LAS VEGAS-The Aladdin Resort & Casino, where a number of tire dealers and suppliers are registered for this month's Specialty Equipment Market Association/International Tire Expo, has filed for Chapter 11 protection.
Ross Kogel, executive vice president of the Tire Association of North America, mailed letters to several hundred show registrants Oct. 1 informing them of this fact and assuring that the Las Vegas hotel will remain open and operating during the SEMA/ITE event, Oct. 30 through Nov. 2.
Besides serving as TANA's headquarters hotel for the four-day event, the Aladdin also will host several hundred attendees at a Goodyear-sponsored dealer meeting Oct. 29, the day before the giant automotive trade show opens. A Goodyear spokesman said the company's dealer meeting also will go on as scheduled.
Mr. Kogel said TANA wanted to ``get word out that the show will go on and it will be business as usual'' at the Aladdin, where several association gatherings are to take place. He said there is no need for show attendees to change their room reservations at the hotel.
``In the coming days,'' Mr. Kogel told show registrants, ``you may hear news reports about the Aladdin Hotel and Casino's decision to file for Chapter 11 protection. I am writing to let you know that the Aladdin's management indicates that this will have little if any impact on your upcoming visit to Las Vegas.''
Some days earlier, SEMA show officials issued a statement denying as false news reports on CNN and elsewhere that the Las Vegas Convention Center, site of the giant SEMA/ITE trade show, had canceled all events scheduled through November following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania. SEMA officials said CNN apparently had picked up the erroneous news story from a local Las Vegas radio station.
Aladdin Gaming L.L.C., which owns the hotel and casino, filed a petition for Chapter 11 reorganization Sept. 28 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Nevada in Las Vegas.
The company said such protection will allow the resort to continue operating while management develops a reorganization plan. Along with the protection from foreclosure traditionally afforded by a Chapter 11 filing, the Aladdin also will receive additional capital as needed to fund ongoing operations.
Aladdin Gaming said a lending group has agreed to immediately provide $9 million in operating capital to meet the property's short-term cash flow needs as well as up to an additional $41 million in funds to maintain operations at the 2,567-room facility.
A spokesman for the Aladdin said the hotel has reduced its staff by 600 employees, but has been able to maintain its usual level of services by reducing the number of rooms occupied. He said show attendees should experience no decline in the hotel's services.
The spokesman attributed the hotel's financial difficulties in part to a falloff in business volume following the Sept. 11 attacks.