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Barbary Coast Plot Thickens - Harrahs Buys Westward Ho

By Chuckmonster on Sunday, 30th July 2006 2:52pm
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 0


Rod Smith at the Review-Journal is reporting that Harrah's has acquired options to purchase the Westward Ho site next to Stardust/Echelon Place, further fanning the fires of the proposed Barbary Coast swap. Earlier rumors postulated that Harrahs would give up the Rio plus Westward Ho for Barbary Coast. It now appears that the Rio is not in play, Harrah's is offering the Ho plus cash in exchange for the BC. Harrah's needs the Barbary Coast much more than Stardust needs the Ho... we expect the pot to be sweetened or no deal will take place.

Harrah's Entertainment recently picked up options on the former Westward Ho site, adjacent to the Stardust, industry sources say. It then used the options as leverage to open talks with Boyd Gaming Corp. Boyd owns the Barbary Coast, which is in the middle of the two Strip blocks owned by Harrah's. The theory is that Boyd should be willing to swap the Barbary Coast for the Westward Ho site plus some cash. Boyd could then expand its planned $4 billion Echelon Place development on the Stardust site and Harrah's could master plan its two blocks without a Boyd property sitting in its midst. Negotiations are said to be under way, but so far Boyd is unenthusiastic.



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