Bankers Back W Las Vegas With $232.5 Million Dollar Financing

LAS VEGAS, Jan. 5 /PRNewswire/ — Societe Generale Corporate & Investment Banking (“SG CIB”) part of Societe Generale Group and acting as Sole Lead Arranger & Book-runner, is leading a syndicate of banks funding a $232.5 million pre-development credit facility for the W Las Vegas Hotel, Casino & Residences, representing a resounding vote of confidence in the project and its ability to lead the new wave of significant projects planned for Las Vegas.

SG CIB has fully underwritten the facility which includes a $195 million first-lien term loan and a $37.5 million second-lien term loan. Proceeds of the pre-development loan will be used in part to refinance an existing $95 million credit facility, to fund expedited pre-development reserve accounts, and to acquire additional land adjacent to the existing prime property acquired for the project. Located at the intersection of Harmon Avenue and Koval Lane, the W Las Vegas promises to be the geographic and cultural epicenter of the booming Harmon Corridor — an area with over $15 billion of planned development.

The secured credit facility was privately rated by Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s, and the $232.5 million figure represents a low loan-to-value ratio considering the significant value of the underlying property collateral.

“This level of financing commitment at this stage of our development is a powerful vote of confidence in the W brand and our project,” said Reagan Silber, co-chairman of Edge Resorts. “This commitment from Wall Street sends a clear message to the market that the W Las Vegas project is on pace to become the new crown jewel in the W Hotels family and in the Las Vegas skyline.”

Edge Resorts is developing the W Las Vegas in partnership with Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide (NYSE:HOT) , parent company of W Hotels Worldwide.

“SG CIB is pleased to have acted as a leading financial partner to Edge Resorts and Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide in achieving this level of funding which is a significant milestone in the development of W Las Vegas,” said Michael Kim, Managing Director, Gaming, Lodging & Leisure at SG CIB. “The unique combination of the equity sponsorship of Starwood Hotels and Resorts and Edge Resorts, advanced nature of the plans for the integrated development of this flagship property at a prominent location along the burgeoning Harmon Corridor, and widespread global appeal of the W brand distinguishes this project from many currently being undertaken in the Las Vegas market.”

Financing for the construction of the project is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2006 and will consist of a mixture of debt, sponsor equity, and outside equity.

The W Las Vegas will embrace the stylish, signature comforts W is renowned for, including striking architecture, innovative restaurants and nightlife and a destination spa. The development will be the brand’s first property with a casino.

The project will include a significant component of condo-hotel and residential units, offering owners poolside cabanas, studios, or one- and two-bedroom condominiums with the world-class amenity of an attached W Hotel and Casino. Owners will have full use of the property’s facilities and amenities, as well as access to maid service, 24-hour room service and concierge services. Units will go on sale to the public in early 2006.

The first W Hotel opened in New York December 1998. There are now five hotels in New York City and 20 hotels in the U.S. and abroad. Recent openings include W’s first property in Latin America, W Mexico City, which opened in December of 2003, W’s first property in Asia, W Seoul — Walkerhill, which opened in August of 2004 and its first property in Canada, W Montreal, in October of 2004. Residence properties have been announced for Dallas, Fort Lauderdale, Scottsdale and Hoboken. In addition, there are over a dozen more W Hotels in development around the world.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with more than 750 properties in more than 80 countries and 120,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. With internationally renowned brands, Starwood is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchiser of hotels and resorts including: St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, Sheraton, Westin, Four Points by Sheraton, W brands, as well as Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership resorts. For more information, please visit

Trevor Pearlman, Reagan Silber and Adam Frank are principals of Edge Group, parent company of Edge Resorts LLC, an investment group focusing on real estate development and gaming primarily in the Las Vegas market.

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