Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem’s sale to a Native American tribe based in the state of Alabama is on track, with the deal set to be finalized in the first quarter of 2019.
The information has been revealed by Bob Donchez, Mayor of Bethlehem, as he has been communicating with the subsidiary of the Parch Band of Creek Indians of Alabama – Wind Creek Hospitality. The Indian tribe already has a provisional agreement for the purchase of the above-mentioned casino resort at the price of US$1.3 billion.
Not all details related to the sale have been ironed out, but Mr. Donchez warned the City Council not to expect Wind Creek to make any public comments until the sale is carried out. Currently, the takeover deal is going through a background check process by local regulatory authorities. As confirmed by Mayor Donchez, the sale is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2019, most likely in February or March.
The City Council has already revealed its priorities at the site of the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem, however, no comments are made by the Wind Creek so far, despite the fact that both city officials and Bethlehem’s council have lifted the curtain on the sale process.
Various Needs to Be Covered with the Proceeds of the Sale
There is still no guarantee that the sale would be finalized, as two previous deals have already failed. If the deal is completed though, the real estate transfer tax could bring the city and the district each an amount of up to US$6.5 million.
A public hearing on a proposed plan will take place on November 15th.
Bethlehem City officials are working to get a plan for spending the possible cash inflow which could be received as a result of the sale. The administration has proposed US$23 million to be spent on deferred capital projects in 2019. The plan is still subjected to an approval from the Bethlehem City Council as part of its 2019 budget process.
A deal was made between the City of Bethlehem and Las Vegas Sands Corp. nine years ago, with the company pledging to remain committed to an extensive historic preservation of the 124-acre Bethlehem Steel property while the latter has been redeveloped into an entertainment and arts complex. Now, with the sale of the casino to Wind Creek Hospitality, some of the questions related to the fate of the casino and events center still remain in place.
The city officials have previously shared their hopes and expectations that a new casino owner will still comply with the existing preservation and development agreements.
As far as the proposed plan for the proceeds is concerned, Eric Evans, a Business Administrator, shared that the City of Bethlehem has “a lot of deferred needs”, so a plan is being made for the money that would potentially be received as a result of the sale.