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Aladdin Improves Situation

19 December 2002

LAS VEGAS – As reported by the Reno Gazette Journal: "Nobody has to remind Bill Timmins that the Aladdin hotel-casino has been in bankruptcy for more than 15 months.

"Each day the company's president and chief operating officer takes the elevator to his suite-turned office on the casino's sixth floor and does his unenviable job: overseeing a $1.2 billion property that is mired in debt.

"Across the Strip from the Bellagio that gushes money, the Aladdin limps along with a work force that has been reduced by 30 percent, trying to draw more gamblers and their money while seeking a suitor.

"…In the past several months, the casino has taken small steps toward solvency that have helped stave off closure or a desperation sale.

"Court records indicate the Aladdin has managed to settle a pivotal lawsuit that threatened to derail any possible sale, pay back its original post-bankruptcy financing loan and complete several projects that now give people a reason to spend money inside the cash-strapped casino.

"…Part of the reason the banks have been patient is because the Aladdin should show about $40 million in cash flow at the end of the year, almost double what it was in 2001, Timmins says.

"…Money continues to trickle in thanks to occupancy rates that have hovered above 90 percent and consistent room rates. The 2,565-room property is functioning as an overflow hotel for the Strip, not ideal because the Aladdin was built to operate primarily as a casino, not a hotel.

"…Now with a new popular nightclub, a 400-seat showroom for entertainment acts, the second biggest spa in Las Vegas and a planned wedding chapel, people have reason to drop their dollars at the Aladdin.

"…In court, a pricey lawsuit with Northwind Aladdin was settled. The company runs a power plant on Aladdin property and provides the hotel-casino with hot and cold water and a backup generator. The lawsuit stemmed from a dispute over who owned the plant.

"…William Brandt Jr., president of Development Specialists Inc., a bankruptcy restructuring company headquartered in Chicago, said the Aladdin is probably close to a sale given what's at stake…"

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