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MGM Grand.

No sooner did Steve Wynn sell his casinos to MGM Grand for $4 billion than he and his wife, Elaine, turned around and agreed to purchase the Desert Inn Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas from Starwood for $270 million. Starwood will retain first dibs on building time shares on the property, which would be developed through Vistana, the time share company it acquired last year.

Meanwhile, Harrah's board has voted to increase its Atlantic City rooms from 450 to 1,000.

Marriott Hotels just celebrated the opening of the Tampa Marriott Waterside as its 2,000 hotel. JW Marriott Jr., whose father founded the company with a nine-seat root beer stand in 1927, thanked the 145,000 employees who work with 14 hotel brands, and renewed the commitment to grow to 2,600 hotels with 480,000 hotel rooms by 2003.

And in the Catskills, Atlantic City's Park Place has signed an agreement with members of the St. Regis Mohawks to manage its upstate casino and become its exclusive partner in the development of a downstate casino.

There were immediate cries of "foul," since the tribe leaders did this without advice of counsel. They also have a longstanding agreement with Alpha, a group that includes the Bernstein family, to be its exclusive partner in Sullivan County, where the tribe was expected to develop a casino at the Monticello Race Track, which Alpha partners control.

Other members of the Mowhawks have now filed a lawsuit against the new pact, which came days after the Bureau of Indian Affairs approved its application for the Monticello casino and the cards were in Governor George Pataki's court.

Some say his buddy, former Sen. Al D'Amato, advised Park Place on the pact so they could stall any Catskills casino and not hurt their Atlantic City take. Others are guessing they have other sites in play, like some of the other hotels, and Yonkers Raceway. Stay tuned. The roulette wheel is still spinning.
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Author:Weiss, Lois
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 3, 2000
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