Hotel Online  Special Report


 Harrah's Acquiring the Imperial Palace Hotel & Casino
for $370 million from the Ralph Engelstad Trust
LAS VEGAS - Aug. 22, 2005 -- Harrah's Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: HET) signed an agreement with Imperial Palace, LLC, to acquire the Imperial Palace Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The Imperial Palace -- featuring a 52,000-square foot casino and a 2,640-room hotel -- occupies an 18.5-acre site on the world famous Las Vegas Strip, situated between Harrah's Las Vegas and the Flamingo, across the Strip from Caesars Palace. This agreement only pertains to the Imperial Palace operations in Las Vegas. 

The Imperial Palace will continue to operate the property until the transaction closes. Harrah's anticipates the acquisition will close by year-end, subject to the receipt of customary regulatory approvals. There are no plans for substantial operational changes at the Imperial Palace in the near term once ownership has transferred. 

"We are actively investing in a wide-range of opportunities that will provide growth beyond what we expect to achieve as a result of integrating the recently acquired Caesars business," said Gary Loveman, chairman, chief executive officer and president of Harrah's. "This acquisition enhances Harrah's position in Las Vegas, enabling us to offer our customers the most inspiring array of entertainment and gaming options available in the heart of the Las Vegas Strip - the intersection of Flamingo Road and Las Vegas Boulevard." 

"In memory of Ralph, we would like to convey our thanks to all the Imperial Palace employees for the wonderful years you gave to the Imperial Palace," said Betty Engelstad, Owen Nitz, and Jeff Cooper, Trustees of the Ralph Engelstad and Betty Engelstad Trust, owner of the Imperial Palace, LLC. "We look forward to continuing working together in the ordinary course of business until we get ready to make this transaction." 

Harrah's announced it is acquiring the Imperial Palace Hotel & Casino for a total purchase price of $370 million. There is no debt to assume in this transaction. This acquisition is one of a number of moves designed to strategically position the company for substantial growth in Las Vegas. Harrah's currently owns six properties on 275.5 acres in the city. The company's presence stretches along the Strip from Paris on the south to Harrah's on the north, and along Flamingo from Koval Lane west to the Rio. 

Harrah's Entertainment, Inc., (NYSE:HET) is the world's largest provider of branded casino entertainment. Since its beginning in Reno, Nevada 67 years ago, Harrah's has grown through development of new properties, expansions and acquisitions. On June 13, 2005, Harrah's Entertainment acquired Caesars Entertainment, Inc., and now owns or manages through various subsidiaries more than 40 casinos in three countries, primarily under the Harrah's, Caesars and Horseshoe brand names. With nearly 4 million square feet of casino space, more than 40,000 hotel rooms and nearly 100,000 employees, the Harrah's portfolio is the most diverse in the gaming industry. Harrah's Entertainment is focused on building loyalty and value with its customers through a unique combination of great service, excellent products, unsurpassed distribution, operational excellence and technology leadership. 

This release includes "forward-looking statements" intended to qualify for the safe harbor from liability established by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. 


Harrah's Entertainment, Inc., Las Vegas
Alberto Lopez, 702-407-6344

Also See: Ralph Louis Engelstad January 28, 1930 - November 26, 2002 / Bio / Nov 2002
Casino Owner Ralph Engelstad Dies in Las Vegas at Age 72 / November 2002

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