Approval Given for Sale of Hard Rock Tahoe, Potential Transformation into Golden Nugget

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe Sale Approved by Nevada Gaming Control Board

Posted on: August 10, 2023, 01:41h. Last updated on: August 10, 2023, 01:41h.

On Wednesday, the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) granted approval for the sale of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe from Paragon Gaming to Fertitta Entertainment Inc., owned by Tilman Fertitta. This exciting development sets the stage for the potential closure of the deal by the end of the month and a rebranding of the property to Golden Nugget as early as September. Fertitta Entertainment is the operator of the esteemed Golden Nugget casino empire.

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe
The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe. The NGCB approved Tilman Fertitta’s purchase of the venue. (Image: SFGate)

NGCB Chairman Kirk Hendricks expressed that the application process was expedient and seamless, likely aided by Fertitta’s existing control over gaming venues in Nevada and his track record with regulators.

Exciting Changes Coming to the Future Golden Nugget

The upcoming Golden Nugget in Stateline, Nevada will mark the third Golden Nugget property in the state, joining the downtown Las Vegas and Laughlin locations. Other Golden Nugget establishments can be found in Atlantic City, NJ; Lake Charles, LA; and Biloxi, MS. Additionally, a recently acquired casino hotel in Cripple Creek, CO is expected to undergo rebranding, and a new venue in Illinois is currently under construction.

Fertitta has promised significant upgrades and enhancements to the Northern Nevada property, with plans to enhance all guestrooms and introduce new dining options. These improvements are expected to have a positive impact on the local economy, potentially resulting in a 30-40% increase in staff count at the casino hotel in the coming years.

Speaking to NGCB members, Fertitta stated, “We will take this property and totally transform it, as we always do. If the Golden Nugget name is on it, we expect it to be one of the top properties in the market.”

Previously known as Sahara Tahoe, the Lake Tahoe property underwent various name changes before becoming Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. It is now set to embrace the Golden Nugget brand.

Stateline: A Hub of Mergers and Acquisitions in the Gaming Industry

While Stateline, Nevada may not rival the revenue and visitation of Las Vegas, it has become a hotbed of mergers and acquisitions within the gaming industry. Recent years have seen ownership changes at every major gaming venue in the region.

A notable example is the merger between Eldorado Resorts and Caesars Entertainment, which led to the combination of Harrah’s and Harveys. Additionally, Eldorado divested Mont Bleu, which was subsequently acquired and rebranded by Bally’s in 2021.

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