Struggling Atlantic City Hilton goes on market

ATLANTIC CITY As the Golden Nugget brand will soon return to Atlantic City, the gaming resort city’s original Golden Nugget property has been put up for sale.

The 804-key hotel now known as Atlantic City Hilton Casino Resort is being marketed by international investment bank Houlihan Lokey. Press of Atlantic City reports that the bank is preparing a confidential “offering memo” that will be sent to potential buyers in the coming weeks.

No purchase price has been publicly announced, although prospective buyers are being asked to prove at least US$50 million in assets.

The Hilton is Atlantic City’s smallest casino. The property is currently embroiled in a foreclosure fight with lenders, although that dispute has been placed on hold while sale opportunities are explored.

The property is owned by Resorts International Holdings LLC, an affiliate of the California-based real estate investment firm Colony Capital LLC. Colony bought the Hilton and three other casinos in Mississippi and Indiana in 2005 for US$1.24 billion. The property defaulted on its mortgage in July 2009 and has been under threat of foreclosure from U.S. National Bank Association.

Prospective buyers are said to include the property’s CEO, Nicholas Ribis. A local realtor says two other unnamed clients have expressed interest in the property.

Earlier this week, Landry’s Inc. announced it is buying the nearby Trump Marina Hotel Casino and will rebrand it as a Golden Nugget. Landry’s owns the flagship Golden Nugget property in Downtown Las Vegas, as well as another in suburban Laughlin, Nevada.