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Judge Raises Bid for Reynolds Hotel

August 7, 1998

LAS VEGAS (AP) _ A federal bankruptcy judge threw a half-nelson on the World Wrestling Federation Thursday, raising the price for a hotel the WWF had agreed to buy from movie star Debbie Reynolds.

U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Robert Clive Jones reopened bidding on the bankrupt resort, saying he was required by law to get the most money possible for the property.

The WWF thought it had bought the hotel-casino at bankruptcy auction Wednesday for $9 million. On Thursday, representatives of the Stamford, Conn. company told Jones they had settled with some creditors, and their actual purchase price would be closer to $10,158,000.

Orlando, Fla. time-share developer David Siegel, stung by the fact he was not among the creditors offered a deal by the WWF, then told Jones he would pay $10.5 million for the hotel, which includes 150 rooms and 43 time-share units.

Jones said he was obligated to seek the highest bid to protect creditors, and would reopen the bidding process.

The two groups exchanged bids until Siegel folded after the WWF offered $10.65 million.

Siegel offered $14 million for the property last year, but the bankruptcy court rejected that offer at the time.

Reynolds, 66, bought the hotel in 1992 and opened it a year later after spending millions of dollars on renovations.

Dogged by high management costs and a dearth of customers, the hotel filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last year. Reynolds, who had signed personally on many of the debts, did the same.

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