A day after announcing their blockbuster deal to buy William Hill, Caesars Entertainment has separately concluded a deal to sell Harrah’s Reno to Las Vegas-based developer CAI Investments. The building sold for $41.5 million.
The original Harrah’s casino will be turned into a mixed-use project with the future name ‘Reno City Center.’ “This is one of the best locations in downtown Reno, and its redevelopment into a true live-work-play destination will allow two full city blocks to realize their full potential,” said David Woods, CBRE first vice president. CBRE conducted the sale for Caesars and VICI Properties Inc.
This deal was first announced in early 2020, but was delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic. A quarter of the proceeds will go to Caesars, while VICI Properties will keep 75%.
Even before the deal was concluded, CAI had begun work on remodeling the building for its future role in revitalizing downtown Reno. Those efforts have become a point of controversy, as CAI has pissed off local construction union LIUNA Local 169 by hiring 60 non-union workers.
In response, Local 169 made their displeasure known very publicly. They erected multiple signs in response, on of which featured a 10-foot high rat with the message ‘Shame on Chris Beavor CAI.’ Beavor is the CEO of CAI Investments.
The deal comes just a day after Caesars separately announced they would be buying out William Hill for £2.9 billion ($3.7 billion). The offer, which still must be agreed to by William Hill shareholders, has been touted as an opportunity for Caesars to become a dominant player in the U.S. sports betting industry, both at brick and mortar locations as well as online.
If that deal works out in their favor will have to be seen, as William Hill has had to deal with a difficult couple of years in the U.K, and there won’t be a lack of competition stateside. But one thing is for certain, Harrah’s Reno and 10 foot rats won’t be part of that sports betting future.