Draft:Parvin–Dohrmann Corporation

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The Parvin–Dohrmann Company, later named Recrion Corporation, was an American company best known for owning casinos in the Las Vegas area.


The company was formed in 1929 as the Starrett Corporation to be the parent company of the Starrett Brothers construction firm and to finance and develop buildings in major cities.[1][2] By 1931, its real estate holdings included the Wall and Hanover Building and 40 Wall Street in Manhattan;[3][4] Carew Tower in Cincinnati;[5][6] and Ramsey Tower in Oklahoma City.[7]

The company's construction business was spun off in 1957 as a separate firm.[8] Afterward, Starrett acquired a chain of Fosters Freeze ice cream stores and was involved in developing a shopping center in La Mirada, California;[8][9][10][11] those interests were sold off in 1960 and 1961.[12][13]

Newspaper advertisement announcing Starrett's name change to Parvin–Dohrmann in 1963

In 1961, Starrett purchased Albert Parvin & Co., a major interior design firm and supplier of furniture to hotels.[12][14][15] Albert Parvin became the president of Starrett.[13] The next year, Starrett acquired the Dohrmann Hotel Supply Co., a manufacturer and distributor of restaurant equipment and supplies, from Broadway–Hale Stores for $10 million.[16][17][18]

Starrett changed its name to Parvin–Dohrmann Co. in 1963 because of confusion with other companies using the Starrett name.[19]

The company purchased the Fremont Hotel in Downtown Las Vegas in 1966 for $10 million.[20]

Later in 1966, the company figured into a controversy involving U.S. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas. Douglas was revealed to be receiving a $12,000 annual salary for serving as president of a charitable foundation established by Albert Parvin, which held Parvin–Dohrmann stock among its assets.[21] Critics questioned the propriety of a justice receiving income from outside sources, particularly income linked to a Las Vegas casino.[22][23]

Parvin–Dohrmann next acquired the Aladdin Hotel on the Las Vegas Strip in 1968 for $2.6 million in stock.[24]

Parvin–Dohrmann underwent a management change in January 1969, when Delbert Coleman, former president of the Seeburg Corporation, became chairman and chief executive officer.[25] Coleman had acquired working control of the company by buying the shares of Albert Parvin and the previous chairman, Harry Goldman.[26][27]

In February 1969, the company expanded its casino holdings to three by buying the Stardust Hotel on the Strip for $15 million plus assumption of debts.[28][29] Months later, the company announced that it was negotiating to acquire the Riviera casino, but the plan was blocked by the Nevada Gaming Control Board; the Board said that no further Parvin–Dohrmann acquisitions would be allowed until time had passed to allow evaluating how the company ran its three casinos.[30][31][32]

The company revealed in May 1969 that it was negotiating to be acquired by National General Corporation, but the talks broke off without reaching a deal.[33][34] Within weeks, negotiations were underway with a new suitor, Denny's Restaurants.[35] In September 1969, Parvin–Dohrmann agreed to be acquired by Denny's for $112 million in stock.[36] The merger was canceled a month later, however, because of concerns about an ongoing credit crunch.[37]

Days after the cancellation of the Denny's merger, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a lawsuit against Parvin–Dohrmann and several other parties linked to it, including Coleman, Parvin, Denny's, Denny's chairman Harold Butler, attorney Sidney Korshak, and actress Jill St. John.[38] The SEC alleged that the defendants had committed numerous transgressions, including filing false reports and withholding information about Coleman's takeover, market manipulation of the company's stock price, insider trading, and scheming to provide extra compensation to certain shareholders in connection with the Denny's acquisition.[38] At the insistence of the American Stock Exchange, Coleman resigned from the company in February 1970 and promised to sell his shares, and a new board of directors was appointed.[39][40]

The SEC lawsuit also included charges of influence peddling, alleging that the company had paid $50,000 to an associate of House Speaker John W. McCormack in an attempt to get an earlier SEC trading halt lifted.[41] A senior aide to McCormack was indicted on these and other accusations in 1970, but was ultimately acquitted of the charges connected to Parvin–Dohrmann.[42][43][44]

Justice Douglas's connection to Parvin–Dohrmann came under renewed scrutiny after Abe Fortas resigned from the Supreme Court over a similar controversy involving payments from a private foundation.[45] Congressman Gerald Ford spearheaded an effort in April 1970 to begin impeachment proceedings against Douglas.[46] A special subcommittee was formed to consider the allegations against him, including the fact that he had worked for the Parvin Foundation, which "received substantial income from gambling interests".[47][48] After eight months of investigation, the subcommittee found no grounds for impeachment.[49]

Parvin–Dohrmann changed its name to Recrion Corp. in December 1970 in an effort to distance itself from the SEC controversy.[50][51] Weeks later, Recrion sold Albert Parvin & Co. and the Dohrmann Co. to Holiday Inns for $3.5 million in stock, leaving the company as a pure hotel and casino interest.[52][53]

