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Best of Liz Benston

Gaming Guru

Liz Benston

Wynn Defends Club Buyout Offer

28 June 2004

In a letter to members of the Las Vegas Country Club last week, Steve Wynn said his offer to buy out club owners was "not hostile" and that the decision to sell the club is ultimately up to equity owners.

The letter comes in response to a letter sent last week to members from the country club's board of directors. The board's letter called Wynn's recent offer to buy out club memberships for $50,000 apiece "hostile" because the board was not given an opportunity to evaluate it beforehand.

The board's letter said an attorney will review the proposal to see whether it makes financial sense. The board of directors is expected to meet Wednesday for a regularly scheduled meeting, though it's not clear whether at that time the board will consider that and other offers that have emerged for the club in recent weeks.

"Although we intend to approach this matter with open minds, we must advice you that the last appraisal of the real estate owned by our club, calculated on the basis of an operating fee golf club for play, was dramatically higher than the Wynn Resorts' proposal," the board's letter read.

Wynn's letter to members says the $50,000 offer represents a 150 percent premium "at a time when sales of full equity memberships are being made in the $20,000 range."

"We went directly to the members because selling (or not) is your economic decision to make," the letter said.

Wynn Golf LLC, the subsidiary of Wynn Resorts presenting the offer, had not received a response to the offer or an invitation to discuss it with the club's board as of Thursday, according to the letter, which was written by Wynn Golf official Kim Sinatra.

For the first two years after the sale, members would have the right to play unlimited rounds of golf for $5,100 a year, with guest fees of $80 and $40 for immediate family, the letter said. Those members who don't elect to pay a flat fee could play individual rounds for $100.

No definitive plans have been made for the club after the first two years, the letter said.

Wynn Resorts officials said last week that Wynn intends to buy the course to accommodate an expected overflow of guests from his nearby Wynn Las Vegas megaresort on the Las Vegas Strip, which also will have its own golf course.

The Wynn offer is one of several that have emerged for the course over the past few months.

A source who declined to be named said the board has not yet considered a second bid for memberships that would also involve building residential towers along Joe W. Brown Drive. That offer and the Wynn offer could be considered by the board as soon as Wednesday, the source said.

Country club manager Dale Telford was out of the office and could not be reached for comment. Other country club officials could not be reached for comment. Wynn Resorts officials also could not be reached for further comment this morning.

Wynn Defends Club Buyout Offer is republished from