It was a good news/bad news week for the many people who prefer Caesars and Total Rewards casinos in Las Vegas. The casino operator reported earnings last week and had some interesting information to share. After reporting earnings I found, even more, information from Caesars Entertainment. That information wasn’t “interesting” but it you should hear it anyway. Let’s start with the good news.
Good News From Caesars
Caesars Entertainment reported, again, that new hotel rooms bring higher room rates. While that news may not sound great, it is leading Caesars to upgrade even more hotel rooms. Everyone loves a new hotel room! Right?
Caesars plans on renovating 7,000 rooms around the country. The majority of those room upgrades will be in Las Vegas. They say the 2,200 room renovation at Planet Hollywood will be finished by June. That was originally scheduled for completion in 2016, but we’ll take it!
The next set of renovations will take place at Flamingo, Harrah’s, and what I assume is Bally’s. Below is their commentary on upcoming upgrades from the earnings call transcript.
Caesars will be in great shape and then Harrah’s will also have two of its three towers completely renovated. The areas where we’ll then start to turn the focus will be Flamingo. We do plan to start some room renovations there later in the year. We’re also contemplating the Valleys Tower renovation on the large tower at Valleys. Those will be the next areas that we focus as we move through 2017.
A Caesars representative tells me that they will release more details on the renovations shortly. We’ll keep you posted. One more bit of good news (kinda) is that Caesars doesn’t seem to realize that newer amenities often brings higher price points too. For the time being, you can still stay at some of these properties on a relatively decent budget.
Bad News From Caesars
As I mentioned earlier, renovated hotel rooms typically come with a higher price point. The first bit of bad news is that more hotel rooms that Caesars renovates the higher room prices will be at those properties.
Shortly after the earnings call, the LA Times reported that Caesars Entertainment will be increasing resort fees beginning March 1. The resort fees will increase between $1 and $3 depending on the property. Here’s a list of the new Caesars Las Vegas resort fees beginning March 1.
Bally’s – $30
Caesars Palace – $35
The Cromwell – $35
Flamingo – $30
Harrah’s – $30
The Linq – $30
Nobu (Caesars Palace) – $35
Paris Las Vegas – $35
Planet Hollywood – $35
Rio – $30
It wouldn’t be a big deal if the $1-$3 increase was just on the hotel room fee. However, it’s tacking on to a fee nobody would like to be paying. When the resort fees are eventually regulated just watch the price of hotel rooms spike by as much as 100%. That will generate some real outrage.
Last week, Vital Vegas checked in on the paid parking situation at Caesars Entertainment properties. It looks like paid self-parking will be ready to go any day now. According to his sources, the paid parking will also begin in March. Caesars Entertainment hasn’t officially revealed all the information yet for their paid parking initiative.
It’s probably not a coincidence that the new fees would be impacting Las Vegas Next month. March will be one of the busier months in Las Vegas. In addition to the first weekend of March Madness and three regional NCAA basketball tournaments (meaning people will drive to Las Vegas), there will be the huge ConAgg expo and conference, NASCAR race, Spring Break, St. Patrick’s Day and more.
MGM Resorts International Earnings
MGM Resorts International earnings have been a great source for Las Vegas news for the past year or two. That wasn’t the case with their most recent earnings report. I found the information about the Borgata in Atlantic City more useful this time around. The great Stiffs and Georges blog has some unbiased thoughts on the earnings information that mirror my own.
The most useful Las Vegas information from earnings day wasn’t about earnings. It was about meetings and conventions. MGM Resorts International signed a deal to combine multiple Microsoft meetings into one big meeting and bring it to Las Vegas.
This deal will bring 30,000 people to Las Vegas presumably staying at MGM’s various properties. Corporate meetings and conventions may not mean much to us on the surface. However, the more meetings that take place in Las Vegas the fewer hotel rooms are available for leisure travelers. This translates to higher room rates. Since these meetings are usually held during the week, this deal alone could bring higher rates when they’re typically less expensive.
More Neon? Yes Please!
The Neon Museum in downtown Las Vegas received a $425,000 grant from the city of Las Vegas. The money will be used for the museum to expand and offer even more vintage neon signs. No less than 30 signs will see the light of day! The Las Vegas Review-Journal has more information on this exciting news.
Downtown Las Vegas Booze Festivals
While we’re in downtown Las Vegas let me mention a couple festivals that will be returning to the area in the upcoming months. The Great Vegas Festival of Beer will bring 100 breweries and 500 different beers to downtown Las Vegas. This festival is April 7 and 8 and will take place outside in the streets of DTLV.
The Golden Nugget will once again host the Whiskey Revival on March 11. The festival will have artisan whiskeys, American craft spirits, moonshines, barrel aged beers, live entertainment, and food.
Airbnb Exploding In Las Vegas
The headline here is hyperbole but 340,000 people who visited Nevada last year opted to use Airbnb according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Airbnb hosts in Nevada made $47 million. That’s a whopping 151% increase from 2015. Not all of these people are visiting Las Vegas, but plenty is sick and tired of all the additional fees and doing something about it.
Airbnb is a great option for large groups looking to visit Las Vegas on a budget. You can check out Airbnb Las Vegas rentals here.
- You can now get married at Taco Bell AND Denny’s in Las Vegas!
- Taxis are long hauling more people because of Uber and Lyft. Read details here.
- Bellagio opened a Starbucks. Party.
Rumor of the week: Sports book operator CG Technology is up for sale and may have a buyer according to the Las Vegas Advisor. This rumor has been floating around for awhile. This is the first time I’ve seen it anywhere online.
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