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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, January 10, 2002

Abrupt hotel closure surprises Vegas

Associated Press

LAS VEGAS — A financially troubled Las Vegas hotel-casino closed suddenly after an ownership change left it without a gambling license.

Some 66 guests at the 315-room Vacation Village hotel-casinos were ordered out by noon yesterday and equipment vendors were told to start removing their property, employees said.

People were still arriving at the resort with luggage and plugging coins into slot machines as workers began Tuesday night to wheel casino furniture away from the property two miles south of Mandalay Bay hotel-casino.

Late Tuesday, managers cordoned off the casino, which had 700 slot machines and 10 table games, while state Gaming Control Board agents took possession of the casino cage.

The sudden closure that left at least 280 workers unemployed stemmed from a dispute between the former owner and the Las Vegas developer who acquired it at auction in November.

"We're closing the casino because Shawn Scott told us to close," said Saint John Martin, hotel-casino general manager. "It's ironic, because December was our best month."

Scott, owner of Capital One LLC, bought the 25-acre property on south Las Vegas Boulevard at a Nov. 20 bankruptcy auction for $17.8 million.

After a court hearing Tuesday, Scott took possession of the property, though without a casino license.