Golden completes purchase of Colorado Belle, Edgewater
LAUGHLIN — The Aquarius, Colorado Belle and Edgewater officially joined forces last week as Golden Entertainment finalized the purchase of the latter two properties from Marnell Gaming.
Golden, which first staked a claim in Laughlin in 2017 when it bought the Aquarius, announced in July 2018 that it would acquire the Belle and Edgewater. The Laughlin Event Center also was part of the purchase which consisted of $155 million in cash and 911,000 shares of Golden Entertainment common stock.
“The acquisition of these properties complements our market-leading Aquarius Casino Resort in Laughlin and grows our portfolio of wholly owned Southern Nevada casino resorts,” Golden CEO Blake L. Sartini stated. “Golden is excited to integrate the Colorado Belle and the Edgewater, and we welcome their guests and team members to the Golden family.”
Sartini founded his company in 2001, operating gaming devices in convenience stores and taverns around Las Vegas. After this acquisition, Golden now owns 10 casino resorts and 60 taverns, totaling 10,000 gaming devices.
The purchase gives Golden a dominant position in Laughlin as the company strives to make a dynamic presence across Nevada.
Aquarius General Manager Sean Hammond has taken over as GM of all three resorts and former Colorado Belle and Edgewater General Manager Ryan Walker is now the assistant GM of all three properties.
“Golden will be able to centralize management of the three properties, combine their marketing and purchasing efforts and better employ staff,” Union Gaming analyst John DeCree said in a press release.
Hammond said his responsibility has tripled but his duties will not change much, and with the combined resources he believes it will be a smooth transition.
“It’s just a matter of getting in there and understanding their operations and how it compares with ours and how each of the properties can complement the overall portfolio,” Hammond said. “We just have to embrace all three of their uniquenesses but also how it can leverage the overall Golden brand in Laughlin.”
Managing three resorts on 55 contiguous acres, as well as the largest entertainment venue in town will be an exciting challenge for Hammond, Walker and the entire Golden team.
“I think we’re ready and up for the task at hand,” Hammond said. “My biggest thing is support for my team and also looking out for our guests, and I say that now as our guests being of the Edgewater, the Colorado Belle and the Aquarius. I just look forward to us doing some great things down here and trying to grow the market in Laughlin.”
Major changes to the properties’ identity are not in store for the foreseeable future, and for now players can expect operations to continue as normal. Club accounts, point balances and earned benefits will not change at this time, but are expected to merge in the coming months to better serve patrons and unify all Golden properties.