Nevada Sells Debt to Boost Lake Tahoe, Vegas History: Muni Deals

Nevada is asking bond investors to protect the Lake Tahoe Basin from invasive fish and preserve historic buildings in gambling mecca Las Vegas.

The Silver State is selling $61.7 million in general-obligation debt April 2, according to bond documents. Proceeds would fund capital improvements and grants for “preserving or protecting historical buildings to be used to develop a network of cultural centers and activities,” Lori Chatwood, deputy treasurer, said in an e-mail.

Besides sites in Las Vegas, another grant recipient is the Thunderbird Lodge Preservation Society, which operates the Incline Village home of George Whittel Jr., who died in 1969 and whom the nonprofit describes as “one of the more notorious playboys of California and Nevada.”

The Lake Tahoe Basin would also receive funds to develop trails, restore forests and curb invasive land and aquatic animals, Chatwood said. The area lies within the Sierra Nevada mountain range.

A portion of the deal would pay off some debt issued in 2005 to save about 7.5 percent in interest costs, Chatwood said. The state has $1.1 billion in general-obligation securities as of March 1, according to a bond document.

Moody’s Investors Service ranks the debt Aa2, the third-highest grade, citing stable revenue during the recovery from the 18-month recession that ended in 2009.

“The gaming and tourism sector will continue to benefit from a steady national and global economic expansion,” Moody’s said in a release.

Nevada last sold general-obligation securities in March 2013. Bonds maturing in March 2020 traded March 10 at an average yield of 1.75 percent, or 0.25 percentage point over benchmark munis, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Nevada joins issuers offering $4.4 billion in debt this week, down from $5.3 billion last week.

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