Veteran casino exec in position to control Reno Hilton

In less than six months, the company that plans to take control of the Reno Hilton redevelopment project has been headed by a medical researcher and two software entrepreneurs.

Then, late last week, control of the company changed hands once again as it was acquired by an investment group headed by veteran gaming executive Dual B. Cooper Jr.

DTLL Inc., the publicly held company based in Bloomington, Minn., that's at the middle of all the transactions, said last week it purchased an option to take control of Grand Sierra Resorts Corp., the company planning a $1.8 billion redevelopment of the property.

Grand Sierra said last week it expects to close the acquisition of the property owned by Harrah's Entertainment this month.

Control of DTLL Inc., which had been operating as a money-losing developer of anti-inflammatory drugs, was sold in November to a Michigan company owned by software entrepreneurs John Paulsen and Dhru Desai.

Then last week, a group including Cooper, Island Residences Club Inc., and investment banker Richard Woods said it purchased a controlling 70 percent interest in the company.

Earlier in the week, DTLL's previous owners had said the company struck a deal with Angela Whichard Inc. of Raleigh, N.C., for an option to acquire Whichard's 40 percent interest in Grand Sierra Resorts. Whichard also owns an option to purchase a 50.6 interest in Grand Sierra, and DTLL said it reached a deal to acquire that option, too.

The investment banker representing DTLL said the company is reviewing its options concerning the Hilton project, but supports its acquisition by Grand Sierra.

DTLL also said last week that it acquired the Tahoe Inn at North Lake Tahoe. That 98-room property carries the rights to develop an additional 45 units.

Between the redeveloped Hilton and the North Lake Tahoe property, DTLL said in a press release that it will generate $160 million a year in revenues and projects earnings of $30 million annually.

The Hilton is proposed for redevelopment into Grand Sierra Resort, which would include a 2,000-room tower, the nation's largest indoor water park, a casino, a 1,800-seat dinner theater and restaurants and stores.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment