I worked in the music industry in a previous life. Those memories will never leave me. When I was thinking of a fun way to summarize the Vegas News this week a lyric from the band Thursday came to mind. “It starts and stops and starts and stops again” is basically how the casino industry has been operating for the past few weeks…actually years. Have a look.
“As Caesars Turns”
The drama with Caesars really starts and stops and starts and stops again every week. This week Caesars named a new CEO. Some of you might remember Tony Rodio as the CEO of Tropicana Entertainment.
He’s fast friends with Carl Icahn so it’s not much of a surprise that he was chosen by Carl Icahn led board of directors to run Caesars. Rodio will transition to Caesars from his current job as CEO of Affinity Gaming over the next 30 days. He’s tasked with cleaning up the mess that is Caesars Entertainment. However, he may not last for too long as the company is still on the market to be sold.
According to the press release, “The Board’s Transaction Committee, composed of independent directors, will continue to consider and evaluate various paths for enhancing shareholder value, including continuing to operate as an independent public company.” This is a strong addition to the team at Caesars and one that could follow the model of the next update on the Cosmopolitan as well as Tropicana Entertainment.
I expect to see the new Icahn/Rodio team upgrade some of the assets and sell them piece by piece over time. This may or may not happen over a few years. That’s how they gained interest to sell Tropicana and that’s how Blackstone Real Estate has approached the Cosmopolitan…
Cosmopolitan Officially For Sale
Blackstone purchased the Cosmopolitan in 2014 for $1.73 billion. They planned on selling the property since they purchased the casino-resort. Blackstone has spent the past five years renovating and upgrading the property to eventually be sold.
Well, after a couple of years of rumors Blackstone has officially put the for sale sign up at the Cosmopolitan. Bloomberg thinks the purchase price will be $4 billion or more for the luxury resort. For comparison, the cost to complete the Drew (including purchase, renovations, etc.) will be more than $3 billion. The improvements to the Cosmopolitan have increased revenue in all parts of the casino and resort.
The Average Daily (room) Rate is typically among the most expensive in Las Vegas and they’ve added penthouses to bump the averages even higher. The price tag is quite hefty. There won’t be too many companies that can afford to spend that much money on a single property. The Las Vegas Review-Journal speculates that Wynn and MGM Resorts are potential buyers.
We’ve previously speculated on the rumor that Hard Rock (Seminole) will purchase the Cosmopolitan. The Cosmopolitan is a turnkey business for any prospective buyers. Unlike most Caesars Entertainment properties, the new owner won’t have to upgrade the Cosmopolitan after purchase. This sale could end up providing a benchmark if another casino on the north end of the Vegas Strip ever opens…
Drew Las Vegas Is Now Slated To Open In 2022
You already knew that The Drew opening was pushed back to 2020 because you read it here in December. What you definitely didn’t know is that The Drew is now Drew Las Vegas. Witkoff, owner of Drew Las Vegas, says the casino-resort will open in the second quarter (April, May, June) of 2022.
Much like all construction projects, I’ll believe it when I see it. If work on the Drew does begin, the architecture team of Diller Scofidio + Renfro will help shape the future of the big blue monstrosity. Judging by their website, DSR has a pretty solid track record of urban design. It could offer something unique for Las Vegas. You can read the new press release here. You can see more of their initial plans on TravelZork from last year.
Treasure Island Tram Is Operational!
I spent a night at Treasure Island before the last ZorkFest. I was asked more about the tram than anything else at the property. Well, it’s finally operational again. Enjoy your 300-foot ride to The Mirage!
Those were the big stories from Las Vegas for the week. As always there was so much more happening in and around Las Vegas. Enjoy your weekly dose of Quick Hits!
- Able Baker Brewing makes my favorite local beer from Las Vegas called Atomic Duck. They’ll be opening a taproom in downtown Las Vegas sometime in the future. I’m stoked. They won’t tell me where or when it will open and I haven’t driven by the construction site.
- The email said “Las Vegas #1 City For Meat Lovers.” You should read what that’s all about here.
- The Las Vegas Sands earnings report is usually boring because most of their business doesn’t involve The Venetian or The Palazzo. You can read their quarterly earnings report here.
- The Alliance of America Football filed for bankruptcy before the end of its first season. It looks like they owe MGM Resorts $7,000,000.
- The Linq has plans to build a 33-foot high dome. Read more about Linq Do Me here.
- I’m writing this on April 20th. That’s 4/20! Get it? Here’s a good reference if you’re curious about legal marijuana in Las Vegas.
- Mandalay Bay Events Center is getting an upgrade. Read more here.
- It’s probably not a coincidence that the NHL Awards will take place at the Mandalay Bay Event Center on June 19. Read more here.
- I skipped this one last week. There might someday be a Virgin train from nowhere, CA to Las Vegas. Read more here.
- Journey is returning to Las Vegas in October for a new “residency” at Caesars Palace Las Vegas. Read more about the limited engagement here.
- A book store reopened in downtown Las Vegas. Evidently, this is a big deal. Read more here.
- The Plaza has some Cinco De Mayo plans. Check em out here.
- Mlife has a new promotion with Hyatt to earn extra points. Read more here.
- Major League Soccer is expanding. They mentioned Las Vegas as a potential destination. Read more here.
- The Las Vegas Convention Center expansion is on time and on budget. Read more here.
- This is our first look inside the new Jimmy Kimmel Comedy Club at The Linq. It’s also the first listing of comedians performing.
Want direct access to casino news, casino reviews, narratives, loyalty programs and video poker? Visit our casino/Vegas section directly at CasinoZork. Join the thousands of people who read TravelZork every month! Sign up here for one email per week updates. (Email is sent weekly on Monday afternoon Eastern Time, and includes our popular weekly Vegas news series)