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Analyst: Megaresort Planned for Sands Site

30 August 2006

ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey – As reported by the Press of Atlantic City: "The buyer of the Sands Casino Hotel likely will tear down the existing casino to make way for a $1 billion megaresort that would take about three years to build, according to a gaming analyst.

"Attorneys for the Sands' owner, billionaire investor Carl C. Icahn, have confirmed that negotiations are under way to sell the casino, but have not yet disclosed the names of potential buyers.

"Gaming analyst George L. Smith III of Davenport & Co. said Las Vegas-based Pinnacle Entertainment Inc. appears to be the front-runner for the Sands. Pinnacle has been looking for other ways to enter the Atlantic City market after losing out in May to Columbia Sussex Corp. in a $2.75 billion bidding war for Aztar Corp., parent company of Tropicana Casino and Resort.

"…Smith added that Pinnacle probably would demolish the aging Sands to build a new casino. Icahn's American Real Estate Partners investment group recently acquired oceanfront property next to the Sands that could be combined with the existing casino site for a $1 billion megaresort, Smith noted.

"…Demolition of the Sands likely would put most of the casino's approximately 2,000 gaming and hotel employees out of work while construction continued for three years on the new resort…"

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