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LAS VEGAS-Friday’s the day for the Aladdin Resort and Casino, when a bankruptcy court will decide who will be the new owner of the gaming facility along the Strip, along with a neighboring 7,000-seat Theater of Performing Arts.An older casino of that name was demolished in 1998 and rebuilt for $1.4 billion in 2000. However, the next year the company filed for bankruptcy.

“We filed right after Sept. 11,” said Tyri Squyres, a casino representative. “That just devastated us. Travel came to a halt, and occupancy was at all-time lows for everyone. Also, we’re a single-entity, [so] we couldn’t rely on other business like some multiple owners.”

A few companies are reportedly vying for the ownership of the casino. However, only one has been announced publicly. The Aladdin Gaming Co. said it signed a purchase and sale agreement to sell to a joint venture between Robert Earl, the CEO and co-founder of Planet Hollywood; Bay Harbour Management LLC; and Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide Inc.

Squyres said the joint venture has appointed Mike Mecca to be its president and CEO. Prior to his appointment to these positions, Mecca served as the general manager of Green Valley Ranch Casino & Spa.

“As part of the agreement, the new company will keep the current employees,” Squyres told GlobeSt.com.She also said that as part of the transaction, the venture will assume $510 million of restructured Aladdin Gaming notes and certain other liabilities, including Aladdin Gaming’s ongoing obligations to Northwind Aladdin LLC.

The contract also stipulates that the new venture will spend $90 million to renovate the casino into the new “Planet Hollywood Hotel & Casino,” a Sheraton Hotel.As at its other locations, Planet Hollywood has said it will exhibit various displays from its collection of movie and television memorabilia.

According to the agreement, Starwood, a Sheraton brand, will manage the hotel operations and will not have responsibility for casino operations. Squyres said the parties also contemplate that Starwood, through its Starwood Vacation Ownership division, will develop a Westin Vacation Resort of up to 600 units at the property. The purchase will not include the adjoining Desert Passage Mall, which is owned by Aladdin Bazaar LLC.

The agreement is subject to bankruptcy court approval on Friday. Judge R. Clive Jones will consider approving the agreement and/or any other qualified competing proposals, Squyres said.Marriott and other firms have expressed an interest in the property as well, but only agreement has been reached with Aladdin, Squyres said. Marriott officials could not be reached for comment.”We can’t comment on other proposals,” Squyres said.

The sale will be subject to confirmation of Aladdin Gaming’s Plan of Reorganization, which is expected to occur in August. The whole process could take about a year, Squyres said.

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