|By Hubble Smith, Las Vegas Review-Journal|
Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News
Dec. 7, 2004 - Great American Capital of Las Vegas has purchased the 63-room Mount Charleston hotel on Kyle Canyon Road for $4 million, a company executive said Monday.
The 5.7-acre mountain site has tremendous potential, said Gary Myers, director of special projects for Great American.
The company plans to spend in excess of $1 million renovating the hotel lobby and rooms with new beds, televisions and furniture, he said. The hotel also has enough water rights to support the development of 20 condominiums or perhaps some free-standing cabins.
"It's a dated hotel. It has a dated look and we're going to turn that around," Myers said. "It's a diamond in the rough, a one-of-a-kind in Las Vegas because of its location."
John Tippins, who represented the buyer on behalf of Insight Realty's apartment and hotel investment division, said the property has great development potential as Las Vegas' population grows to nearly 2 million and more people discover the area's natural "jewels" such as Mount Charleston.
"It hasn't been advertised very well," Tippins said. "There's only one sign for it on the road up there. As the city grows, it should be run more efficiently."
Temperatures are substantially cooler on the mountain in the summer, Tippins noted, and Lee Canyon ski resort is expected to undergo further development after being acquired by a Utah company.
Myers said one of Great American's partners in hotel management recognized that the Mount Charleston hotel "made sense economically" with its fertile banquet business and five to six weddings every weekend.
"We realize it hasn't been marketed. It's at 29 percent occupancy. It hasn't been remodeled in 18 years," Myers said.
The seller was Robert Bigelow, owner of Budget Suites hotels in Las Vegas.
Myers said the Mount Charleston hotel was like a "stepchild" for Bigelow and when he learned that his manager was going to retire, he decided it was time to sell.
A chef is being brought from New York to run the hotel's restaurant, and all of the rooms will be changed to security-card lock systems, Myers said.
Great American Capital is a subsidiary of Great American Homes and owns several shopping centers, office buildings and apartment complexes in Las Vegas.
The company also owns the 205-acre White Beauty gypsum mine on the way to Mount Charleston and is procuring water rights, Myers said.
-----To see more of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to http://www.lvrj.com.
(c) 2004, Las Vegas Review-Journal. Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News. For information on republishing this content, contact us at (800) 661-2511 (U.S.), (213) 237-4914 (worldwide), fax (213) 237-6515, or e-mail email@example.com.