This week in Vegas news was dominated by casino operators reporting earnings. Sometimes these calls offer insight into future plans for the businesses. Other times these casino earnings calls offer financial information that helps explain the Vegas experience. This earnings period has a combination of both without any major breaking news.
This week we’ll focus much of the news on the casino earnings calls. Despite the lack of major news, each company has something useful to share. Of course, there’s always news you can use right away. We’ll start with the Quick Hits from Las Vegas in case you prefer a happy hour snack instead of sitting down for a full meal.
Let’s get right to the news this week with quick hits of information that don’t need much more than a share and a little commentary.
- The Las Vegas Raiders stadium has a name. It will be called Allegiant Stadium for 20 years or until the company goes out of business, whichever comes first. Read more here.
- A new fried chicken restaurant opens today at Park MGM. Here’s a tweet that will make you hungry.
- The El Loco roller coaster at Circus Circus is open just a month after someone fell from the ride. Proceed with caution here.
- Atomic Saloon is a new show coming to the mall at The Venetian. Read/watch more here.
- The Walgreens across the street from the Sahara/SLS is on the market. Read more here.
- The Plaza keeps adding new events. Next up is the Taste of Downtown on October 10. Read more here.
- There is something happening in downtown Las Vegas for beer drinkers. Eater has details on two more breweries open here and here.
- Las Vegas now has a cat cafe. It’s exactly what it sounds like. Watch and read more here.
- The sports bar at Treasure Island has new TV’s. Read the press release here.
- Rumor of the week: Hooters may be out. I’d share my odds of this happening but I’m going to get some iced coffee and that seems like a better use of my time. Read more here.
- Time for casino earnings call information…
Casino Earnings Reports
Boyd Gaming Earnings
I forgot to share this information last week because there was so much other news. Most of the Boyd Gaming earnings call was about their properties around the country. We only care about Las Vegas so we’ll stay in the only casino market that really matters.
Analysts hammered Boyd Gaming reps to see if they were planning on purchasing a casino on the Vegas Strip. The company says they would like to get back to Vegas Strip at some point. You may remember they owned the Stardust which was demolished to build Echelon which was dumped and sold. That land may someday become Resorts World.
Boyd Gaming will evaluate properties on the Vegas Strip like they would any other property. They didn’t have much to say either way about the Vegas Strip. Bottom line, they’re interested if a deal makes sense.
Boyd reps didn’t have much to say about downtown Las Vegas development. They’re still looking at a possible Fremont expansion but haven’t made a decision to pull the trigger. They might make a move in the future. You may remember that the company submitted paperwork for the expansion last year.
“As Caesars Earns” – Casino Earnings Reports
Caesars Entertainment reps didn’t have much to say during their casino earnings call but what they did say had an impact. By the end of the year, they’ll have renovated 92% of their Las Vegas rooms (they’re finishing Harrah’s and Paris right now). The new rooms have helped increase revenue. In fact, Caesars Las Vegas properties had a record 97.5% occupancy rate in the second quarter. The average daily room rate was $148.20. Both of these numbers include complimentary rooms.
Caesars – What About Fees?
They were asked about fees and see them continuing to escalate. Caesars CEO, Tony Rodio, said the fees are not inhibiting rates or interest in their Las Vegas properties.
He did add a word of caution saying they have to be careful with the fees. They could be close to ta tipping point on fees. Don’t expect to see any large increases in fees at Caesars properties.
Caesars expect business in Las Vegas to grow but did warn about weaker than usual international travel. MGM Resorts has been impacted by fewer international guests this year as well.
You can see details on Caesars earnings here.
Eldorado Resorts Earnings
“As Eldorado Turns” might become a thing someday. They were fairly quiet about the merger with Caesars but did share a few useful nuggets about Las Vegas.
Eldorado previously stated that the merger with Caesars will be completed sometime in the first half of next year. This week CEO Tom Reeg said he expects the merger to be completed closer to January 1 than June 30. That sounds like an April announcement but there are so many moving parts that he didn’t get specific.
Eldorado Resorts reiterated that they plan on selling a Caesars Las Vegas casino. However, they don’t plan on making any deals or announcements of a sale until after the deal is done.
Eldorado is just starting to explore the merger with regards to online gambling and sports betting. Their sports book partner, William Hill, is already looking forward to the expansion. Their 6-month report references the Eldorado merger with Caesars multiple times.
You can see the Eldorado Resorts earnings press release here.
Golden Entertainment (AKA The Strat) Earnings
There wasn’t much news about The Strat during the Golden Entertainment earnings call. Then again, The Strat isn’t the most exciting property to me, so this might just be my opinion.
Renovations are continuing on the casino floor and in the hotel rooms at The Strat. Golden Entertainment’s new players club – True Rewards – is now live at all 10 of their full-service casinos.
Red Rock Resorts (AKA Station Casinos) – Casino Earnings
Again, not too much official news to report from their earnings call. You can see the details here.
There’s only one remaining construction project remaining in the renovations at Palms. Tim Ho Wan is expected to be completed by the end of the third quarter of 2019. Otherwise, the makeover is finished.
I visited the casino last week and it looks great. Word of caution – the blackjack and roulette tables near the entrance to KAOS have less than preferable rules. Stick to the main casino unless you just want to leer at people walking in and out of the pool.
Wynn Resorts Earnings
Wynn Resorts’ earnings calls can be kind of boring for someone keeping tabs only on Las Vegas. Much of their business happens overseas. You can see the numbers and info about Macau here.
Construction on the convention center is on track and should be open in six months. The interesting news from the second quarter is that the average daily room rate (ADR) at Wynn Las Vegas was $333. That’s a 6.4% increase from the same period last year when the ADR was $313. The occupancy in the second quarter was 90.1%. That’s an increase from 87.7% last year.
Offers to visit Encore Boston Harbor have been sent to some Wynn Las Vegas guests already. However, the majority of Wynn Las Vegas customers haven’t received offers to visit its other US casino. They plan on expanding offers to the rest of their Las Vegas customer database by the fall.
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