Renovator Adds To Portfolio Of Properties

October 25, 2008

By Mark Hansel

It looks as if Stephen Siegel is trying to upgrade the rundown hotels in Las Vegas, one at a time.

The Siegel Group recently paid $13.75 million for the Coliseum Villas, a 186-unit apartment complex situated on 3.6 acres on Twain Avenue at Paradise Road. The acquisition comes on the heels of Siegel’s recent purchase of Travel Inn, a dilapidated motel on Las Vegas Boulevard south of Fremont Street, for $5 million.

Siegel’s business model in the valley has been to buy up hotels and apartment complexes in varying states of disrepair, spruce them up, and convert them to Siegel Suites.

“This newest acquisition further adds to the incredible locations we have strategically acquired throughout the Las Vegas market,” Siegel said. “Paradise Road is quickly transforming into the Second Strip thanks to the presence of the Las Vegas Convention Center, Hard Rock Hotel and major resort developments that are planned, and we are excited to have added such a valuable asset to our growing Siegel Suites portfolio.”

While the jury is still out on the “Second Strip” concept, Marriott International, which recently announced the purchase of a major parcel of land nearby and plans to build a new hotel there, also sees value in the area.

The property will be renamed Siegel Suites Twain and will be operated by Sasco Properties, an affiliate of the Siegel Group.

Siegel Suites are described by the owners as flex-stay properties where residents are not required to sign a lease and might stay only a few weeks or significantly longer.

“The average stay is about three months, but we have tenants that have been with us for years,” Siegel said.

The acquisition of Coliseum Villas brings to nine the number of Siegel Group properties in the valley, and the company plans to close on at least two more soon.
The Falls, a 230-unit apartment complex on Cambridge Avenue, and the Emerald Suites hotel, located on Tropicana Avenue west of the Las Vegas Beltway, with 225 units, are the next properties in Siegel’s sights.

The vacant Travel Inn was in a serious state of disrepair when it was purchased by Siegel and may have been bought to help leverage a deal for the adjacent Gold Spike Casino. Coliseum Villas, on the other hand, is almost completely occupied and is a better fit for Siegel’s plans here.

“The property has about 10 years of deferred maintenance where the owners drained money out and didn’t put it back in,” Siegel said.

Other successful renovation projects by the Siegel Group include the Siegel Suites St. Louis on East St. Louis Avenue near the Stratosphere and the Siegel Suites Bonanza on East Bonanza Road.