, fun, country theme park environment to Las Vegas." The planned El Rancho purchase will make LVEN an even bigger player in the Las Vegas hotel field. Part of "Country Land U.S.A." may be devoted to a vacation ownership project, similar to another in which LVEN is heavily involved -- the development of the multimillion dollar Lake Tropicana vacation ownership project in Las Vegas. To facilitate LVEN's current acquisitions and working capital requirements, the company has signed a letter of intent for a firm commitment with a leading Wall Street underwriter to participate in a total equity financing of $85 million. "Family entertainment is a bigger business than ever and it's a trend that we have seen in our Las Vegas developments," noted Lasky, announcing the potential El Rancho purchase. "The acquisition of the El Rancho Hotel and Casino will allow us to write a new chapter in the history of this Las Vegas landmark." The first El Rancho Hotel and Casino was developed in 1942 and was one of the first casinos to be built in Las Vegas, standing, at the time, almost alone on what later became the crowded Las Vegas Strip. It also quickly became one of the best-known symbols of Las Vegas gaming and hospitality. The original El Rancho attracted major stars of the day to the Las Vegas entertainment scene -- Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis, Nat King Cole, Sophie Tucker, Sammy Davis Jr., Jackie Gleason, Milton Berle, etc. Actress-singer Betty Grable was actually in the middle of her show when the original hotel was destroyed by fire in 1960. The present structure was rebuilt in 1982 some 300 yards away from the original site, and contains a 90,000-square-foot casino, showroom, keno lounge and bingo parlor, four restaurants, entertainment lounges, meeting and banquet rooms ... and a 52-lane bowling center. "LVEN will initiate a full-scale renovation on the existing Western motif of the El Rancho. We are proposing to re-open a major Las Vegas hotel and casino and, by turning it into `Country Land U.S.A. Hotel & Casino,' making the new property a unique addition to the family resort facilities in Las Vegas," said Lasky. -0- 8/6/93 /CONTACT: Lee Solters and Ian Dove of The Lee Solters Co., 213-651-9300, for Las Vegas Entertainment Network/ (LVEN)
CO: Las Vegas Entertainment Network ST: California, Nevada IN: CNO LEI SU:
JB-EH -- LA008 -- 0345 08/06/93 13:56 EDT
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|Date:||Aug 6, 1993|
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