Feds Say They’re Owed $75.5 Million for Rent on Land Beneath Billy Walters’ Bali Hai Golf Club
Posted on: August 25, 2017, 03:00h.
Last updated on: August 25, 2017, 05:22h.
Convicted insider trader Billy Walters leases the land his Bali Hai Golf Club sits on from Clark County, but the federal government believes he’s been getting too sweet of a deal.
In a letter to Clark County from the US Department of Justice (DOJ), the government demands it immediately receive $75.5 million in underpaid past and future rent. Per the Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act (SNPLMA), which is part of the US Deportment of the Interior Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Clark County is to pay BLM roughly 85 percent of its income.
The BLM is a federal program that sells government-owned land to western states in exchange for ongoing revenue sharing. Established in 1946, the BLM is responsible for administrating over 247 million acres of public land, or roughly one-eighth of the United States.
The SNPLMA has managed the 155 acres near the Strip since 1999. Walters’ firm Nevada Links, LLC, built the golf course in 2000.
Clark County and Walters agreed to share profits in 1999, with the local government earmarked for 40 percent of the course’s net profit. But the course hasn’t been profitable, and therefore Walters hasn’t been sharing profits, and subsequently Clark County hasn’t been paying the feds.
Waters is serving five years in prison for taking confidential company info from an indebted sports gambler and using the knowledge to make tens of millions of dollars in the stock market.
How’d They Get to $75.5 Million?
Six years ago, Clark County and Walters amended their agreement. The new contract called for Walkters to pay $100,000 annually to the county in form of a lease. Clark County kept $15,000, while the remaining $85,000 has been sent to the BLM.
That doesn’t fly with the DOJ, as they feel the rent is far too low. Now they want paid for years of nonpayments that they say should have totaled nearly $12.5 million, plus interest, plus the “present value of projected underpayments through the term of the lease of $62,863,33.”
The 1999 agreement between Clark County and Walters set the terms for 99 years.
Reached by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Clark County Commission Chairman Steve Sisolak says the BLM never responded to the county’s amended agreement in 2011.
“They didn’t approve it. They didn’t deny it. They just sat on it. We’ve been stuck in limbo,” Sisolak stated. County spokesperson Erik Pappa said there’s no plans to remit such lavish payment, but talks will commence with the appropriate federal authorities.
Paving Way for Parking Lot
Despite the financial claims on Billy Walters’ Bali Hai Golf Club, Sisolak says the conflict won’t prevent the Las Vegas Raiders from moving forward with potential paving plans.
“Their beef … is with the county, not the tenant,” Sisolak explained.
Walters has been looking to demolish the golf course in favor of a more profitable business. With the Raiders soon breaking ground on its $1.9 billion, 65,000-seat domed NFL stadium across Interstate 15 between Russell Road and Hacienda Avenue, Bali Hai has become a premiere parking lot target.
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