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Gaming Guru

Tim O'Reiley

Company linked to LVH pursues 'Vegas International' trademark

12 November 2012

LAS VEGAS -- Could the casino now known as the LVH wind up with the name Vegas International Casino + Hotel?

American Casino and Entertainment Properties LLC, which applied for a trademark for the name and accompanying logo, is in the middle of the month during which outsiders can register their opposition. This standard part of the process ends Nov. 22.

Executives at ACEP, owned by an affiliate of Goldman Sachs & Co., declined to comment on what they would do with the name. "What's in the public record is in the public record," said spokeswoman Kathy Topp.

However, people who remember old Vegas would immediately make the connection with the International Hotel, which developer Kirk Kerkorian opened in 1969 with a command performance by Barbra Streisand. Less than two years later, after a change of ownership, it was reflagged as the Las Vegas Hilton and kept the name for four decades.

The trademark application also includes a logo of an elongated and curved triangle within a triangle, obliquely resembling the giant flared sign in front of the hotel.

According to Kurt Ouchida, a spokesman for what has been called the LVH since January, "There is no intention to rename the LVH."

But of the three brands operated by the ACEP, two seem like an unlikely fit for a Vegas International identity: Arizona Charlie's and the Aquarius in Laughlin. The other, Stratosphere, adopted the soaring name to emphasize the tower that defines it on the Las Vegas cityscape.

Also, a template already exists for an LVH name change. The real estate investment firm Colony Capital LLC partly owns and manages the Atlantic City Hilton, but Hilton revoked the franchise in June 2011. During an interim period, the hotel was called the ACH until it was renamed the Atlantic Club Casino Hotel in February.

Colony was part-owner and manager of the Las Vegas Hilton, but Hilton severed the tie at the end of December. After that, the name LVH was put on the door.

Colony surrendered management control in favor of a court-appointed receiver. Its ownership formally ended last month when another Goldman Sachs affiliate joined forces with Gramercy Capital Corp. to take control via a foreclosure.

If the LVH opts to adopt a version of its original International name, it would fit with an entertainment lineup heavy with acts that gray-haired guests can remember from when they were young. The current lineup includes impressionist Rich Little, the Doobie Brothers, a Rat Pack tribute group and an Elvis impersonator, reprising the hotel's most famous headliner.