Elvis Presley Themed Attractions Could be
Part of the Redevelopment
of the The Riviera Hotel and Casino,
|By Arnold M. Knightly, Las Vegas
Review-JournalMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Jun. 2, 2007 - Elvis Presley could be making a return to the Strip.
New York-based entertainment group CKX, which controls the late singer's image, announced Friday it was paying $100 million for a 50 percent stake in FX Luxury Realty, part of a group has a 13 percent stake in Riviera Holdings Corp. and a separate investment in 18 acres on the Strip.
CKX owns licensing rights to the names and images of Presley and Muhammad Ali, and operates Presley's Graceland estate. It also owns rights to "American Idol" and similar programming in other countries.
FX Luxury plans to develop Elvis- and Ali-themed projects in Las Vegas, according to a CKX statement.
"We have come to realize that there is substantial opportunity to capitalize on the Elvis Presley and Muhammad Ali assets in real estate and location-based attractions," CKX Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Robert Sillerman said in a statement.
The announcement was part of a larger move by CKX to take the company private in a deal that would give shareholders $1.33 billion cash and a stake in FX Luxury in exchange for their shares.
The deal involves Sillerman and CKX director Simon Fuller, creator of "American Idol."
Sillerman is part of the investment group Riv Acquisition Holdings, which has been trying to buy Riviera Holdings Corp.
Riv Acquisition made a $34 per share offer on May 16, following earlier offers of $27 per share and $17 per share.
Riviera Holdings is still reviewing the group's latest offer.
If the buyout succeeds, Presley- and Ali-themed attractions could be part of the Riviera redevelopment on the Strip, someone familiar with CKX and FX Luxury said.
FX Luxury indirectly owns 50 percent of 18 contiguous acres of land on the southeast corner of Harmon Avenue and the Strip across from CityCenter.
The group has entered a binding agreement to acquire the remaining 50 percent for $180 million.
FX Luxury plans to pursue a mixed-use hotel-condominium-casino on the property. The land is now occupied by the Harley Davidson Cafe, Travelodge motel, and shops.
FX Luxury representatives could not be reached for comment Friday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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