Penn National Takes Over The M Resort

The M Resort Spa Casino, a resort ten miles from the Las Vegas Strip, has a new owner. Penn National Gaming, Inc. announced that it has purchased all of The M Resort LLC bank debt, plus $160 million of subordinated debt formerly held by MGM Resorts International for $230.5 million.

In a press release Peter M. Carlino, Chief Executive Officer of Penn National commented, "This transaction represents a great opportunity for Penn National, M Resort, its customers and employees as we address the financial uncertainty and debt burden which has created an overhang on M Resort's operations."

The resort has struggled to find its way since it opened last year but the acquisition gives Penn National, which considered taking on the unfinished Fontainebleau Las Vegas project last year, a Las Vegas foothold. Penn National owns several race track casinos in the east and owns casino properties in Pennsylvania and Maryland.
The M resort has 390 rooms and more than 92,000 square feet of gambling space, smaller than most of the Las Vegas Strip behemoths. Rooms all have pillow-top beds, a Bose sound system and 42-inch flatscreen television and the bathrooms include an inlaid mirror television and separate bathtub and shower. On the property there are nine restaurants and five bars including the Studio B Show Kitchen Buffet, which incorporates a live action cooking studio and a wine tasting room called the Hostile Grape. The 100,000 square foot Villaggio Del Sole Pool and Entertainment Piazza is home to headline entertainment and there is more than 60,000 square feet of conference space.

Penn National hopes to use its existing database of 12 million regional gaming customers to drive customers to the resort. The M Resort's master plan includes the potential to develop up to one million square feet of retail and a multi-screen digital movie entertainment complex. The biggest battle facing the M is likely location. With all of Las Vegas struggling to capture tourist attention, most of the energy is centered on the Las Vegas Strip, the M resort is not far enough away to be separate from the city but not close enough to be part of the main action. The resort's original plan was to rely on local buzz and drive-in traffic to fill the resort.

To celebrate the resort's first anniversary they are offering a special package with rates starting at $75 per night for a minimum two night stay with $20 Off two entrees at Marinelli's, $25 off a treatment or service at Spa Mio, complimentary bottle of wine and more.

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