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Gaming Guru

Arnold M. Knightly
 

Las Vegas Strip resort gets new name

22 March 2010

By Arnold M. Knightly

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- Goodbye, Cosmopolitan. Hello, Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

The 2,995-room mixed-use development that is under construction on the Strip has adopted a new name and Web site, cosmopolitanlasvegas.com, as part of a settlement with the owner of Cosmopolitan magazine.

"We are thrilled to announce the official name of the resort," property spokeswoman Amy Rossetti said in a statement this week. "All legal issues regarding the name have been resolved."

Hearst Corp., the multimedia empire behind Cosmopolitan magazine, sued Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas owner Deutsche Bank in June 2008 over the use of the name, which the magazine has used since 1886.

Hearst, which acquired the trademark rights to the Cosmopolitan name in 1956, was seeking $500,000 in damages and a share of the resort's profits. The sides settled the trademark infringement lawsuit in December although details were not made public.

Like other Strip projects started during the prerecession boom period, the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas has had a troubled history.

Deutsche Bank acquired the project for $1 billion when it was half-finished after its original developer and owner, New York-based Bruce Eichner and his company, 3700 Associates LLC, entered foreclosure proceedings.

The original Cosmopolitan also called for the project to have condominiums, although several potential buyers who put down deposits on units as long ago as 2005 have sued over the delay in completing the project.

Deutsche Bank reached agreements with a group of Cosmopolitan condo buyers in both towers. However, some west tower buyers filed a lawsuit in California challenging the settlement.

Additional buyers have until March 29 to decide whether they will accept an agreement on units in the east tower.

The development, which will have 100,000-square-foot casino, 50,000-square-foot spa, restaurants and a convention center in addition to nearly 3,000 hotel and condo-style accommodations, is scheduled to open in September. However, the general contractor on the project said last month that construction isn't scheduled to be completed until the end of the year.

"We're still working very closely with Deutsche Bank and their related companies in terms of really just nailing everything down," Kenneth Burk, the chief financial officer of construction company Tutor Perini, said during the company's earnings call. "But we believe it will be finished by the end of this year."

Rossetti said the company is looking to fill positions in human resources and information technology, but hasn't determined when hiring for many front-line positions will begin.

Deutsche Bank is rumored to have been shopping the project around to sell or to find a third-party operator to manage the property. Rumors have included an agreement with Hilton Hotels Corp. to operate the property under the Conrad and Hilton brands.