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Las Vegas Casino Death Watch

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Last updated: July 20, 2017

Recent News


The Golden Gate will close for a week (August 20-25) as part of a significant expansion that will double the size of the casino floor. Derek Stevens has done a lot of good things downtown since taking control of casinos there. We look forward to these changes at the Golden Gate and wish the folks there good luck.


Casino Sale Alert: Golden Entertainment, the folks behind the PT's Pubs chain, is acquiring the Stratosphere chain, which included the two Arizona Charlie's and the Aquarius in Laughin from Whitehall Street Real Estate Partners. We don't know what changes will result from this, but we don't expect anything nearly as drastic as a closure.


Casino Sale Alert: My goodness, where has this flurry of news been for the last five months? Word is that SLS has been sold. Once this clears the regulators, expected to be by the end of Q3, the new owners will be the Meruelo Group who own the Grand Sierra in Reno. It's no secret that the SLS has struggled mightily since the upgrade. Despite having a restaurant row the equal of any resort in town, it never really caught on with it's target demographic. We wish the new owners success and hope the restaurants stay open.


GGRAsia reports that not only is Crown not going to develop their Alon resort on the former New Frontier site, but they are actively looking to sell the site. The article reports that the asking price is $400 million. Who buys and at what price will tell us a great deal about how healthy the Las Vegas business climate is perceived to be.


Bloomberg reports that Caesars has big plans for Las Vegas as the exit bankruptcy. Well, maybe medium plans. Unfortunately, nobody seems to want to tell us what they are. However, in addition the upgrades to the Flamingo mentioned previously, they are quoted as saying, "We have a lot of real estate that's underutilized." Then they point out that they have 50 undeveloped acres behind Bally's, 40 acres behind the Linq, and 7 acres in front of Caesars Palace. I don't expect a whole new hotel/casino is in the works for any of these sites, but we might see something as ambitious as the Linq promenade.


More than once the folks from Genting have said that a flurry of development work was right around the corner at the Resorts World nee Echelon nee Stardust site. So of course we will rush to believe them when they announce that construction will resume Real Soon Now with a projected opening date of 2020. We at the Death Watch do believe that this project will be completed some day, really we do. However, given the number of times that this project hasn't been restarted, we'll wait until the cranes actually go up and start moving things around before we start to get excited about what this place might have in store for us.


The Death Watch isn't dead and hasn't been dormant, really. It's just that we don't make the news, so when there's nothing to report, there's no reason to update the site. Right now we're in a period where business is slowing picking up, so nobody is looking at closing properties, but things aren't booming, so nobody is looking to replace existing properties. That makes it a quiet time for us.

But, finally, we have some news! Caesars announces they will spend $90 million to upgrade rooms at the Flamingo! Okay, that's not exactly huge news, but we were kinda looking for an excuse to post something, and, frankly, it's the biggest casino news we've heard, well, so far this year.


The Review-Journal reports that Crown Resorts is no longer planing to develop its Alon project on the former New Frontier site across Las Vegas Boulevard from Encore. In a press release, Crown Resorts says, "Crown Resorts ... will begin exploring alternatives to optimize the value of their investment in Alon, including an outright sale." If they're not going to build on the property, it's hard to imagine what they'd do with it other than sell it.


Word is that Lucky Dragon has opened as a "soft opening". So, feel free to stop by and check it out. We with them luck.


The RJ reports that the Lucky Dragon has received a license from the Nevada Gaming Commission and will officially open on December 3. We wish them luck in their new venture.


So, what's the deal with Hooters Casino Hotel? Isn't it supposed to change hands and its name or something? Well, the RJ posted an update, but it really doesn't tell us anything new. The folks who own it would be happy to sell it, but there don't seem to be any buyers. The current owners took over the property when the previous owners declared bankruptcy, but they don't seem to want to run it, nor do they want to spend a lot of money on it. Thus it appears to be cheaper to just keep licensing the current name than to sink money into changing it, especially when you have no plans to run the place long term.


Oh, hey, Red Rock Resorts was also approved to take over the Palms. Word is RR will put some money into "freshening" the property of the next year and a half or so, but there's no plan to change the name to "Palms Station" ... yet.


The Nevada Gaming Commission has approved the purchase of Aliante by Boyd Gaming. Expect consolidation of the slot club with Boyd's B Connected to occur in the very near future, and the currently independent sports book to become part of the Boyd system.


Allegedly the Luck Dragon casino (on Sahara just a few feet west of the Strip) will open on December 3. Opening announcements are normally quite reliable, but given all the fits and starts that have occurred with this site, we're just a little more skeptical than normal. However, we wish the new casino luck and hope it does well.


The Riviera's Monte Carlo tower came down in the wee hours of the morning. This brings an end to the public spectacle portion of the demolition of the Riviera.


It seems awfully close to the wire to us, but it has been announced that the Riveria's Monte Carlo tower will be imploded on Tuesday, August 16 at 2:00 AM. The implosion of the Monaco tower was quite an event. Our impression, based on no inside information provided by the LVCVA, is that of the two, this one may not be as much of an event. However, this might be the last significant implosion in Las Vegas for some time, so those who have viewing such a thing on their bucket list might want to check it out.


The Monaco tower of the Riviera went boom and LV Revealed was there. We have video, and we'll put it up on the web site as soon as we can get it converted to an appropriate format. We were impressed with the show the LVCVA put on. The fireworks were quite impressive. Also, the implosion itself seemed to go by the numbers. Next up: The Monte Carlo tower in August.


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