Crescent's Casinos: A Different Kind Of Bet On Las Vegas

It's focusing on a gaming market for locals, not tourists

These are trying times for Las Vegas casino operators. And the betting is things will get worse before they get better. A casino-building boom along Las Vegas Boulevard, better known as the Strip, has created an overcapacity of hotel rooms, which is squeezing room prices, occupancy rates, and profits. So how do the promoters of a large, Las Vegas-oriented gaming real estate investment trust announced on June 15 think they'll attract investors? "We're not interested in the Strip," says billionaire financier Richard E. Rainwater, chairman of Crescent Real Estate Equities Co., which is launching the REIT. "We're only interested in the locals [gaming] market, which I think is a great market niche."

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