|The battle to buy Las Vegas’ Aladdin casino has been won by Planet Hollywood. A federal bankruptcy judge denied offers from other bidders, clearing the way for Planet Hollywood’s $635 million bid for the bankrupt hotel.|
Judge Clive Jones ruled that two other offers were not clearly better than Planet Hollywood’s bid, and approved Aladdin Gaming’s request to name Planet Hollywood as the winning bid.
The transfer of ownership will go ahead after the Planet Hollywood ownership group, including Chairman Robert Earl, Doug Teitelbaum of Bay Harbour Management and Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide are licensed by Nevada gaming regulators.
Judge Jones said he would follow creditors' wishes and refuse to accept one of the competing bids as a bona fide 'higher and better' offer, a requirement of the sales procedure order he issued last month.
'This is an emotional time for me,' Earl said. 'This has been an incredible effort, and I couldn't be happier.' Teitelbaum said: 'It's a great day.'
The property will be called Planet Hollywood Hotel & Casino, a Sheraton Hotel. It will be managed by Starwood and participate in its reservation systems and loyalty programs.
Earl said he plans to give the resort a $90 million facelift to dramatically improve its Strip frontage, including using Planet Hollywood's logo to create a giant blue globe entryway.
The top floor will be given over to 'celebrity suites' that will be themed based on the life and work of leading movie stars, entertainers and athletes. The next-to-top floor's rooms will carry movie themes.
A television studio overlooking the Strip is planned, as are weekly movie premieres, Earl said.
Earl said he plans to keep the Aladdin’s 2000 existing workers.
The opening night will undoubtedly be a spectacular affair, possibly with appearances from Earl’s celebrity friends, who include Elton John and Rod Stewart.