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For Sale : Large Ocean Front Parcel in AC, Ballys ADJ, Former Sands AC

By Chuckmonster on Wednesday, 27th February 2008 2:28am
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We're not going to go broke building (Pinnacle Atlantic City)

With these words, Pinnacle Entertainment chairman and CEO Dan Lee drew a line in the... uh... Sands. If the credit market doesn't improve... *gulp* Pinnacle Atlantic City may very well be scratched from Atlantic City 2.0.

It's been nearly 16 months since Pinnacle made quick work of closing the Sands Atlantic City. With military precision, they parsed out its innards for a mammoth garage sale, then played host to Atlantic City's first ever casino implosion bash. With the wind at their sails, and plenty of hands on deck to scoop up flotsam and jetsam of investment deals, Pinnacle Entertainment appeared to command the oceans.

As with all naval fairy tales of yore, the winds - or Wynn's - changed direction, monkeywrenching Pinnacle's plan with a trademark gust of presumably hot air, under the flag of the U.S.S. Bader Field. As Admiral Lee engaged in verbal warfare with his own personal albatross, and possibly adopting a wait and see attitude towards the release of Bader Field, the treacherous waves of the global credit market began to fold in on itself creating a whirlpool of debt, foreclosures and a whole lot of bad news for those looking for a lot of money, cheap.

How does that saying go? When the window of opportunity knocks, be sure to throw the baby at a glass house with the bathwater? Apparently Admiral Lee is as familiar with these crossed wire cliches as I am. I'm just glad that I'm not left holding bags full of implosion debris, buttressed by a retaining wall of excuses.

Joshua: A strange game. The only winning move is not to play. How about a nice game of chess? - from 'WarGames' (1983)

If only Pinnacle could've torn a page from this teen geek cyber-adventure, and realized that Wynn (and Bader) isn't the end game, but instead a strategic - currently imaginary - pawn in a much larger game. Flipping the board over and sulking off in a huff may satisfy the inner eight year old in all of us, doing so after barely one round of moves are made teaches us more about the tantrum thrower, than the essence of chess.

I'm confident the credit markets will improve before the architects are done designing the building.

But what about the giant hand that is appearing on the scanner from the bridge of the Enterprise, Admiral Kirk Lee? Don't you think we should have Spock take a look at it?

The credit market is essentially closed. We have competitors with half-built buildings that they can't finish. We have a policy of not starting something unless we're relatively sure we have the money to finish it.

Closing, gutting, eBaying and imploding a property usually constitutes starting a project. Thinking otherwise would be akin to believing that a sports star who breaks their leg during preseason is automatically healed on opening day because 'pre-season doesn't count.'

Frankly, I'm curious how many mulligans Pinnacle Entertainment's stock holders are going to give Admiral Lee. From the state of their slowly sinking share price, looks to me like a lot of shareholders have already begun abandoning ship.

Thanks to Herman for sending the link from which Dan Lee's quotes are taken.

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