LAS VEGAS-MGM Mirage Inc. has completed the $200-million sale of its Colorado Belle and Edgewater hotel-casinos in Laughlin, NV, which sits 90 miles south of Las Vegas near the confluence of Nevada, California and Arizona. Combined, the riverfront properties sit on 57 acres and hold 2,535 guest rooms and 138,000 sf of casino space. The new owner is a group that includes local developer Anthony Marnell III and Sher Gaming LLC, which is led by Ed Sher. The deal was first announced in October.

In addition to its Laughlin casinos, MGM earlier this year sold off Buffalo Bill’s, Primm Valley and Whiskey Pete’s, its three hotel-casino properties in Primm, NV, which sit on the California border 45 miles south of the Las Vegas. Collectively known as Primm Valley Resorts, the group totals 2,644 guest rooms, 136,000 sf of casino space, 2,816 slot machines, three gas stations and a convenience store on 143 acres.

The only Vegas gateway market where MGM is maintaining an interest is Jean, NV, which sits between Primm and Las Vegas. It owns 166 acres there that currently hold the 302-room Nevada Landing property, the 800-room Gold Strike Hotel and Casino and two gas stations/rest stops catering to truckers. MGM plans to master plan, develop and operate gaming casinos and housing on the property along with other commercial and retail elements. MGM Mirage Inc. is selling a 50%-stake in the Jean portfolio as part of its planned redevelopment.

The Colorado Belle and Edgewater casinos in Laughlin bring the Marnell-Sher partnership’s total gaming portfolio to three properties, with a fourth in the works. In June 2006, the partnership purchased the Saddle West Hotel and Casino in Pahrump, NV. Next up for Marnell is M Resort, an 80-acre project that fronts Las Vegas Blvd. about 10 miles south of the six-mile stretch commonly referred to as the Las Vegas Strip.

Being funded in part by a $160-million convertible note from MGM Mirage, the $1.8-billion multi-phase development is slated to include a 1,000-room casino-resort and a commercial center. Construction work is underway for the $700-million first phase, which is slated to include a 400-room resort with a 100,000-sf casino, a 70,000-sf events center, a full-service spa and several restaurants on 40 acres.

The MGM note matures eight years from its effective date and contains certain optional and mandatory redemption provisions. MGM has the right to convert the note into a 50% equity interest in The M Resort after 18 months of the note’s issuance if not repaid.

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