Change Comes To The Riviera

Las Vegas’ Riviera Hotel & Casino has been sold to a group of private investors for about $211.5 million after months of sporadic negotiations.

Parent company Riviera Holdings Corp. agreed to sell the 2,070-room hotel/casino and its 26-acre site on the Las Vegas Strip to investment group Riv Acquisition Holdings for $426.5 million. Riv Acquisition will assume $215 million in debt as part of the deal, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Riviera Holdings also included the Riviera Black Hawk casino in Colorado in the deal, which is expected to close in early 2007 if approved.

Investment group president Scott Butera said the plan is to keep the legendary venue, opened in 1955, in operation while upgrades are being made.

“The game plan is clearly to … commit the human capital and financial capital so that the property can be repositioned and over time become competitive with the rest of the assets on the Las Vegas Strip,” Butera told the paper. “We think there’s some real nostalgic value to the Riviera brand.”

Meanwhile, CKX Inc. founder Robert Sillerman’s name has come up once again in relation to Las Vegas. The former concert promoter is reportedly the managing partner of Flag Luxury Properties, a Riv Acquisition partner, and thus a partner in the Riviera deal, according to the Las Vegas Sun.

Sillerman, the majority owner of Elvis Presley Enterprises, has previously said he’d like to raise The King’s profile in Vegas with an interactive museum exhibit and Elvis-themed show.