Caesars agrees to sell Caesars Tahoe in $45 million deal

Friday, November 19th 2004, 8:20 pm
By: News On 6

LAS VEGAS (AP) _ Caesars Entertainment has agreed to sell its Caesars Tahoe hotel-casino for about $45 million, company officials announced Friday.

An affiliate of Kentucky-based hotel operator Columbia Sussex Corp. will buy the property, and the deal is expected to be completed by June.

``This acquisition represents a great opportunity to purchase a superior asset in a region in which we have been familiar for 14 years,'' said William Yung, Columbia Sussex's president.

Columbia Sussex and its affiliates operate 64 hotels, including Horizon Casino Resort in South Lake Tahoe and Westin Causarina in Las Vegas.

The company plans to re-brand the property, hoping to appeal to ``a younger, hipper audience,'' Yung said.

Under the terms of Caesars' lease, the sale is contingent upon the land owner not making a similar bid on the property within 60 days.

Caesars is being acquired by Harrah's Entertainment in a $5.2 billion deal. The two Las Vegas-based companies reached an agreement in July and are awaiting state and federal approval.

Harrah's and Caesars had previously announced that negotiations were under way to sell four casinos to reduce antitrust concerns involving the merger. Caesars Tahoe was not one of the properties mentioned, although Harrah's owns two casinos in Lake Tahoe under the Harrah's and Harvey's brands.

Caesars has 28 properties worldwide, including Caesars Palace and Bally's Las Vegas, and employs 54,000.