End of an Era; Nugget Officially Under New Ownership

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SPARKS, NV -- At the stroke of midnight Sunday night, the deal was final. One of the biggest sales of the year gave Global Gaming and Hospitality full ownership of John Ascuaga's Nugget.

The plans were set in motion two months ago, but are now being finalized. After more than 50 years of ownership, the Ascuaga family has given up the reigns of the casino to the new owner.

"We are mindful of the 58 years of traditions at The Nugget and will be enhancing the areas, and updating the areas so people will have additional reasons to come to the nugget in the future," says Carlton Geer, the new President and CEO.

Geer says he's giving the casino a $50,000,000 facelift that includes upgrading rooms, the casino floor, restaurants and exteriors.

"We don't have to do a lot of tearing down of facilities and rebuilding of facilities," said Geer. "We just have to do renovation of facilities and that is a major difference in cost as well as timing."

No layoffs are expected with the sale, but new changes will bring even more jobs to the table. The changes won't be drastic, as the family-friendly culture will still be intact.

"They don't want to pay an arm and a leg, but they want to have some fun and they want to escape the hassles of daily life and we want to be able to provide a refuge for our local customers as well as our out of town guests," said Geer.

As for the popular Rib Cookoff and Star Spangled Sparks, they will still be traditions with a few enhancements.

"We would be crazy to change the rib cookoff."

John Ascuaga will remain as chairman. Those changes will start immediately and people can expect to see results around May 2014.