In 1971, Recrion sold its only money-losing property, the Aladdin, for $5.1 million.[54][55]

In 1972, Hyatt announced that it was negotiating to buy Recrion for $73 million in stock, but the sale did not come to fruition.[56][57] In 1973, Recrion agreed to be acquired for $53 million by Goodrich Realty & Development Group, a New York-based real estate firm, but Coleman later pulled Recrion out of the deal.[58][59]

In April 1974, Coleman reached an agreement with Allen Glick, owner of the Hacienda casino, under which Glick would attempt to acquire Recrion for a total of $61 million, through a combination of buying Coleman's shares and making a tender offer for the remaining shares.[60] Glick's company, Argent Corporation, completed its purchase of 94 percent of Recrion's stock in August 1974.[61] Later that month, Argent acquired all remaining shares, and Recrion was merged into Argent.[62]


  1. ^ "Form Starrett Corp. to finance building". Pittsburgh Press. March 4, 1929 – via Newspapers.com.
  2. ^ William Russell White (May 1, 1929). "Unification in building trade". Freeport Journal-Standard – via Newspapers.com.
  3. ^ "Advertisement for Starrett Corporation bonds". Baltimore Sun. September 11, 1929 – via Newspapers.com.
  4. ^ "Advertisement for Forty Wall Street Corporation bonds". Cincinnati Enquirer. January 16, 1930 – via Newspapers.com.
  5. ^ "New skyscraper for Cincinnati". The Journal News. Hamilton, OH. August 24, 1929 – via Newspapers.com.
  6. ^ "Cincinnatian takes over Carew Tower and hotel; Starrett stock acquired". Cincinnati Enquirer. November 4, 1932 – via Newspapers.com.
  7. ^ "Starrett is here to stay, says official". Daily Oklahoman. October 4, 1931 – via Newspapers.com.
  8. ^ a b "Starrett votes stock dividend". Miami News. Dow Jones. April 29, 1957 – via Newspapers.com.
  9. ^ "Ohrbach's downtown store building sold". Los Angeles Times. April 29, 1959 – via Newspapers.com.
  10. ^ "Food Giant plans to acquire dairy from Starrett". Los Angeles Times. February 9, 1960 – via Newspapers.com.
  11. ^ Borinstein v. Commissioner, 31 T.C.M. 743 (Tax 1972).
  12. ^ a b "Starrett Corp. seeks order" (PDF). Securities and Exchange Commission News Digest. March 15, 1962. Retrieved 2018-10-31.
  13. ^ a b "Starrett sells stock holdings". Los Angeles Times. August 30, 1961 – via Newspapers.com.
  14. ^ "What's news". Cincinnati Enquirer. May 24, 1961 – via Newspapers.com.
  15. ^ "Architects selected for huge project". Los Angeles Times. May 13, 1962 – via Newspapers.com.
  16. ^ "Name manager for new U.S. National". Independent Press-Telegram. Long Beach, CA. November 5, 1961 – via Newspapers.com.
  17. ^ "Broadway-Hale sells unit for $10 million". San Francisco Examiner. November 2, 1961 – via Newspapers.com.
  18. ^ "Earnings reports". Los Angeles Times. March 30, 1963 – via Newspapers.com.
  19. ^ "Starrett votes reverse split, changes name". Los Angeles Times. May 30, 1963 – via Newspapers.com.
  20. ^ Arelo Sederberg (July 1, 1966). "Parvin shareowners approve purchase of Fremont Hotel". Los Angeles Times – via Newspapers.com. (Part 2 of article)
  21. ^ "Jurist fee linked to gambling". Nevada State Journal. UPI. October 16, 1966 – via Newspapers.com.
  22. ^ Leslie Carpenter (October 30, 1966). "Senator questions Douglas' income". Honolulu Star-Bulletin – via Newspapers.com.
  23. ^ "Justice Douglas oversteps". Minneapolis Star. October 18, 1966 – via Newspapers.com.
  24. ^ Arelo Sederberg (September 27, 1968). "Parvin-Dohrmann's shareholders vote Vegas acquisition". Los Angeles Times – via Newspapers.com. (Part 2 of article)
  25. ^ "Coleman gets chief officer's post at Parvin". Los Angeles Times. January 14, 1969 – via Newspapers.com.
  26. ^ "Briefly told". Los Angeles Times. October 29, 1968 – via Newspapers.com.
  27. ^ "Parvin proposing change of name". Akron Beacon Journal. April 9, 1970 – via Newspapers.com.
  28. ^ "Parvin-Dohrmann to pay $15 million plus debts for Stardust". Los Angeles Times. January 28, 1969 – via Newspapers.com. (Part 2 of article)
  29. ^ "Briefly told". Los Angeles Times. February 26, 1969 – via Newspapers.com.
