Park Place Entertainment Corporation (NYSE: PPE) today announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Kutsher’s Resort Hotel and Country Club. Specifically, Park Place has acquired an option to purchase the 1,400-acre Kutsher’s property. In addition, Park Place has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase 50 acres of Kutsher’s land that will be transferred in trust to the St. Regis Mohawk Tribal Council. The Kutsher site, upon receiving Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and municipal zoning approvals, will be the home of a world-class destination resort complex and casino. As previously announced, Park Place Entertainment and the St. Regis Mohawk Tribal Council have also entered into an agreement under which Park Place will manage the St. Regis Mohawk-owned resort property for a period of seven years. The Kutsher family will also participate in the ongoing management of the new casino-resort’s hotel operations.
The planned development is expected to quickly provide a significant economic boost to both Sullivan County and New York State. Construction of the facility will require the creation of some 2,000 construction jobs. Once completed, the resort will provide employment for thousands of area residents.
“Since announcing our relationship with the St. Regis Mohawks last week, there has been much speculation about whether Park Place would actually build a casino in the Catskills. Today’s announcement should put an end to that speculation. In partnership with the St. Regis Mohawks, Park Place is committed to quickly building a world-class casino-resort that will complement and provide co-marketing opportunities for our other casinos in Atlantic City, Las Vegas, Mississippi and throughout the world,” said Arthur Goldberg, chief executive officer of Park Place Entertainment. “Park Place is the right choice to help develop this resort. In addition to being experts at developing and managing destination resorts, Park Place has the financial strength and the management depth necessary to quickly build out the property.”
“We are gratified by the forethought and trust exhibited by the St. Regis Mohawks in choosing to partner with Park Place and we are very pleased to be associated with the Kutsher family, one of the oldest and most respected names in the hotel and resort industry. The Kutshers have incredible insight into the dreams and ambitions of the citizens of Sullivan County and an unparalleled knowledge of the Catskills. That insight will be invaluable as the St. Regis Mohawks and Park Place move this project forward and create a resort that will make the people of Sullivan County proud,” added Goldberg.
Upon receipt of BIA and zoning approvals, construction of the resort property is expected to take between 18 and 24 months. Initial plans for the complex include:
* a 160,000 square foot casino,
* up to 2,000 guest rooms,
* multiple gourmet and themed restaurants,
* 50,000 square feet of retail space,
* up to 100,000 square feet of convention and meeting space,
* a 1,500-seat theater,
* a 25,000 square foot spa, and,
* a championship-grade golf course.
“The Kutsher property is simply stunning,” continued Goldberg. “In developing the resort we intend to work closely with the St. Regis Mohawks and the Kutsher family to maintain consistency with the environment and to tie-in the beauty of the natural surroundings whenever and wherever possible. These 1,400 acres will allow for a casino-resort development that can favorably compete with the casinos of Connecticut and create the substantial economic development that the previous site at the Monticello Racetrack simply cannot provide. It’s a great site overlooking two lakes in one of the most beautiful areas of the United States. This is going to be a great resort and a great economic boon for the Catskills.”
“The Kutsher family has been in the Catskills for nearly 100 years. We know the area, we know the people and we know the issues they hold dear. We believe that Park Place Entertainment is the right partner to help us, the Mohawks and the people of Sullivan County fully realize the economic potential of their surroundings,” commented Mark Kutsher, president of Kutsher’s Resort Hotel and Country Club and son of Milton Kutsher, the deceased principal developer of the resort. “We are eager to get this project underway and are looking forward to a long and mutually advantageous relationship with the parties involved.”
Added Helen Kutsher, Mark’s mother and the resort’s grande dame, “I know my husband, Milton, would be very pleased with this agreement which assures the continuity of Kutsher’s, creates many new jobs in the area and which brings casino gambling to the Catskills where he strongly felt it always belonged.”
About Park Place Entertainment:
Park Place Entertainment owns, manages or has an interest in 28 gaming properties operating under the Bally`s, Caesars, Flamingo, Grand and Hilton brand names with a total of 2 million square feet of gaming space, more than 28,000 hotel rooms and approximately 57,000 employees worldwide.
Additional information on Park Place Entertainment can be accessed through the company`s 24-hour investor relations service. Individuals may call toll-free 877/PPE-NYSE (877/773-6973) or visit www.parkplace.com to obtain the latest company news and stock price information, or to request information by e-mail, fax or postal mail delivery.