Las Vegas Casino Death Watch
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Last updated: November 4, 2015
Stuff is actually happening at the former New Frontier site. Not a
lot of stuff, yet, but there are reasons to believe that whatever
plans new owner James Packer has for that parcel is about to get
the project will be a casino-hotel called "Alon Las Vegas", and
we'll hear an announcement as to what this will actually look like
sometime early next year. True construction hasn't started yet,
all they're doing now is preparing the site, so we don't want to
get too excited yet, but it's nice that the local economy has recovered
to the point that serious people are at least thinking about building
have a little more information on a pending Riviera implosion,
not a lot more, but a little. The current timeline calls for demolition
in three phases, occurring "by spring" of 2016. Elsewhere in the article,
Rich Velotta indicates that the pre-demolition work would be completed
by spring, and the actual demolotion would occur "shortly after that."
The schedule is obviously very fluid at the present time.
It has also not been decided whether an implosion is necessary. Just
speculating here, but right now it's our guess that an implosion would
be the most efficient way to topple the property's 23 story Monaco tower,
as well as the parking garage, but it certainly may make sense to use
less spectacular means to take down some of the other buildings on site.
Nazarian is selling his ownership stake in SLS Las Vegas, and his
company, SBE Entertainment Group, will move from managing the
property to a licensing agreement. SLS is losing money
at breakneck speeds, but we don't think this is the solution.
Unfortunately, we don't know what the solution is, but someone
needs to stop the bleeding, or at least slow it way down, and
Casino Closing: Las Vegas Club Well, that was fast.
Las Vegas Club is scheduled to close Wednesday at midnight. As
it turns out, the Stevens brothers didn't acquire the name or any
gaming assets. So, if or when the property is refurbished and
reopened, it will be under a different name.
Derek and Greg Stevens, owners of the D Las Vegas and co-owners
of the Golden Gate,
purchasaed the Las Vegas Club from the Tamares Group. Once
this sale goes through, a process we expect to be quick and
smooth, it sounds like the Las Vegas Club will be closed for
renovations. However, in the long term, this is probably good
news for downtown Las Vegas, as the current operation of the
Las Vegas Club with no restaurants, no hotel rooms open, and
a greatly curtailed casino floor, has been a shadow of its
former self. The Stevens' have demostrated that they can refurbish
a casino operation and draw crowds. No word on whether they
plan to keep or change the name.
We may not have a date, but we have some information about
a pending Riviera implosion.
implosion will not occur any sooner than six months from now,
putting the earliest an implosion might occur in mid-February, 2016.
Also, while a plan for the demolition has not been determined, the
current guess is that the hotel towers would be imploded while the
casino buliding itself would be conventionally demolished.
are coming to MGM Resorts. There are two of interest to Death Watch
readers. The first has been rumored for a while, that there is some
interest by outside buyers in the Mirage. While MGM denies it is being
shopped, we don't doubt that property would be available for the right
price, and there may have been some recent interest. Second, about the
renovations planned for the Monte Carlo, CEO Jim Murren says "a name
change is almost a certainty." So, your Monte Carlo merchandise is
about to become collectable. No mention on what the new name might be.
So, how's SLS doing?
Stutz tells us in the RJ.
The answer: Not well, so far. They're losing money, have no walk-in
traffic, and have no expectation of anything beneficial happening in
that neighborhood for years. The unasked question is how much money
can SLS lose and for how long before something gives?
Fortune has a pretty decent
article about the
It explains a number of things not well covered in other sources, such
as the specific arguments and maneuverings of the senior and junior
creditors, how actual ownership is structured, and it provides some
information from which we can infer why the stock price hasn't completely
cratered. It's a bit more friendly to the money movers than many will
think is objectively fair, but, hey, it's Fortune. Those are their home
boys. If your viewpoint is, "Caesars is evil, Loveman should be
in jail," don't bother reading it. If you're interested in a more
nuanced and detailed look at what's going on, even if it may not be
100% objective, it's well worth a read.
The VegasInc reports that
may rename and upgrade the Monte Carlo. We don't get a lot of details,
including how extensive these changes might be, when they might occur, or,
well, anything actually informative. We at the Death Watch don't expect
that the place is likely to be imploded or anything like that, but an
extended closure for a major remodel and retheme seems to be within the
realm of possibility. We'll keep an eye on this.
New comes in bursts at the Death Watch. Today we receive news that
Casino Hotel was sold on May 1 to Trinity Hotel Investments.
This sale still requires regulatory approval. Right now,
Navegante Group is operating the casino. It's possible this will
change with the new ownership group, but we see no reason to expect
that it will. We do expect the name to change, probably at some point
in the next 12 months. The article also notes that it is widely rumored
that Holiday Inn will come in and run the hotel portion, although not
under their brand name.
By the way, for those who are curious, the photo of the hotel above
the Las Vegas Sun article was taken from the southwest corner of the
top floor of the MGM Grand Casino parking garage. We know this because
LV Revealed staff have taken basically the same photo from the exact
same position, a version of which is available elsewhere on this web
On May 5th Genting Group finally
ground on their Resorts World project. They expect it to open
in 2018. This will be the first new ground-up resort construction
since the Cosmopolitan (the SLS was a refurbishment of the Sahara.)
It's always nice to see new options open up on the Strip, and we
wish them luck.
Casino closing: Riviera The Riviera closes today at about
noon. Another classic casino bites the dust. It's sad to see
it go, but it would be hard to argue that there was still life left
in that old building.
National will purchase the Tropicana for $360 million. This is
Penn's second foray into Las Vegas market, and their first on the
Strip. They purchased the M in 2009. Despite several different
owners over the last few years and some significant upgrades, nobody
has found the secret to making this place relevant again. We wish
the new ownership luck.
have a date for groundbreaking on the new Resorts World Las Vegas,
May 5. It will be built on the site of the former Stardust.
