Maloof spokesman Eric Rose confirmed Friday's surprise meeting in an email. According to Rose, Johnson and Maloof exchanged messages earlier this week, and this afternoon the mayor showed up at The Palms unannounced.
Maloof agreed to meet with him.
A Maloof spokesman described the meeting as "cordial," but "nothing definitive resulted from the meeting."
"The core principles of the deal, we didn’t really get into. It was really about having a dialog, discussing where we are and potentially were we can go, and I think the air was cleared," Johnson said at the Kings game Friday.
It is the first face to face conference between the city and the owners of the Kings since talks on the proposed arena broke off last Friday in New York.
The rhetoric from both sides since Friday has been vitriolic, with Mayor Johnson saying he doesn’t trust the Maloofs. In a letter from the Johnson-supported group Think Big, the Maloofs were compared to the North Koreans. George Maloof has declared he doesn’t want to negotiate with Johnson.
NBA Commissioner David Stern recently reacted saying a “cooling off” period might be the best strategy at this point. Meanwhile, observers have wondered if someone would make the first move to kick-start the arena talks again.
"I can’t look at the Maloofs and their family as a part of a problem, they have to be viewed as part of a solution ... I think we both walked away feeling really good about the meeting we had today," Johson said.
While it appears Mayor Johnson has taken that step, there is currently no information on the direction of the talks today in Las Vegas, or what the result will be. Perhaps, the two will come to an understanding and get the arena plans back on track, or perhaps the two will realize they are so far apart, further talks would be futile.