Harrah's picks up Harveys Casino properties

LAS VEGAS -- Fresh from last year's acquisition of Players International, Harrah's Entertainment is adding four casino properties to its growing portfolio.

The company, based here, agreed to acquire Harveys Casino Resorts from Colony Capital Investors III for $625 million.

According to terms of the deal, which is expected to close during the third quarter, Harrah's will assume Harveys' debt.

Casino properties included in the purchase are Harveys Resort & Casino in Lake Tahoe, Nev.; the Harveys Casino Hotel and the Bluffs Run Casino, both in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and Harveys Wagon Wheel Hotel Casino in Central City, Colo.

According to Harrah's officials, once the acquisition is complete, the company, which already owns and operates Harrah's Lake Tahoe, plans to consolidate casino operations there.

The company also plans to convert the Harveys Casino Hotel to the Harrah's brand within a year of the acquisition. The Bluffs Run Casino will be maintained as a separate branded facility.

In addition, officials said, there are no plans to change the operation of the Harveys Wagon Wheel Hotel Casino.

Harrah's also plans to integrate the new properties into its Total Rewards program, which rewards cardholders for playing at any of the company's 21 casinos nationwide.

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