I’ve just started noticing Christmas music in casinos so I guess it’s officially the holiday season. Las Vegas is usually quite festive for the holidays but the big news last week from the north end of the Vegas Strip doesn’t fit the bill.
Kreeger Leaves SLS Las Vegas
Late last week, SLS Las Vegas announced that Scott Kreeger, president, and chief operating officer, is leaving the company at the end of the year. The announcement didn’t say whether he was fired or quit. It did say that he already has another job in the gaming industry outside of Las Vegas. Stockbridge, owners of SLS, say that they’ll be looking for a replacement ASAP.
You may remember that Kreeger took this position after Rob Oseland left to work with Alon (more on that in a second) shortly after the casino opened. When Oseland left, I remember reading that Stockbridge was giving SLS Las Vegas two years to turn into a money maker. I don’t remember where I saw that so don’t consider this a fact. With that in mind, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Stockbridge try to sell SLS Las Vegas but I’m not sure there’s a buyer desperate to get into the north Vegas Strip right now. Segue too…
Alon Just about A-Gone
Last week Crown Resorts announced that it was pulling out of the development of Alon. In March I wrote Alon may not have money but they have plans. Well, that’s still the case. While Crown has pulled out of the project the staff told the Las Vegas Sun that they will “continue to explore all of its options to advance the project and optimize the value for its stakeholders.” The remaining team will look for financing in the near future. This effort might be futile since they couldn’t find financing when they had the backing of an international casino operator.
The revitalization of the north end of the Vegas Strip seems to have stalled.
- The dirt at Alon isn’t moving.
- Construction has barely started at Resorts World and opening date keeps getting pushed back.
- SLS Las Vegas is looking for another leader and possibly a new owner soon.
- Fontainebleau doesn’t have a buyer in sight.
- MGM Resorts has essentially given up on using the lot that once housed Rock in Rio across the street from SLS Las Vegas and Lucky Dragon.
The one bright spot isn’t really bright. We just don’t have any information yet. Lucky Dragon just opened and is just getting things started, so it’s probably too early to tell if they’ll be successful.
Wynn Brings On Partner For Mall
Staying on the north end of the Vegas Strip, last week Wynn Resorts announced that they’ve sold 49.9% of Wynn Plaza for $472 million to Crown Acquisitions Incorporated. This is a different Crown than the company that pulled out of Alon. Crown Acquisitions Incorporated is a real estate development and investment firm from California. The price for half of the 75,518 square feet of retail space seems to be a bit of a premium on malls sold in Las Vegas this year.
You may remember that MGM Resorts sold the 500,000 square foot Crystals at City Center for $1.13 billion dollars in March. More recently the 475,000-square-foot Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood was sold for $1.1 billion. Wynn has to pay for those Amazon Echo’s somehow. I’m kidding.
Wynn Will Be First Hotel In The World To Install An Echo In All Rooms
Wynn Las Vegas will begin installing an Amazon Echo in every room beginning with the suites and villas this month. The installation will be complete by summer 2017. Listen to Uncle Steve tell you what this means for your hotel experience.
The idea of telling Alexa to turn on lights, open shades, etc. sounds great. However, there might be a privacy issue here. Echo has to be turned on to work best. When turned on the device can capture all sounds in your hotel room. I don’t even want to know what sounds happen in my hotel room, let alone your hotel room. Seriously, though there’s a potential privacy issue for everyone from you to Prince Harry. Wynn hasn’t revealed how they’ll deal with the potential privacy issue.
Tickets For Lady Gaga at Wynn Start at $1,000
Let’s start with the premise that New Year’s Eve shows in Las Vegas are usually a bit more expensive than normal shows. Wynn is taking that to new levels this year. Mezzanine tickets for “An Intimate Evening With Lady Gaga” at the Encore Theater on December 30, cost $1,000. Orchestra seats (the majority of the theater) cost $1,500. Fun fact, there are no fees added to the tickets like most venues.
I assume this show is intended as a “thank you” for the best customers at Wynn. I expect the venue to be filled with high rollers receiving complimentary tickets. That’s just speculation. The reality is hot tickets on New Year’s Eve are through the roof. People are asking over $1,000 per ticket on StubHub to see Bruno Mars that same night. You can find tickets and more information on the Lady Gaga show here.
Japan Approves Casinos: About a month ago we let you know that this possible and the MGM Resorts was very interested in being one of the first casino operators. It’s approved and you can read more here.
People Are Avoiding Taxis: The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that taxi trips in Las Vegas were down over 19% last month and over 16% year to date. It seems like I’m not the only person who loves Uber and Lyft. My ride to and from the Vegas Strip now costs about the same as a resort fee in most hotels. That’s a far cry from what a taxi would cost.
Raiding The Rock Vault Will Return In March: Johnny Kats from the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports the show most recently at Tropicana will open at Vinyl inside the Hard Rock March 11. You can read more here.
Level Up To Open At MGM Grand December 29: I gave you a heads up on Level Up before it even had a name back in August. Well, now that it has a name we have some information on Level Up. You can read details from the press release here. Who’s up for a game of Hopscotch?
Best Video Poker Bar Top Machines In Las Vegas: These casino bars have the best video poker paytables. It should be no surprise that none are on the Vegas Strip.
Virtual Horse Racing Approved: William Hill has been testing Virtual Racing at a couple of its sports books in Las Vegas. The games have been approved and will expand to more William Hill sports books in Nevada. You can read more here and see an example below.
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