Who Owns Vegas


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Who Owns Vegas
Photo © Andrew Hudson
Welcome to fabulous Las Vegas
Last updated:
First published: October 2005

ABF, Inc.

An investment company of Andrew (Andy) Fonfa which is a partner in Sahara Investments, LLC which is building a 1,300-room hotel in Allure Las Vegas. Fonfa may have bought the 5-acre land in 1985.


Hotels: 3; Rooms: 908; Rank: 30

Based in France, Accor is one the world's leading hotel operators, owning U.S. brands Motel 6 and Red Roof Inns.

Accor Hotels in Las Vegas
Motel 6 Boulder Hwy (#1337) 161
Motel 6 I-15 (#1324) 139
Motel 6 Tropicana (#0067) 608
Total 908

AFI Group

Previously Africa Israel Investments Ltd.

January 2008: Planning the world's largest hotel — Edge Las Vegas, a 6,745-room hotel, casino and retail complex. The site is a few blocks east of the Strip, on 60 acres along Harmon Avenue, west of the Hard Rock Hotel, where Las Ramblas was planned.

The land was bought for around $625 million by a group led by AFI:

  • 49%: AFI Group
  • 30.6%: Developers Steve Witkoff and the Cipriani family, based in New York
  • 10.2% Credit Suisse (CSGN.VX)
  • 10.2% subsidiary of the seller, Edge Group

Previously known as Africa Israel Investments, the AFI Group is an investment company of Lev Leviev, an Israeli billionaire ruch from a diamond business. One if its eight divisions is Hotels and Resorts, with hotels such as Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn and Express by Holiday Inn. Lev Leviev is chairman.

After Midnight Company

Hotels: 0; Rooms: 0

Announced the ultimately cancelled 300-room Las Ramblas hotel. The land was sold to Edge Group in 2006. Partnered with The Related Companies, Centra Properties, LLC, and George Clooney. Las Ramblas was to be on Harmon Avenue and based on the famous La Rambla boulevard in Barcelona, Spain.

After Midnight is the company of Rande and Scott Gerber, who own many chic, elegant nightclubs including Stone Rose. Rande Gerber started The Whiskey bar in 1991 and is married to Cindy Crawford. Rande Gerber runs the Cherry nightclub at Red Rock Resort and the Whiskey Bar at Green Valley Ranch Resort.

American Casino and Entertainment Properties

A subsiary of American Real Estate Partners, L.P. Sold to Goldman Sachs in 2007 and may now be defunct.

American Real Estate Partners, L.P.

In April 2007, AREP agreed to sell the Stratosphere, two Arizona Charlie's hotels, and 17 acres on the Las Vegas Strip to Goldman Sachs Group Inc.'s real estate funds for $1.3 billion. The hotels were owned by AREP's subsidiary American Casino and Entertainment Properties; now they'll be owned by Goldman Sach's Whitehall Street Real Estate Funds.

AREP (NYSE: ACP | areplp.com | Hoovers profile

AREP is headed by corporate takeover titan and billionaire investor Carl Icahn. AREP bought the Stratosphere in 1998 and the two Arizona Charlie's in 2004.

Carl Icahn (through his investment vehicle Icahn Management LP) owns a stake in Hilton and Wyndham.

American Nevada Corporation.

Private | americannevada.com

Owned by The Greenspun Corporation.

Ameristar Casinos, Inc.

NASDAQ: ASCA | ameristarcasinos.com | Hoover's Profile

Made a bid for the Tropicana, but lost to Columbia Sussex.

Based in Las Vegas, Ameristar owns several hotel-casinos. Craig Neilsen owns 56% of the company and is Chairman, President and CEO.

Apollo Management, L.P.

Hotels: 0

Private | Also known as Apollo Advisors, L.P. | Hoover's profile

Co-owners of Harrah's (as of 1/28/08), following a $17-billion private buyout with TPG Capital.

Founded in 1990 and based in New York, Apollo is a private investment firm with over $31 billion of capital under management. A senior partner is Larry Berg.

Notable investments include AMC Entertainment and GNC.

Archon Corporation.

OTC: ARHN | archoncorporation.com | Hoover's Profile

Based in Las Vegas, Archon owns the 26-acre site of the former Wet 'n Wild theme park, on the north Strip by the Sahara. Through its subsidiary Sahara Las Vegas Corp., Archon has controlled the site since 1995. The Wet 'n Wild waterpark was operated by Palace Entertainment until it was closed in 2004.

Archon has announced that the 26-acre site will be sold for $450m to LVTI. If the sale isn't completed by April 2008, LVTI forfeits $45 million to Archon. Archon, incorporated in 1993, is 76% owned by CEO Paul Lowden.

Aspen Highland Holdings

Around January 2008, bought the site of the planned-but-cancelled Ivana Las Vegas condo tower for $47 million. Once the site of the former Holy Cow Casino and brewery.

The Atalon Group

CEO: Frederick Chin. Partner: James Coyne

Part of Credit Suisse? Here's an article about Lake Las Vegas.

Owns Lake Las Vegas Resort, via subsidiary LLV Holdco (which declared bankruptcy in July 2008). In January 2008, for an undisclosed sum, assumed ownership of the 3,592 acres of Lake Las Vegas including a part-ownership of Ritz Carlton Hotel Lake Las Vegas (which closed in May 2010), 400 acres of undeveloped land, three golf courses, a fourth golf course in development, and about a half a dozen businesses on the Strip.

The previous owner (1990-2008) was Ron Boeddeker's Transcontinental Corp. (along with invester Cook Inlet Region, Inc. (CIRI)), which developed and owned the property for 18 years. Transcontinental lost control in 2008 after defaulting on a $540 million mortgage.

Lake Las Vegas properties that are not owned by Atalon include Loews Las Vegas Resort, the MonteLago Casino, MonteLage Village Resort.

Lake Las Vegas was started around 1968 by J. Carlton Adair, an actor and hotel owner. He bought the land water rights and called the area Lake Adair. However, Adair fell into bankruptcy and another developer failed too, selling to Transcontinental Properties in 1990.

Construction of the resort's dam and two-mile-long bypass system started in 1988. The 320-acre lake was completed with an 18-story dam in 1994. The privately-owned 3,592-acre master planned resort includes custom home sites, waterfront and golf villas, resort condominiums and luxury executive homes.

MonteLago Village is a condominium-hotel project developed by Intrawest Corporation. Another 400-room convention center hotel was proposed but is unlikely to happen.

In 2006, The Hyatt Regency Lake Las Vegas (1999, 496 rooms) was sold by Transcontinental to a partnership including a private investor (75%) and Loews Hotels (25%). The hotel was renamed Loews Lake Las Vegas. In 2008, Transcontinental defaulted on a $540-million mortgage and the 3,592-acre property was acquired by The Atalon Group.

Atalon is a holding company for a group of creditors led by Credit Suisse. Atalon decribes itself as "a national operational restructuring firm that has experience in turning around financially troubled companies."

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Copyright © 2005–2011 Andrew Hudson for Photo Tour Books, Inc. Written for A Photo Tour of Las Vegas. You may reproduce this article for personal, educational, non-commercial and non-Internet use, such as in a hobbyist newsletter or school project. No Internet publishing is permitted. For commercial use, please email Andrew Hudson for permission.