Sands Casino to be sold, replaced by new casino

Pinnacle Entertainment Inc. signed an agreement with Atlantic Coast Entertainment Holdings Inc. to purchase The Sands Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, N.J., as well as the Traymore Hotel for about $250 million, plus they'll spend an additional $20 million for tax-related benefits and additional real estate. The company plans to tear down the hotel and casino to create a new, larger facility on the acquired property.

According to a press release, as part of the agreement, The Sands must be closed within the next 70 days to help facilitate the demolition and start reconstruction as quickly as possible.

The Sands is one of the first gaming resorts that opened in Atlantic City. The 26-year-old facility is also one of the city's smallest resort properties, but it combined with Pinnacle Entertainment Inc.'s other purchased will create approximately 18 acres for a new gambling resort with Boardwalk frontage.

"Atlantic City is one of the top U.S. gaming destinations, and we're looking forward to being a part of the world-famous Boardwalk," said Daniel Lee, Pinnacle Entertainment Inc. chairman and CEO. "This major new resort will be a key component in our plan to build a national network of gaming properties. It will also help extend our development pipeline and our company's growth through 2010 and beyond."

Details haven't been released yet, but Pinnacle Entertainment Inc. plans to design and build one of the largest and most spectacular resorts in the region on the site. The company submitted its initial license application in New Jersey several months ago for a gaming facility, and the regulatory investigation is ongoing.

"The success of recent Atlantic City developments has proven that customers in the Northeast respond positively to state-of-the-art gaming resort design and amenities," Lee said. "While we regret the necessity of closing the Sands to create an exciting new resort, we look forward to working with gaming regulators, state and local authorities on this project to create more jobs, tax revenues and other lasting benefits for the region."

The purchase is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

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