UPDATE: Churchill Downs parent to take over Hard Rock Sioux City casino in $2.5 billion deal | Local company
SIOUX CITY — The parent company of the iconic Kentucky Derby would take control of the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sioux City in a blockbuster $2.485 billion deal announced Tuesday that also includes the sale of gambling properties in Virginia and in New York.
Under its purchase agreement with Peninsula Pacific Entertainment, Churchill Downs Incorporated would sell the downtown Sioux City resort to an undisclosed third party, who would then lease the property to CDI to operate.
“If for some reason that doesn’t happen, the Sioux City Hard Rock Hotel & Casino will be added to the overall deal between Churchill Downs Incorporated and Peninsula Pacific Entertainment and the price would be $2.75 billion, instead of $2.485 billion,” CDI said. in a press release.
The deal, which is expected to close by the end of this year, is subject to regulatory approval by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission and state regulators in New York and Virginia.
A spokesperson for Peninsula Pacific Entertainment said business was business as usual Tuesday at the Hard Rock property, with no immediate changes expected in the management or day-to-day operations of the casino or hotel.
People also read…
As of 2020, Peninsula Pacific Entertainment, a Los Angeles-based company headed by Iowa-native Mr. Brent Stevens, is the sole owner of the Hard Rock-branded casino.
In 2013, after the Iowa Races and Gaming Commission invited applications for Woodbury County’s first land-based casino, Stevens formed a 50-50 partnership with Bill Warner, owner of Warner Gaming, based in Vegas. Warner had previously entered into an agreement with Missouri River Historical Development, the nonprofit that currently holds the state gambling license for the Hard Rock.
In April 2013, the State Races and Gaming Commission, by a 3-2 vote, selected the Hard Rock Group’s $128 million proposal, which included the renovation of the historic Battery Building in the block 300 of Water Street, on two other potential operators and three different sites. Other contenders included Penn National Gaming, which owned the former Argosy Sioux City river casino, and Ho-Chunk Inc., which offered a downtown casino on the site of the historic Warrior Hotel.
The Hard Rock, which opened on August 1, 2014, today includes a 45,000 square foot casino with 639 slot machines, 20 table games, a Hard Rock branded sportsbook, two live entertainment rooms, a 100-piece collection of musical memorabilia, a hotel with 54 rooms and 1,511 parking spaces, including 530 in a covered ramp.
In December 2019, Peninsula Pacific Entertainment, or P2E, announced that it had acquired Warner’s 50% stake in Hard Rock.
At its December 2020 meeting in Sioux City, the Racing and Gaming Commission formally approved the deal.
“We view Sioux City as the cornerstone of our operations in Iowa,” Stevens told the commission during the meeting. “From here, we hope to take the Hard Rock of Sioux City to new and bigger places.”
As part of the 20-year agreement that MRHD signed in 2013 with the Hard Rock, the non-profit gaming group collects 4.25% of the casino’s revenue to distribute to charities, civic groups and local governments in Woodbury County. The agreement included two five-year extensions that would come into effect upon mutual agreement by both parties.
MRHD executive director Katie Colling noted on Tuesday that Churchill Downs Inc.’s deal for the Hard Rock was in the “very early stages”.
“We had a fantastic relationship with Hard Rock, so hopefully this will be the precedent…really what we know is what’s in the audience,” Colling told the Journal.
Founded in 1999 by Stevens, P2E was originally created as a holding company of Peninsula Gaming, which owned the Diamond Jo casino in Dubuque, Iowa. Pacific Gaming was sold in 2012 to Boyd Gaming Corp. in a $1.45 billion deal.
In the deal with P2E announced Tuesday, Churchill Downs Hills Incorporated, or CDI, would also acquire Colonial Downs Racetrack, a thoroughbred racing complex in New Kent, Va., six historic “Rosie’s Gaming Emporium” horse racing facilities. across Virginia and Lago Resort & Casino, a 96,000 square foot casino resort in Waterloo, New York.
“This unique set of assets expands our geographic footprint and provides additional scale,” CDI CEO Bill Carstanjen said in a statement. “P2E has done an exceptional job developing and managing this collection of assets, which we are very pleased to acquire and plan to strategically grow in the years to come.”
P2E’s casino development rights in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and its Louisiana gaming license, are not included in the transaction.
CDI is a leading racing, online betting and gaming entertainment company rooted in its flagship event, the Kentucky Derby, the first leg of the Triple Crown of thoroughbred racing, held monthly from May on the Churchill Downs trail in Louisville.
The publicly traded company, CHDN on the NASDAQ stock exchange, owns and operates three pari-mutuel gaming entertainment venues with approximately 3,050 historic racing machines in Kentucky. Its holdings also include TwinSpires, an online betting platform for horse racing, sports and games, and land-based casino games in nine states with approximately 11,000 slot machines and video lottery terminals and 200 games. of table.
The Journal’s Jared McNett contributed to this story.
State regulators approve sole proprietorship of Hard Rock
Hard Rock Sioux City Casino Sold to Peninsula Pacific Entertainment
UPDATE: Tuesday morning’s wintry weather caused fender benders and school cancellations
Jared McNett is an online editor and reporter for the Sioux City Journal. You can reach him at 712-293-4234 and follow him on Twitter @TwoHeadedBoy98.