  30. ^ "Parvin, Dohrmann seeks to acquire Las Vegas Riviera". Los Angeles Times. April 11, 1969 – via Newspapers.com.
  31. ^ "Parvin-Dohrmann's bid for 4th casino denied". Los Angeles Times. AP. April 16, 1969 – via Newspapers.com. (Part 2 of article)
  32. ^ "The Nevada Gaming Control Board is studying Parvin-Dohrmann's holders". Los Angeles Times. May 15, 1969 – via Newspapers.com.
  33. ^ John A. Jones (May 16, 1969). "National General conducts takeover talks with Parvin". Los Angeles Times – via Newspapers.com. (Part 2 of article)
  34. ^ "National General, Parvin-Dohrmann ended their talks concerning merger". Los Angeles Times. May 21, 1969 – via Newspapers.com.
  35. ^ "Denny's to make bid for Parvin-Dohrmann". San Francisco Examiner. Dow Jones. June 5, 1969 – via Newspapers.com.
  36. ^ Erwin Maus III (September 16, 1969). "P-D bid approved". Akron Beacon Journal – via Newspapers.com.
  37. ^ Arelo Sederberg (October 14, 1969). "Tight money cited as Denny's, Parvin-Dohrmann call off pact". Los Angeles Times – via Newspapers.com. (Part 2 of article)
  38. ^ a b "SEC suit hits Parvin-Dohrmann". San Francisco Examiner. AP. October 16, 1969 – via Newspapers.com.
  39. ^ Erwin Maus III (February 10, 1970). "Coleman resigns post as Parvin-Dohrmann chairman". Akron Beacon Journal – via Newspapers.com.
  40. ^ Nick Faina (February 16, 1970). "Parvin-Dohrmann seeks new look". Akron Beacon Journal – via Newspapers.com.
  41. ^ Richard H. Stewart (October 17, 1969). "Speaker M'Cormack suspends aide in influence probe". Boston Globe – via Newspapers.com. (Part 2 of article)
  42. ^ "2 indicted over misuse of McCormack's office". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. AP. January 12, 1970 – via Newspapers.com. (Part 2 of article)
  43. ^ "Martin Sweig found guilty of perjury". Wilkes-Barre Record. AP. July 10, 1970 – via Newspapers.com.
  44. ^ John J. Goldman (July 10, 1970). "Sweig convicted on one perjury charge, acquitted of others". Los Angeles Times – via Newspapers.com. (Part 2 of article)
  45. ^ Sam Fogg (June 1, 1969). "Another salvo being aimed at Douglas". Beckley Post-Herald & The Raleigh Register. UPI – via Newspapers.com.
  46. ^ "Douglas underworld connections charged". Indianapolis News. AP. April 15, 1970 – via Newspapers.com.
  47. ^ "Justice Douglas Impeachment". CQ Almanac. 1970. Retrieved 2018-11-18.
  48. ^ "Panel to hear complaints on Douglas". Boston Globe. UPI. April 21, 1970 – via Newspapers.com.
  49. ^ "Douglas ouster bid rejected". Albuquerque Journal. December 16, 1970 – via Newspapers.com.
  50. ^ "Butler gets refund on P-D stock". Akron Beacon Journal. December 16, 1970 – via Newspapers.com.
  51. ^ "Parvin proposing change of name". Akron Beacon Journal. April 9, 1970 – via Newspapers.com.
  52. ^ "Goldman to head Recrion". Lowell Sun. AP. January 14, 1971 – via Newspapers.com.
  53. ^ "Firm adopts new name: Recrion Corp". Reno Gazette-Journal. AP. December 14, 1970 – via Newspapers.com.
  54. ^ "Aladdin Hotel sold in Vegas". Reno Gazette-Journal. AP. November 8, 1971 – via Newspapers.com.
  55. ^ "Aladdin Hotel sold for $16.5 million". Progress Bulletin. Pomona, CA. UPI. February 18, 1971 – via Newspapers.com.
  56. ^ "Hyatt offering $73.3 million in stock to acquire Recrion". Los Angeles Times. April 11, 1972 – via Newspapers.com.
  57. ^ "Stardust Hotel sale canceled". Miami News. May 4, 1972 – via Newspapers.com.
  58. ^ Robert A. Rosenblatt (July 4, 1973). "Realty firm agrees to acquisition of Recrion". Los Angeles Times – via Newspapers.com. (Part 2 of article)
  59. ^ "Recrion ended discussions of a merger with Goodrich Realty". Los Angeles Times. August 15, 1973 – via Newspapers.com.
  60. ^ Harry Anderson (April 9, 1974). "Attorney agrees to buy 31% of Recrion, plans to seek rest". Los Angeles Times – via Newspapers.com. (Part 2 of article)
  61. ^ Harry Anderson (August 16, 1974). "Glick firm to acquire Recrion by tender bid". Los Angeles Times – via Newspapers.com.
  62. ^ "Acquisitions of securities" (PDF). SEC News Digest. October 2, 1974. p. 4. Retrieved 2019-01-06.

Category:Defunct gambling companies Category:Companies disestablished in 1974 Category:1974 mergers and acquisitions