Blackstone one step closer to owning The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas with Gaming Control Board OK

Associated Press

The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas is one step closer to being sold for $1.73 billion to affiliates of the Blackstone Group.

The hotel-casino got the go-ahead Wednesday from the three-person Nevada Gaming Control Board. That sent the deal to the Nevada Gaming Commission to discuss at its next Dec. 18 meeting.

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Deutsche Bank AG built the $3.9 billion Cosmopolitan after its original developer defaulted on its loan. The property opened in 2010 as the effects of the Great Recession still posed steep challenges for the Vegas area's hotels and casinos.

The swanky high-rise with its 2,960 rooms, Marquee club and three-story bar surrounded by a chandelier has struggled to make a profit.

The Cosmopolitan lost $15.3 million in its last quarter, an improvement compared with the $19.4 million loss a year before. Gambling revenue in the hotel's 110,000 square-foot casino accounted for just 24 percent of its overall revenue in those three months.

But the percentage of hotel rooms booked and the average daily rate those rooms are rented for was up in the last quarter to 96.3 percent and $306, respectively. In its most recent financial filing, the company says group and convention businesses boosted demand and a resort fee introduced in early 2013 continues to bump up revenues.

It sits on the Strip on one edge of the City Center group of hotels and casinos next to the Bellagio. Its rooms were originally designed to be for-sale condos.

For New Year's Eve, The Cosmopolitan is scheduled to host Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett performing one of their first U.S. shows after the duo released their "Cheek to Cheek" album.