Setting it straight on casino plan
May 31, 2005
Max Baer Jr. has responded to several recent letters to the editor to correct factual errors on his purchase of the former Wal-Mart building and plans for a hotel/casino there. Here are the references and the corrected or clarified information:
n An April 10 letter referred to purchase of the building through a “straw man.”
Baer did not use a “straw man,” a third party used in a transaction to accomplish something otherwise impermissible, to purchase the property. John King purchased the property for Baer in order to obtain both a fair selling price and reasonable terms that otherwise would not have been obtainable due to Baer’s celebrity status as well as avoiding the possible addition of gaming restrictions. In no way does obtaining a fair and reasonable sale of property constitute the accomplishment of something impermissible by Baer.
n In an April 15 letter, Baer was described as throwing a “tantrum” outside the courthouse after a judge’s ruling on a lawsuit concerning restrictions on the property.
Baer has never attended any court hearing concerning this matter, nor has he been to the courthouse in Carson City. At the time of the court’s ruling, Baer was in Lake Tahoe and was not present at the courthouse nor acted in the way asserted.
n A May 13 letter said Baer is trying to move into Carson City “because Las Vegas and Reno turned him away ….”
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Reno never “turned (Baer) away,” which was evidenced by the city changing an ordinance allowing gaming at Baer’s proposed casino site, the Park Lane Mall site, the city approving the signature oil derrick sign board and flame for Baer’s casino at the Park Lane Mall site and the Federal Aviation Administration permitting both the height of the proposed tower and the associated flame amenity.
Las Vegas has never turned Baer away because he has never proposed a project in the city of Las Vegas.
n In a May 18 letter, Baer was criticized with the remark, “First of all, it’s either wrong business sense or plain arrogance for (Baer) to buy a place that has rules to prohibit a casino and then assume that through clout, fame or pressure (Baer) will get an exemption.”
Prior to the purchase of the property by Baer, King had already paid to remove the restrictions impeding his ability to place his casino on the property that would have been imposed unilaterally by Wal-Mart; Baer had verbal accepted terms to remove the covenant restrictions as proposed to him by J.C. Penney; and Baer had accepted a written agreement to remove the covenant restrictions from Glenbrook Corp. pursuant to the foregoing.
At the time of the purchase of the property by Baer, there were not any “rules” prohibiting the casino. Therefore, at no time did Baer “assume that through clout, fame or pressure,” he would be able to have the restrictions removed from the property after its purchase since his belief was that the restrictions were not present on the property at the time of its purchase.