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Gaming exec McBeath tapped as new CEO of Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

18 Dec 2014

By Howard Stutz
LAS VEGAS -- The new owners of The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas have tabbed long time gaming executive Bill McBeath as CEO of the Strip resort.

McBeath will take over the property once Blackstone Real Estate Partners VII takes ownership of the resort, possibly as soon as Friday.

The 2,995-room Cosmopolitan is being sold to the division of New York City-based Blackstone for $1.73 billion.

The Nevada State Gaming Gaming Commission on Thursday will consider the Nevada State Gaming Control Board’s recommendation that Blackstone be licensed to own and operate the hotel-casino.

Last week, current Cosmopolitan CEO John Unwin announced his resignation.

McBeath most recently served as the president of CityCenter for MGM Resorts International. Previously, McBeath was president of three of Strip resorts, The Mirage, Treasure Island and Bellagio. In September, McBeath was named managing director of Illinois-based Z Capital Partners, the largest shareholder of casino operator Affinity Gaming.

“I have watched The Cosmopolitan create a standout experience that appeals to Las Vegas visitors as well as the local community,” McBeath said in a statement.

The Cosmopolitan has a 100,000 square-foot casino and is best known for its restaurants and nightclubs, including The Chelsea. It recently opened Rose. Rabbit. Lie., and Marquee, which is one of the top-grossing clubs in the U.S. The centerpiece Chandelier Bar in the casino is three stories tall.

However, the hotel-casino has never turned an annual profit.

“Bill brings nearly 30 years of broad-based experience in gaming and hospitality,” Blackstone Senior Managing Director Tyler Henritze said. “With his expertise, we look forward to building upon the success and continuing the momentum that The Cosmopolitan has established as we move forward.”

McBeath has served as board chairman of the Metropolitan Police Department Fiscal Affairs Committee, member of the National Finals Rodeo Committee, chairman of Las Vegas Events, and member of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority board of directors.

Blackstone, a multinational private equity investment fund, is acquiring the resort from Deutsche Bank, which built and opened the Cosmopolitan in December 2010 for $3.9 billion after the property’s original owner defaulted on the project.

Deutsche Bank always intended to sell the resort and its 8.7-acre Strip location between Bellagio and CityCenter.

Blackstone said the property collects 80 percent of its revenue from the hotel and food and beverage operations. The Cosmopolitan has two 52-story towers and a 110,000-square-foot casino.

The Blackstone division owns $81 billion in real estate assets globally.

In Nevada, the company owns nearly 1,000 homes. Last year, Blackstone subsidiary Equity Office Partners acquired the 1.4-million-square-foot Hughes Center at Paradise and Flamingo roads for $347 million. The office park was renamed The HC | Hughes Center.

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