Latin casino operator buys Vegas Strip parcel for $120M

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LAS VEGAS (AP) -- A Chilean businessman and co-founder of the largest casino resort operator in Latin America has reached an agreement to buy 10 acres of Strip-front land that formerly housed the Riviera from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority for $120 million.

The authority's board unanimously approved the sale Tuesday to CB Investment SpA owned by Claudio Fischer. The deal is expected to close in June.

Fischer co-founded Sun Dreams, which owns 19 casino properties in Chile, Argentina, Panama, Colombia and Peru.

He hasn't disclosed any specific plans for the development of the land at Las Vegas Boulevard and Elvis Presley Boulevard just east of the Las Vegas Convention Center's West Hall Complex. But the agreement requires a resort or hotel operation be developed on that parcel of land.

The Riviera opened in 1955 and closed in 2015. The LVCVA acquired the property and tore down the casino to make way for the West Hall expansion.

Any construction on the property wouldn't start before April 2023. Until then, the land will be used for temporary convention-related space under existing lease agreement.

Fischer will have until Jan. 1, 2031, to start work on a project or the LVCVA would get the opportunity to buy the land back.

The corner lot is near the Fontainebleau and across the street from Resorts World Las Vegas.

Steve Hill, president and CEO of the LVCVA, told board members that negotiations with Fischer started before the COVID-19 pandemic, which delayed the agreement. Proceeds from the sale will be used for Las Vegas Convention Center capital projects.

"We see this parcel as a real opportunity for the entire neighborhood," Hill said. "The growth of the northern part of the Strip is important to us and we see this as a real opportunity because there are a lot of great things going into this area along the resort corridor." 

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