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GAMING

Times Staff and Wire Reports

Stratosphere Suspends Next Phase of Casino: The beleaguered gaming company said it has indefinitely suspended plans to build more hotel rooms and retail shops in its Las Vegas casino complex because it will be short of cash and needs to restructure its $203-million debt. Stratosphere Corp., which is 42% owned by Grand Casinos Inc., said the move won’t affect ongoing operations or guests visiting its casino, hotel and observation tower. The company expects to complete the current redesign of its casino floor in October. The Las Vegas-based company, which has been hampered by a poor location and a lack of hotel rooms and retail shops, had planned to build a new hotel-tower with a pool area and spa, and additional retail space. Stratosphere, which opened in April, has a 100,000-square-foot casino, 1,500 hotel rooms, a retail shopping mall, seven restaurants and the Stratosphere tower, the largest free-standing observation tower in the U.S. Completion of the second phase of construction is crucial for the company to boost the casino’s cash flow, analysts say.


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