market forsale

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Indeed, at a press conference this week, CCC chairman LindaKassekert commented that a sale could happen "within weeks." Thepress conference was held to announce that the Trop was fully openand operational, with its existing management in place, overseen byformer NJ State Supreme Court Justice Gary Stein in place as atrustee.

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The first name to emerge as a potential buyer was Dennis Gomes,the Trop's CEO when it was owned by Aztar Entertainment, who wouldhead a partnership to buy the place. Columbia Sussex acquired theproperty as part of its $3-billion acquisition of Aztar.

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In recent days, other suitors that have emerged include theBaltimore-based Cordish Co., which owns the Walk, a $110-millionretail and entertainment complex in the heart of this city; racetrack and casino owner Penn National Gaming; and PinnacleEntertainment. The latter was involved in the bidding war for Aztarthat was ultimately won by Columbia Sussex and has since launchedits own project here, the $1.5-billion redevelopment of the formerSands Hotelsite.

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The potential sale comes at a time when the Crestview Hills,KY-based Columbia Sussex is preparing to sell casino properties inEvansville, IN and Vicksburg, MS. "We have developed a plan toaddress recent challenges by selling [these] properties…in anorderly manner," says Columbia Sussex president and CEO WilliamYung, in a statement. "[We will] be retiring our senior creditfacility and positioning ourselves for long-term growth with whatwe hope will be a stronger balance sheet."

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