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Rod Smith

Treasure Island to Pass the Buc at Auction

29 September 2003

LAS VEGAS -- The pirates have been vanquished from the new Treasure Island at Spring Mountain Road and the Strip, and the booty they left behind is ready for claiming.

MGM Mirage, holding company for the renamed "TI," will auction the buccaneer memorabilia from the defunct pirate show in the ballroom of Treasure Island today starting at 10 a.m.

Treasure Island President Scott Sibella said the items being auctioned have been taken off the two pirate ships, off the floor of the arcade, and out of the resort's restaurants and bars over the past three years and are piling up in a warehouse.

This is the first auction conducted by Treasure Island.

"We wanted to do it right," Sibella said, explaining the accumulation of original artwork, swords, costumes, trunks, ceramic pots and sculptures.

Many of the costumes from the former pirate show have been donated to nonprofit groups. Other money raised will be used to defray the cost of the new "Sirens" show that premieres Oct. 26.

"There are some great pieces. There are two bone chandeliers from the Treasure island lobby that had been in storage for eight years, each of which cost $400,000 (originally)," Sibella said.

Also included are four major pirate figures from the pirate show's walkway that originally cost $30,000 a piece, he said.

He and Guy Deiro, one of the auctioneers and president of Robert Deiro and Associates, which is conducting the auction, warn that neither pirate ship is being offered for sale today.

Sibella said representatives from major entertainment companies such as Disney Studios are expected, but Deiro said most of those attending are expected to be local businesses and residents.

"Most bidders will be just regular people wanting to buy memorabilia material from Treasure Island they can just carry away," Deiro said.

Some local companies also are planning to bid on the pirate memorabilia, including Victor Bernhard Fine Arts Associates.

"We're interested in the art. It resells very well," said Victor Bernhard, president of the company which specializes in the resale of art items. "Anything made for Treasure Island has a high resale value in our experience. And these aren't copies, but original items made for Treasure Island."

More local residents than businesses showed up Friday to preview the items for sale.

Koleta Blum and her husband, Darel, of North Las Vegas, said they have bought memorabilia at auction from the Aladdin, El Rancho and the Desert Inn and want to add to their collection.

"And (my husband) is building me an enchanted garden at home and I thought a treasure chest or a pot from Treasure Island would just add to my treasures," Koleta Blum said Friday.

The sale of more than 500 items originally valued at $2.5 million is expected to net more than $350,000.

Registration begins at 8 a.m. The auction is expected to draw between 750 and 1,200 people and last between four hours and six hours.