Poju Zabludowicz suing Yitzhak Tshuva over brand: 'Plaza Vegas has been around for 30 years'
London-based Poju Zabludowicz was seeking to prevent Tshuva and Dankner from using the name "Plaza Las Vegas" for the gigantic hotel-casino complex they mean to build on the Strip.
It's a shame, perhaps, but three of Israel's most powerful business tycoons met not over lunch, but at a Las Vegas courtroom last week. London-based Poju Zabludowicz was seeking to prevent Tshuva and Dankner from using the name "Plaza Las Vegas" for the gigantic hotel-casino complex they mean to build on the Strip, where the Frontier Hotel used to be.
The pair is investing a massive $6 billion to $8 billion in the project.
Zabludowicz, a major shareholder in El Al Airlines, says the name "Plaza Hotel and Casino" is already in use, denoting a property he owns in downtown Vegas. His asset has been around for 30 years and employs 800 people, he notes.
Tshuva is handling the vast project in Vegas, set to include not only a hotel and casino but also luxury housing and commercial space, through his privately-owned company Elad Group, which owns half of Elad IDB Las Vegas. Dankner's IDB group owns the other half of the venture.
Upon learning in August that Tshuva and Dankner meant to build a new hotel on the Strip and to call the edifice "Plaza," Zabludowicz turned to a Vegas court, seeking to preclude them from using the name. Last week U.S. District Court Judge Philip Pro granted a motion by Zabludowicz's private investment group, Tamares, and remanded the case to the Clark County District Court, to be heard before chief civil judge Elizabeth Gonzalez.
Tamares, founded by Zabludowicz's father and based in Vaduz, Liechtenstein, has offices in Helsinki, Las Vegas, London, New York and Tel Aviv. The Las Vegas investment was handled through a subsidiary, Tamares Las Vegas Properties.
The Tamares management is confident that Gonzalez will issue a injunction blocking IDB and Elad from using the Plaza name, says Harry Braunstein, the group's top legal counsel.
Tamares also argues that Elad IDB Las Vegas' moves are hindering its efforts to improve a property in downtown Vegas.
The plan Tshuva and Dankner are promoting is one of the biggest ever to be pursued by Israelis. Furthermore, Tshuva owns another Plaza - the iconic hotel in Manhattan. His acquisition and renovation of that storied, century-old building also involved not a few lawsuits, which pushed up his costs not a little. But in the end, Tshuva and his vision prevailed.