Gaming regulators OK $1.73 billion sale of Cosmopolitan

A view of the Cosmopolitan is shown in May 2014.

The sale of the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas cleared its last regulatory hurdle today when the Nevada Gaming Commission approved the $1.73 billion transaction.

The sale was first announced in May and approved initially by the Gaming Control Board two weeks ago. Germany-based Deutsche Bank is selling the upscale Strip resort to an affiliate of Blackstone Group, a private equity firm.

Blackstone executive Tyler Henritze told the commission that his company believes the Cosmopolitan will “continue to be one of the more unique, new and exciting properties on the Strip.”

Henritze hinted at some substantial changes to the property, including work to “reinvigorate” the ground floor, building out 46 new hotel rooms in the west tower and doing “something creative” with unused space at the top of the east tower.

Yesterday, the Cosmopolitan announced that former MGM Resorts International executive William McBeath will become the resort’s next CEO upon conclusion of the sale. Officials said last week that inaugural CEO John Unwin is leaving the post.

Gaming Commission Chairman Tony Alamo said Deutsche Bank was dealt a bad hand getting the Cosmopolitan off the ground.

Since opening its doors in December 2010, while tourism was still struggling with the economic downturn, the resort has yet to record an annual profit. But it has been slashing losses and boosting revenue in recent quarters.

Alamo praised Deutsche Bank for keeping the property going. “They did what they promised us they were going to do,” he said.

In a statement released after the commission’s decision, Henritze said that today marks the start of “an exciting journey” for Blackstone and the Cosmopolitan. He said Blackstone “look(s) forward to working with this team and becoming part of the dynamic Las Vegas hospitality community, as we further the success that the resort has experienced to date.”

The sale could close as soon as Friday.