Since there have been a few fits and starts in the development
process to date, we're a little hesitant to get all the way
behind this, but we look forward to progress finally being made
on this site.
We have an update on the Riviera closing.
are now officially saying the Riviera will close at noon on May 4,
as opposed to the quasi-official date we had before. We also
know it will close at noon. So, there's that.
Not only has the LVCVA agreed to purchase the Riviera,
we now have a closing date as well. The Riviera is scheduled
to close on May 4. Plan your finial visits now. It's possible the
building could be demolished as early as late summer or early fall
It's no longer a rumor.
has been confirmed that the LVCVA plans to buy the Riviera. An
official announcement may close on Friday, and current projections have
the casino closing within six months. While the Riviera is far from
its prime, this was a cool place at one time, and we have some fond
memories of the place. However, now it's time to start planning a
It's one thing when Robin Leach talks about hearing rumors,
quite another when Howard Stutz provides details.
While nobody has gone on the record saying that something is
definitely going to happen, the suggestion is that the LVCVA
may buy out the Riviera site, which will be demolished to be
used for more convention space. This seems plausible to us,
and it now places the Riviera at the top of our list of most
endangered Las Vegas Strip properties.
Last night the Clarion demolotion mostly happened.
Las Vegas Review-Journal has the story and video. The
elevator shaft remains mostly standing, and that has to be
dealt with somehow.
Robin Leach in his Strip Scribbles column of the Las Vegas Sun
spreads the rumor that
are afoot about imploding the venerable Riviera and replacing it
with something new and better. It's not news that folks
might want to talk about replacing the Riviera, and if that
comes to pass, an implosion is a critical first step. The
question is, from where is the money to shut the place down, blow
it up, and build something new going to come? For an implosion
to be a real possibility, this is the key question, and one for
which Leach provides no hint.
Implosion Alert, for realz:
Clarion Hotel, formerly Greek Isles, Debbie Reynolds, Paddlewheel, etc.,
is coming down tonight. The Las Vegas Sun reports that the implosion
is scheduled for 12:01 AM Tuesday, February 9. The LVRJ
suggests that the actual implosion will occur between 2:00 and
3:00 AM. We don't know which is the correct schedule. It's entirely
possible that that actual time isn't tightly scheduled, but for those
who would like to see this place topple, they will need to be there
Implosion Alert, Sorta:
It's not a casino, but we have a scheduled implosion in the Las
Vegas valley, and some readers are implosion fans and might care.
tower of the Gramercy, a set of mixed use buildings at the 215 and
Russell Road, which was partially constructed will be imploded at
8:00 AM on February 15th. Well, at least something is going boom.
As the company's namesake once said, "Alea iacta est".
Caesars Entertainment Corporation officially placed it's largest
subsidiary, called Caesars Entertainment Operating Company, into
bankruptcy. CEOC includes many of the US-based casinos operting under
the Caesars brand name, but only Caesars' Palace in Las Vegas, as well
as $18.4 billion in debt. Caesars claims that 80% of the company's
senior bondholders have agreed to a pre-packaged bankruptcy, which is
a pretty impressive number, and they hope to get this done quickly
and emerge from bankruptcy late in 2015. However, there are those
debt holders who feel they are being left out in the cold by this
plan, as well as those who question the legitimacy of the structuring
moves the company made leading up to this situation. There's a great
deal to be ironed out, and new news on this story will be coming
Oh, the shock of it all!
announces that it plans to file for bankruptcy in January. Okay, maybe
it's what just about everyone expected. So, what's going to happen? Well,
the first thing is that the casinos in Las Vegas will remain open, and
everyone's Total Rewards points will be safe. It's possible that there
will be some layoffs and/or that a couple of underperforming properties
around the country will be closed down. It's also possible that one or
more properties will be sold off, but from the customer perspective,
we expect few changes. If you're a debt holder, on the other hand,
we expect things to be complicated. Call it a gut feeling, but given
the acrimony that already exists between management and the first and
second tier debt holders, we don't think this will be a pre-packaged
deal that will get rubber-stamped by some bankruptcy judge, but
sometimes these things can get political, and if that happens, all bets
sale of the Cosmopolitan to the Blackstone Group received approval
from the Gaming Commission. So, the $1.73 billion sale is finalized.
The key question is, what changes are coming to a place that has a lot
going for it, but hasn't yet been able to find a way to make money?
In any case, we wish the new management team good luck.
At last, our long city-wide nightmare is over.
Resorts and Perini Building Co. have resolved their construction
defect case. In the mean time, the demolition of the Harmon
continues, with the linked article indicating that this process
should be finished by summer.
Hot on the heels of news of the inevitability of Caesars reorganization
comes news that
company will have layoffs. The good news for the employees, such as
it is, is that they plan to lay off less than 1% of their workforce.
However, such small layoffs mean they're not really saving a lot of
money here. Also, of course, nobody wants them to cut staff to the
point where it damages their operations. In the great scheme of
things, something like this was probably necessary, even though it
doesn't mean a whole lot to the bottom line. That will be small
comfort to those who are losing their jobs.
The seemingly inevitable impending Caesars bankruptcy seems even more
Caesars reportedly reaching an agreement on a restructuring plan with
key creditors. The Bloomberg report indicates that Chapter 11 may
take effect as early as mid-January 2015. The market thinks this will
happen, and, frankly, at this point it's hard to imagine a plausible
scenario where a reorganization doesn't occur. Once again, we do not
expect that Caesars' properties, especially those in Las Vegas, will
close or that their day-to-day operation will be significantly impacted.
We do think it's possible that some Caesars' assets may be sold off to
other companies, but we have no idea right now what something like that
might look like.