John Ascuaga’s Nugget in Sparks was sold to two firms, it was announced Thursday.
Husky Finance, a middle-market lender, will provide acquisition financing and growth capital for renovation of the Nugget, while Global Gaming & Hospitality, a private casino management and merchant advisory firm, will assume responsibility for operations of the property.
“My family and I believe that the sale of John Ascuaga’s Nugget at this time is the best possible scenario for our employees and the future of the Nugget. The new owners have the financial resources needed to invest in the property and allow it — and its 1,300 employees — to prosper in the years ahead,” said Michonne Ascuaga, CEO of John Ascuaga’s Nugget. “We are extremely proud of the business we’ve built and the contributions to the community we’ve made over the past 58 years.”
John Ascuaga, 88, is a longtime Douglas County resident, who owns the 1,200-acre Jacks Valley Ranch. The ranch won’t be affected by the sale.
The sale requires regulatory approval by the Nevada Gaming Control Board and the Nevada Gaming Commission and is expected be completed by the New Year. The Ascuaga family will remain in a leadership role through the transition. Once the sale is complete, John Ascuaga will be Chairman Emeritus. Michonne Ascuaga and Chief Operating Officer Stephen Ascuaga will assume advisory roles.
GGH Co-Owner Carlton Geer will be the new president & CEO of the Nugget. Geer has been involved in the gaming and hospitality industry for 40 years. He has deep roots in Northern Nevada, having spent four years at the Eldorado Hotel Casino in the early 80s followed by 13 years at the Peppermill Hotel Casino, the last three as its general manager.
“John Ascuaga’s Nugget is an iconic property with a rich history in Nevada. We’re excited to have the opportunity to take the property to the next level,” said Geer.
Dick Graves opened The Sparks Nugget on March 17, 1955 as a 60-seat coffee shop. John Ascuaga, then general manager, purchased the Sparks Nugget in 1960 for $3.775 million on a handshake.