To be renamed the Resort at Mt. Charleston, the Mt. CharlestonHotel, Event and Conference Center sits on 5.76 acres and includesgaming, a full-bar, restaurant, banquet facilities and spaservices, though the gaming (15 slot machines) has been temporarilyshut down while the new ownership obtains its gaming license. Theresort caters to both locals and tourists, and also hosts eventssuch as weddings, family reunions, birthday celebrations andcorporate retreats. Online reviews from this summer and fall speakhighly of the area in general--snowshoeing and skiing in the winterand, in the summer, a refuge from the 100-plus-degree heat in LasVegas--but have dogged the hotel itself for being run down andlacking in amenities, a situation the Siegel Group plans tofix.

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Siegel's JV partner is Great American Capital, which iscontrolled by Haskel Iny. Under the name Mt. Charleston Hotel LLC,Iny and partners paid upward of $4 million for the property in late2004, according to public records. The record of the new propertysale was not yet available online and Iny did not return a phonecall seeking comment.

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Siegel Group chief Stephen Siegel declined to go into detail butdid say that Siegel Group is the controlling member and GreatAmerican Capital essentially a silent partner, and that SiegelGroup affiliate Sasco Properties is assuming the managementcontract for the resort, which has not been operating profitably.Siegel estimates the value of hotel at between $8 million and $10million, which he says is based on current offers to purchase theresort.

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"It's a very unique asset; you can't build another one and thatmakes it very valuable," Siegel tells GlobeSt.com. "It has beenoperating very poorly due to a lack of good management andmarketing; ever since it was built in the 1980s the third-partymanagement has been absolutely terrible."

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Siegel says his company's experience in utilizing marketing,branding and strategic renovations to turn around poorly operatingproperties should enable it to restructure operations and quicklyobtain profitability. The overall plan includes an exterior andinterior makeover to modernize the facilities and correct deferredmaintenance issues. In the near term, in addition to cosmeticimprovements to the exterior, the lobby, restaurant and banquetfacilities will be upgraded and each of the 64 rooms will becompletely remodeled and modernized with services and amenitiessuch as room service, in-room movies and high-speed internet,Siegel says.

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Beyond that, Siegel says analysis is underway to determine thewant for such additional amenities as an indoor swimming pool,sport courts, a wine and hot chocolate bar, a cigar lounge, anobservation deck with telescopes for stargazing, workout facilitieswith spin and yoga classes, and a full service spa and hair-nailsalon.

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"The addition of these amenities will be instrumental in helpingattract visitors and brand this boutique resort as both adestination resort and local getaway," Siegel says.

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Another key to boosting traffic will be the planned addition ofa visitors center for the national forest, which is slated to bebuilt adjacent to the hotel. Siegel says he met with the US ForestService recently and was told that the funding for the project isin place and that construction could begin in late 2009 or early2010.

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Siegel says the resort can be profitable with a 75% to 80%average occupancy. The profit won't come from the room rate, hesays, which likely will be discounted to get people up on themountain, but rather it will come from the money spent on otherthings at the resort such as room service, movies, convenienceitems, spa services and, of course, the slot machines.

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"The place won't make money just renting out the rooms so thekey will be the amenities like food service," Siegel says, "We did500 people for Thanksgiving at $24.95 per person with very littleadvertising; that's not bad."

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This apparently will not be the only deal Siegel Group and GreatAmerican Capital do together. The two are reportedly in the processof acquiring another hotel property together. Siegel declined todiscuss the transaction until it closes, which is expected to occurlater this month.

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