Briefs: Fertitta buys Wildwood casino, hotel; Shinta Mani heads to Nepal

Fertitta buys Wildwood casino, hotel: Fertitta Entertainment, the Houston, Texas-based company owned by restaurant mogul Tilman Fertitta, has agreed to acquire the Wildwood Casino and Hotel in Cripple Creek, Colorado, for US$43 million from American Gaming Group. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter. Fertitta Entertainment, which operates casinos under the Golden Nugget brand and has five casinos across the U.S., will rename the casino under the Golden Nugget name and retain the property’s 300 employees who want to stay. Since it opened in 2008, American Gaming has owned the casino and spent US$14 million to add a 101-key hotel adjacent to the casino. With 528 slot machines and 12 tables, the Wildwood Casino is the largest single casino in Cripple Creek. The property was almost sold to Saratoga Harness Racing in early 2020 but the deal was called off due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Shinta Mani Mustang – A Bensley Collection in Mustang, Nepal

Shinta Mani to Nepal: Shinta Mani Hotels, owned and operated by Bangkok, Thailand-based HMD Asia, in partnership with Kathmandu, Nepal-based Sherpa Hospitality Group will open the Shinta Mani Mustang – A Bensley Collection in Mustang, Nepal. The 29-suite all-inclusive, luxury lodge will open on March 1, 2023, and will mark Shinta Mani’s first internationally-flagged property outside Cambodia. Each suite will measure 45 square meters and will be designed in the style of a traditional Tibetan home with an open-plan bedroom with a living area and a separate bathroom, with floor-to-ceiling windows offering views of the Nilgiri mountain. The property will include a 60-seat restaurant, bar, a mixed-use activity room, a wellness center with two treatment suites, a hot plunge pool, a steam room, sauna and shower.

Stanley Turkel dies at 96: Stanley Turkel, the renowned hotelier, hospitality consultant and hotel historian, died on August 12 in Alexandria, Virginia, after a brief illness. He was 96. A three-time winner of the “Historian of the Year,” Turkel managed the Americana Hotel, the Drake Hotel and the Summit Hotel. After having worked at his father’s commercial laundry business, he went on to become the resident manager of the Americana Hotel, currently the Sheraton Times Square Hotel. Turkel was promoted to manage the Drake Hotel and later, the Summit Hotel. The ITT Corp. appointed him as the product line manager in charge of overseeing the Sheraton Hotel chain. A civil rights activist, Turkel published 10 books on hoteliers and hotels and 270 monthly newsletters. As the president of the City Club of New York, from 1967 to 1978 (and subsequently serving as the club’s chairman), the club assumed the role of a “Gadfly,” insisting on good government and accountability of its appointed and elected leaders to improve the quality of life for New Yorkers. He is survived by his son, daughter, stepchildren, one grandson and two step-grandchildren.

Thakral divests Osaka hotel: Thakral Corp. Ltd., Singapore, has divested the 111-key Hotel WBF Namba Motomachi in Osaka, Japan, for an undisclosed sum. The hotel’s sale price was reportedly around 2% lower than its acquisition cost and valuation. Thakral Corp. acquired the hotel in September 2018. The sale proceeds will be used to increase the company’s cash flows to reinvest in other properties. After the divestment is complete, Thakral will own two business hotels and six commercial buildings with a total area of 430,000 square feet in Osaka. The company is planning to sell the other two hotels.

Herbert Kohler of Kohler Co. passes away: Herbert Kohler Jr., the executive chairman of Kohler Co., died on September 3 in Kohler, Wisconsin. He was 83. During his 43-year span as the company’s CEO, he transformed the family-run business into a global leader in plumbing products manufacturing and was inducted into the National Kitchen and Bath Hall of Fame in its inaugural year of 1989. In the late 1970s, he develop The American Club – originally built as an immigrant workers’ dormitory in 1918 – into a luxury spa and resort. Today, it is the Midwest’s only AAA Five Diamond Resort Hotel, a member of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Historic Hotels of America program, and among a handful globally to have both the AAA Five Diamond and Forbes Five-Star designations. With The American Club serving as the anchor property, Destination Kohler was formed and today includes the 500-acre wilderness preserve River Wildlife; a second hotel, Inn on Woodlake; the Kohler Waters Spa; multiple casual and fine dining restaurants and pubs. Destination Kohler paved the way for the Hospitality & Real Estate Group. Another hotel called Lodge Kohler opened in 2017 and is an anchor property within the Green Bay Packers’ Titletown entertainment destination.