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Las Vegas Casino Death Watch

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Last updated: January 10, 2019

Recent News


Carl Icahn has taken an ownership stake in Caesars Entertainment. He owns about 10% of the company's stock and controls a quarter of its board. Icahn usually doesn't take a significant stake in a company unless he thinks it should make changes. The idea of significant management changes, mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, and asset sales all seem more likely going forward. What these changes will actually be remains to be seen.


We now know the name of the resort that will occupy the site of the former Las Vegas Club, it will be called Circa. The current schedule has this place opening in December 2020. It will be nice to have a shiny new attraction downtown, so obviously we wish the Stevens' success in this venture.


Well, the primary lender, Snow Covered Capital, placed the opening bid for the shuttered Lucky Dragon. It turned out to be the only bid, so they own it. What happens to it next is an open question. Stay tuned.


The Lucky Dragon creditor hopes to sell the beleaguered hotel/casino at auction on October 30. It's unclear, though, if anyone will even show up. We'll see what happens. It would be great if someone could find a way to make a go with this property.


The bad news keeps piling up for the Lucky Dragon. The auction didn't go well, the hotel is about to be shuttered, after which we should expect a foreclosure sale. The LVRJ says it expects to close down casino operations on October 2, so on the off chance you want to stay there, you need to get there in a hurry. Unfortunately, this place has been a disaster as a business. We have no idea what will happen to it, but we hope the folks who operated the Dim Sum restaurant can find a place to sell their wares.


It has been a quiet time as far as Las Vegas casino transactions, but we got one today, even though the hotel being transacted no longer has a casino. The Westin Casino has been sold. The purchase price is $195.5 million. This place used to have a casino. It was known as the Casino Max for a while, before that it was the Westin Casuarina, and way back when it was called the Maxim.


In recent months, the two major sources for Las Vegas business news, the Las Vegas Review Journal and the Las Vegas Sun, have adopted a new online publication model. Folks can now view a limited number of articles from each publication per month without paying a subscription fee. First, we at the Death Watch don't begrudge newspapers trying to figure out how to pursue a viable business model in the Internet age. We wish them luck. But it does create some problems.

Going forward, the Death Watch will still link to those sources which allow a finite number of free accesses per given time, but we will preferentially link out to sources that are free (or free-er) over those that charge for content. We just wanted to provide some transparency toward our thought process on this issue.


The RJ provides some additional information on the construction project by Derek Stevens, owner of The D and Golden Gate casinos, in downtown Las Vegas on the site of the former Las Vegas club plus neighboring parcels. We don't have a name, a detailed construction schedule, or an estimated opening date. We do have a height, though, 459 feet. More information as it becomes available.


Tomorrow, the Monte Carlo casino will officially become Park. The biggest impact is that it means that eventually someone will have to go through the LV Revealed web site pages and change every occurrence of "Monte Carlo" to "Park". Honestly, the MGM folks probably have to expend a little more effort in this matter than we do, but that's their business. Note that construction associated with the upgrade and re-theming will be ongoing after the official name change.


We've got some news to report today on other matters, so it's convenient to discuss the fate of the Lucky Dragon. Weren't they supposed to go through an auction back in February? Whatever happened to that? Apparently, it never happened, because folks are now discussing selling it via bankruptcy court. The way folks are talking about it, it sounds like some think it may not be viable, period. If so, that's too bad. At the same time, with it all closed up and creditors worried about how or whether they're going to get paid, it doesn't sound like folks are in a huge hurry to resolve this.


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