Tony Hsieh’s group buys shuttered downtown casino for $14 million
21 March 2013
Tony Hsieh’s Downtown Project bought the shuttered Western Hotel for $14 million, giving his group another chunk of downtown real estate for a possible future project.
The resort, built in 1970 on Fremont Street between Eighth and Ninth streets, was closed last January by owner Tamares Real Estate. Tamares sold it this month to a limited liability company controlled by developer Andrew Donner.
Donner works with Hsieh, the CEO of online retailer Zappos, to acquire properties for Hsieh's $350 million downtown revitalization campaign. The Downtown Project acquired the Western through Donner, people with knowledge of the deal said.
“It’s definitely in furtherance of Tony Hsieh and his vision,” said Harry Braunstein, a lawyer for Tamares.
Donner did not respond to requests for comment. Zach Ware, a Downtown Project leader, did not respond to an email asking what his group wants to do with the site.
Hsieh’s group plans to invest $200 million in downtown real estate. Last year, it bought at least 8 acres between Las Vegas Boulevard and 11th Street for about $19.5 million.
“If you look at what they’re doing, they’re trying to buy everything on Fremont Street,” said real estate broker Brandon Wiegand, of Focus Commercial Group.
The low-end Western, known for its cheap slot machines and table games, had 90 employees and 15,000 square feet of gambling space. It closed Jan. 16, 2012, after more than 40 years in operation. The casino and cafe were run down, cigarette burns and beer stains marred the gambling tables, and police often congregated outside.
New York-based Tamares still owns other real estate downtown, including the Plaza and retail property in the Fremont East District, including the Le Thai restaurant building.
Join the Discussion:
- It’s back! New Wet ‘n’ Wild wins over frolickers thirsty for Vegas water park
- Deadline strikes: A look at major legislation that made, missed cut
- New Firefly location welcomes customers, begins task of regaining their trust
- Las Vegas resort beaches offer oasis in middle of the desert
- Legislation tasks campus authority with defining, designing new UNLV stadium
- Lake Las Vegas, long viewed as a bust, is rebounding
- What the Firefly outbreak means for the restaurant's future and the alleged victims' pocketbooks
- Cowabummer: The planned Memorial Day opening of Henderson's Cowabunga Bay Water Park is delayed
- Report: Las Vegas among top spots to ‘flip’ homes
- Board tells Las Vegas table game maker: Stay out of California
Will online gaming hurt brick-and-mortar casinos?