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Culinary Union closely watching Cosmopolitan ownership change

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Updated: 5/19 10:24 pm

LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) -- The international real-estate corporation known as the Blackstone Group are the new owners taking over the Cosmopolitan. The group paid more than $1.7 billion for the property.

Employees with the Culinary Workers Union Local 226 will be watching this sale with great interest since 2,000 Cosmopolitan employees have been trying to get a contract with the company.

They knew it was eventually going to sell, and the union's Secretary-Treasurer Geoconda Arguello-Kline says they look forward to the changes.

"Now we have Blackstone coming in, and what we want is to keep all the workers, do they get to keep the opportunity to provide their families," Arguello-Kline said.

Blackstone Group already has culinary union ties with Hilton hotels, a relationship that the local union hopes will be in its favor.

"It's somebody we know, because we have contract around the country with the Hilton property, but its coming to town, it's somebody you know, different than somebody you didn't have a relationship before," Arguello-Kline said.

Economically speaking UNLV's Gaming Research expert David Schwartz says Blackstone may be good for Las Vegas. They already own the Hughes Center and about a thousand single family homes in Southern Nevada.

"They might want to invest more in the future and it might be a more positive outlook for the future," Schwartz said.

Perhaps Blackstone may be able to turn the Cosmopolitan's challenges under Deutsche Bank in to victories, especially in gaming.

"Cosmopolitan shows the difficulties you have when you try to open up a property in Las Vegas without a big legacy database of players and without a big national network of people coming to Vegas," Schwartz said..

Schwartz says it could be a positive sign for the Las Vegas economy. The culinary union certainly hopes so for many of of the Cosmopolitan employees.

Arguello-Kline notes there was excitement for the Cosmopolitan coming too, and that soon fizzled, but they are optimistic with this new management, and especially with that Hilton relationship.

The Cosmopolitan when it switches hands, will have to file another application for a gaming license with the state gaming board.

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