Caesars sells Harrah’s Reno, which will close

The historic Reno Arch, with the Harrah's casino on the left.
The historic Reno Arch, with the Harrah's casino on the left. Photo Credit: Allard One/

Caesars Entertainment and Vici Properties have agreed to sell Harrah’s Reno Hotel and Casino to Las Vegas-based developer CAI Investments for $50 million.

CAI is shuttering the casino hotel and redeveloping the property as Reno City Center, according to the Reno Gazette Journal. Plans call for rented apartments and office and retail space.

The closing of the Harrah’s Reno is the end of an era. The property is the first-ever Harrah’s casino, opening as a bingo parlor in 1937. Over the years, founder William F. Harrah acquired nearby casinos and land to expand the property.  

Under the deal, Vici will receive 75% of the transaction’s proceeds, while Caesars will receive 25%. Vici is a real estate investment trust formed in 2017 as a spin-off from Caesars Entertainment.

Caesars will continue to operate Harrah’s Reno under a short-term lease agreement, which will run through the first half of 2020. At the end of the term, Caesars will hand over the Harrah’s Reno to CAI Investments and redevelopment of the property will commence.  

Caesars Entertainment CEO Tony Rodio said that Caesars has worked closely with CAI to establish “a reasonable closure plan that allows our great staff in Reno ample time to secure their next jobs, including priority consideration for relevant openings at our other properties in Nevada.”

The sale remains subject to the closing of Eldorado Resorts’ acquisition of Caesars. Eldorado announced its plans to take over the Caesars business last summer while concurrently entering into an agreement to offload the real estate associated with the Harrah's Resort Atlantic City, Harrah's Laughlin Hotel & Casino and Harrah's New Orleans Hotel & Casino to Vici for about $1.8 billion.

At the time, analysts said that Eldorado and Caesars could be forced to shed additional properties in order to pass antitrust muster with the Federal Trade Commission. Eldorado already operates a hotel casino in Reno. 


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