Clear Channel Lands Vegas Home

Las Vegas’ Aladdin Resort & Casino, which is in the process of being rebuilt by new owners into the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, will partner with Clear Channel Entertainment for its live shows.

The Aladdin, which remains open, is expected to relaunch in the second half of 2006 under the new moniker. CCE is expected to chip in $30 million for the renovation and operation of the existing 7,000-seat theatre as well as for the construction of a 1,500-seat showroom.

“This is a big announcement in Vegas terms because this makes us a major player along the Strip in live entertainment,” Planet Hollywood founder and CEO Robert Earl told Pollstar. “This gives us the ability to have two big Broadway shows or two big names, or a combination, and thus puts us right up there, competing with the big boys.”

Earl added that there will be a second announcement with details of the entertainment agreement. The casino’s current Theatre For The Performing Arts will be renovated so that it can be reduced to a 3,200 seater in four hours for midweek performances. The facility currently has Bob Dylan lined up for March 19th.

Meanwhile, a 1,500-seat facility will be built on the mezzanine level, above the main casino with access from the gaming floor, Earl said.

Clear Channel is already in charge of a $35 million version of the “Phantom of the Opera,” set to open at the city’s Venetian hotel-casino next year. The latest deal begs the question of whether CCE will bring in a permanent guest – a la Celine Dion at her own facility at Colosseum at Caesars Palace – or rotate entertainment.

“There has been dialogue in each of those categories, as you would expect,” Earl said. “Clear Channel are the experts, and they are identifying what they’d like to have on a nightly basis.”

Earl partnered with Bay Harbor Management of New York and Starwood Hotels & Resorts to purchase the bankrupt Aladdin in June 2003. The partnership assumed $510 million in debt and liabilities, and agreed to invest $90 million over three years into the 2,567-room hotel and casino.

Earl said he is contributing $150 million in conversion costs.

The $1.4 billion Aladdin opened in August 2000 and filed for Chapter 11 protection about a year later. The property was reportedly hurt by a poorly designed entrance that failed to attract gamblers.