Las Vegas Casino Death Watch
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Last updated: April 21, 2016
From the "When it Rains it Pours" Department, it has been
Gaming is also buying Aliante Casino. The deal is expected to
close sometime in Q3. This is bad news to local sports bettors, as
Aliante was one of the few independent sports books left in Nevada.
Of course, this presumes that it will be folded into the Boyd tent
at some point, probably before the end of the year.
Derek Stevens, who already owns the Golden Gate, The D, and the
Las Vegas Club
purchasing Fremont Street slot parlors Mermaids and La Bayou,
as well as The Girls of Glitter Gulch topless joint. The RJ reports
that Stevens will use the new properties to build another casino.
Our speculation is that what is now Glitter Gulch and Mermaids will be
folded into the Las Vegas Club parcel. Integrating La Bayou into
something would be less straightforward, but it is adjacent to the
Golden Gate. The sale is scheduled to close on June 27, so these
places may not be open any longer than that.
reports that Boyd Gaming is on the verge of buying Cannery Casino Resorts.
This would move the Cannery and Eastside Cannery under the Boyd label.
How tightly Cannery operations would be merged into the Boyd brand,
and when those changes would occur are open questions. Currently, the
Cannery operates its own slot club, and the sports book gets its lines
from the South Point. Stay tuned.
RJ gives us an update on the Rivera implosions. Word is that the
LVCVA has approved a demolition plan, and that plan affirms what we
had previously reported: some demolition of the smaller building
will begin Real Soon Now, and implosions of the Rivera Monte Carlo and
Monaco towers will occur in June and August. It's planned to have the
lot cleared by December 31 providing plenty of time for its use in
Wynn is looking at expanding his eponymous casino. If he goes
ahead with currently released plans, it's unclear whether the expansion
would shut down the Wynn golf course. However, the current proposal does
include 1000 new rooms, would cost about $1.5 billion, and involves the
creation of a 38 acre "lagoon". This all seems plausible to us, and Wynn
has a history both of being pretty on top of things when it comes to
picking appropriate times for expansions of his Las Vegas properties,
as well as a reputation for not floating these sort of proposals and
then not following through.
Our big question though, is about this lagoon. As we recall, by
definition, a lagoon is a body of (salt) water separated from a larger
body of water by a reef or some other barrier. So... what's the larger
body of water? We're guessing what Wynn really means is that he plans
to build a 38 acre lake, but we suppose that doesn't sound as glamorous,
and it's been done.
Why settle for just one implosion
we can have two? A representative for the Las Vegas Convention
and Visitor's Authority said, "It's just too big to do all at once."
The timetable sounds like this: The approval of the demolition
contract will happen sometime in April. Some time after this,
some demolition will start, making progress on the shorter buildings.
Sometime in June, one hotel tower will be imploded, and sometime in
August, the other one will come down. The whole site is planned
to be cleared and at least grated so it can be used for the
ConExpo-Con/Agg trade show beginning on March 7, 2017, where the
lot will display all kinds of cool construction equipment, making
the site look like the world's luckiest child's sandbox. Stay
tuned for updates.
It's not conventionally casino news, but long time Reivew-Journal gambling
beat reporter Howard Stutz is leaving the newspaper to take a position
with a local law firm. Stutz has done a fantastic job of covering the
industry over the years, and his inciteful reporting and commentary will
be sorely missed. We here at the Death Watch wish him well in his new
reports that the Fontainebleau will be sold soon. They buyer is
undisclosed, and, consequently, nobody knows what will become of
it. Rumor is that the selling price may be in the neighborhood
of $650 million, which would represent a tidy profit for current
owner Carl Icahn. Of course all of this is unverified, so we'll
see if this unfolds over the next 60 days, as the report suggests,
but in the mean time it's the most substantial piece of information
we have about this place in years.
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.