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Station Casinos Seeks Restructuring Support | News

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Station Casinos Seeks Restructuring Support
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One the largest employers in the Las Vegas valley has announced it plans to file for bankruptcy protection. Station Casinos says it will formally make the move sometime after March 2, 2009. Station Casinos employs 14,000 people in the Las Vegas valley.

Gaming analysts say the company going private, combined with the economy, was the one-two punch leading to bankruptcy.

In what could be a single picture that captures the state of the locals gaming market, a dealer stands with no players at his table. Many slots are also idle. It is a scenario seen at resorts throughout the struggling Las Vegas gaming market.

Deutsche Bank Analyst Bill Lerner says it is only part of the problem for Station Casinos, "If this was a public company right now we would not be in this situation. So the debt burden that was assumed to take the company private by taking out the public shareholders was problem one."

The local company was founded in 1976 by the Fertitta family. In 2007, the company went private with partner Colony Capital. Now the company says it will file what is called a pre-packaged bankruptcy.

"What this really means is business as usual. Our employees and our guests will see absolutely no difference. Our properties remain exactly the same. Our operations will continue business as usual," said Lori Nelson with Stations.

Lerner says the nature of a planned bankruptcy filing suggests some bondholders have already agreed, in advance, to the terms, "I think it is relatively good news for employees and customers. Best guess is that nothing really changes from the customer experience or from the level of employees."

Two well known Station properties are not a part of this bankruptcy filing -- Aliante Station in North Las Vegas and Green Valley Ranch in Henderson. They are both a partnership with the Greenspun family and, as with all Station properties, the company says it will be business as usual.

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