Tribe acquiring old motel on Las Vegas Strip

Tribe acquiring old motel on las vegas strip

An Indian tribe from North Dakota is in the process of purchasing a vacant motel site on the south Las Vegas Strip, which might allow it to increase its holdings along Las Vegas Boulevard.

According to documents from the Clark County District Court, the Three Affiliated Tribes on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation have a contract to pay $10.25 million for the former White Sands Motel site that is next to the Luxor.

The former Route 91 Harvest Festival mass-murder site, the majority of which was bought by the tribal nation late last year, abuts the narrow 1.1-acre tract on three sides.

The sale of the motel property will be discussed in an upcoming court hearing. Chairman Mark Fox of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation said in a statement released by his office that the tribe is looking into opportunities to buy the property but that the process hasn't been finished.

The dilapidated former White Sands structure has been abandoned for many years and has a history of vandalism, squatters, and feral cats. It would almost certainly be destroyed if it sells.

Additionally, if MHA Nation purchases the property, they would gain a piece of real estate that juts into their current land holdings, allowing them to plug a sort of real estate doughnut hole.

An investment for the tribe

The tribal nation, which runs the 4 Bears casino in North Dakota, has previously paid more than $100 million for more than 20 acres at the south fringe of the renowned Las Vegas resort sector.

It paid $12 million through a bankruptcy proceeding in 2020 for a parcel located just to the east of the defunct Route 91 location. Fox claimed at the time that he had been observing Las Vegas behavior for years. Despite the fact that his tribe had no specific intentions for the location, he called the purchase "an investment for us, plain and simple."

The majority of the 15-acre former Route 91 site was subsequently purchased by MHA Nation from casino behemoth MGM Resorts International in late 2022 for around $93 million.

The location of the deadliest mass shooting in contemporary American history, MGM set aside two acres for a long-lasting tribute to the disaster known as 1 October.

In an earlier press release, MHA Nation stated that its acquisition represents a tremendous opportunity for investment and return, with the money made from the sale going toward funding tribal projects and programs. Additionally, it declared that it whole-heartedly supports the memorial. The former White Sands land was something MHA Nation was "definitely looking to acquire," Fox said at the time, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Travelers, intruders, and animals

During the Mafia era in Las Vegas, the White Sands was constructed in 1959. It was promoted as a lovely location with air conditioning, TV, and coffee, all uncommon in motels in those days.

According to Clark County records, the motel shuttered about 2008 and has been in poor condition for years. In 2015, the county issued a "declaration of imminent danger" stating that the building was unsafe, included criminal activities, and had feral cats and kittens in "all apartments."

The county received a letter in 2015 that stated despite installing chain link fences and boarding up all entrances and windows on the property, it has been exceedingly difficult to prohibit vagrants, trespassers, and the animal organizations from getting access to the site.

According to records, Spartaco Colleli, who owned the White Sands and passed away in 1992, left the land to his estate. Kennedy Lee, a Las Vegas probate attorney who served as Colleli's special administrator, claimed in a court document last month that the property was valued at $10.7 million and that he had signed a buy and sell agreement with the tribe. Fox signed a copy of the agreement, which was included in court documents.


“Tribal nation buying shuttered motel site on Strip” , Eli Segall,, February 8, 2023.


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