Probably to no one’s surprize, the Siena declared Chapter 11 Bankruptcy yesterday, in front of their command appearance today in front of the Nevada Gaming control Board – $147,000 in back gaming taxes were due. But some things just aren’t ringing true. Barney Ng of the Siena was quoted in the RGJ today saying “Our goal is to keep the property open, keep people employed and keep moving forward” Ng said. “We took this action only after negotiating an agreement (with Intrepid). We have both signed a letter-of-intent that will provide enough financing for the property to continue operations and to stabilize the property.”
Sounds good, but who exactly is Intrepid Gaming? Their site is heavily under construction, and the Flash home page just got added this afternoon. They are not registered as a business with the Nevada Secretary of State. A “whois” search for Intrepid Gaming leads to the registrant, whose contact information is at Techibank, also not a registered business in Nevada. They seem to be a small fry dilettante venture capital group. The contact information for both is Jon Berkley at his home address in Las Vegas. A quick Google search reveals Jon to be the President and CEO of Las Vegas Gaming Inc. LVGI is a real company (finally), but seems to be more of a gaming software company than a group with any expertise in casino and hotel operations.
What happened to the Cal Neva? They were widely report to be negotiating to take over the gaming activities at the Siena, even as late as yesterday. It is no secret that Cal Neva puts up its “high rollers” at the Siena, since their own hotel facilities are so sub-par, so they have a vested interest in keeping the Siena open. After a look at the books, did they just see a property beyond salvation? Or did Barney hold out for too much? Could Cal Neva be figuring that their best bet is to pick up the whole property at a BK sale? I hope so – the loss of the Siena property would be tragic for Reno.
Can the Siena survive under the current ownership, even assuming a financial boost from whomever? Not a chance in Hades. The actions of the ownership and management have been literally criminal in their actions, and charges will be filed in short order. A conviction would mean the loss of their gaming license. Dudes, you can stiff the Gaming Commission, Washoe County Assessor, RSCVA, NV Energy and a slew of suppliers and maybe walk away, but when the employees’ medical insurance contributions are being skimmed to try to keep the operation open, it is criminal. Charges will be filed.
There is a lot more to be played out in the Siena saga. Do any of you have any inside information or just idle speculation on the situation?