Timeshares for Las Vegas

Started by Newshound, February 28, 2004, 18:22:50

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Earl thinking of time shares for Aladdin site

Planet Hollywood International Inc. Chairman Robert Earl thinks a couple of thousand time share units may be the best way to use a vacant parcel next to the Aladdin that he and his partners would acquire as part of the Las Vegas megaresort they've agreed to purchase out of bankruptcy protection.

A 4 1/2-acre site on Harmon Avenue, east of the Aladdin's main entrance, could be profitably used for time share units, Earl said this week.

The dapper Earl set up camp in a luxurious Aladdin suite this week, conducting meetings and finalizing design plans for the planned transformation of the three-year-old property into the Planet Hollywood hotel-casino.

Although fixing the resort's well-documented problems such as poor Strip access and other design flaws are taking up the lion's share of Earl's Las Vegas time, he acknowledged that interest in the Aladdin site as a time share location is palpable.

"We've had a flurry of requests to utilize the 4 1/2 acres," Earl said. "Having done our studies, we've decided to do lodging on the site. The most likely scenario is time share."

Time share is hot, particularly in Las Vegas, Earl said.

Hilton Hotels Corp., for example, in January opened its $128 million Hilton Grand Vacations Club time share tower on a 10-acre site north of Circus Circus, the first of four planned towers at the north Strip location.

Another time share giant, Marriott International, is developing the Chateau, a $300 million, four-tower time share complex next to Polo Towers, across Harmon Avenue from the Aladdin.

Earl, who lives in Orlando, Fla., said the Sunshine State city provides a clue about future Las Vegas development trends.

"Orlando has about the same number of annual visitors as Las Vegas but it has 70 timeshare resorts, while Las Vegas only a handful of resorts," Earl said.

Earl said he and his partners have invested a nonrefundable $15 million into their winning Aladdin bid and said the group fully intends to follow through on its planned purchase.

"We're making daily progress on the design and the costing of the construction," Earl said, noting that he's been pleasantly surprised by the Aladdin's capacity for improvement.

"It's a treasure-trove of unexploited assets," Earl said, referring to not yet built out spaces that allow new attractions to be added without major changes to existing property features.

Earl declined to comment on letters the Culinary Union sent to Nevada Gaming Control Board members earlier this week, missives that slammed Earl and his partners for alleged business incompetence and unethical actions as part of the union's effort to pressure the Planet Hollywood executive and current Aladdin management to recognize the union as bargaining agent for its maids and food-service workers.

"But you can say that our plans continue to include keeping all of the employees," he said.

I hope that more ts are built in LV as there is a dearth of them presently there and it is hard to trade into.

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