EB5 Investors Magazine Volume 2 Issue 1 | Page 33

Young Guns, Big Promise The SLS Las Vegas–its process and its principals by Nicole Connolly and Courtney Creedon Behind the glamor and glitz of high-profile hotel projects, like the W Hotel in Hollywood and the SLS Hotel and Casino – Las Vegas, are George W. Ekins and Joseph C. McCarthy. Neither celebrities, nor developers, Ekins and McCarthy are the two principals of the American Dream Fund (ADF) family of regional centers. The two run ADF to identify EB-5 compatible projects and match them with foreign nationals looking to invest capital and immigrate to the United States. They may be two of the youngest regional center operators in the business, but that doesn’t discourage them from being ambitious. Their SLS project, at the site of the Sahara hotel on the Vegas strip, is one of the biggest projects affiliated with EB-5 capital. Jointly owned by SBE Entertainment and Stockbridge Capital Group, over 30 percent of this project’s funding comes from EB-5 investments, organized by the team at ADF. Those investments translate to over 600 I-526 petitions filed and about 360 thus far approved. Construction began on this project in February 2013, and the hotel is scheduled to open on Labor Day weekend of this year. So what has led Ekins and McCarthy to this level of success? Insights into their personal backgrounds and business philosophy can suggest answers to this question. Continued on page 32 w w w. E B 5 I n v esto rs . c o m 31