I started writing this outside on a beautiful Las Vegas morning. Unfortunately, it’s so windy (about 40 MPH) that my cold brew was shaking on the table and looked as if it was going to fall over. I decided to move inside one of my favorite coffee shops, Madhouse Coffee, to drink the good stuff. Back to your regularly scheduled Vegas News.
Sometimes big news in Las Vegas will change everything about your next visit. Then you have big news that will change very little about your next Las Vegas experience. This week, we had the latter when Caesars Entertainment announced the sale of RIO All-Suite Las Vegas Hotel and Casino.
Caesars – Sale of Rio
This week Caesars announced the sale of Rio All-Suite Hotel to a company controlled by a principal of Imperial Companies for $516.3 million. Caesars will continue to operate the property. They have a lease for at least two years and will pay an annualized rent of $45 million.
The new owners have the option to pay Caesars $7 million to extend the lease under similar terms for another year. When the lease is over, Caesars may continue to manage Rio or may provide transition services to the new owners.
Caesars will continue to operate the Rio. The World Series of Poker will remain at the Rio in 2020. The property will remain a Caesars Rewards (formerly Total Rewards) property for at least two more years.
This is a solid deal for Caesars. They didn’t break the bank with the sales price. The merger with Eldorado is expected to be finalized in early 2020. The company doesn’t seem to want to keep Rio so getting some money today should help the balance sheet.
This deal will also give the new owners of Caesars time to make a decision on the future of the property. The Rio is still important to some extent since the World Series of Poker (WSOP) is part of the purchase of Caesars. The new owners can keep the world’s largest poker tournament for at least two years or move it to the Vegas Strip properties in 2021 and beyond.
The sale of RIO gives the new owners of Caesars some time and flexibility. They can use the next two years to decide if the property is worth $45 million per year after the lease is over. While WSOP is important, paying rent on the Rio All-Suite Hotel may not be worth the price of keeping this as a home for the poker tournament.
Caesars Isn’t The Only One That Benefits – Sale of RIO
Caesars isn’t the only one that benefits from the structure of this deal. The new owners of the Rio only have one tenant. The massive footprint gives them flexibility. They could choose to add additional businesses. They could make a retail parking lot for the new stadium being built near Mandalay Bay. There are plenty of options available.
The bottom line today is that the Rio will remain a Caesars Rewards property for two more years. If rumors are correct, we should hear about MGM Resorts making a similar deal for Bellagio and MGM Grand soon.
Caesars Quick Hits
Since we’re looking at Caesars’ news let’s see what else is happening in the world of Caesars.Related Rumor (AKA “As Caesars Turns – A Shell Game”): Eldorado Resorts To Sell Harrah’s Laughlin (along with Harrah’s Atlantic City and Harrah’s New Orleans). The properties are being sold to Caesars REIT, VICI. There’s nothing to see here.
Press release: Wyndham Destinations and Caesars Entertainment Extend Marketing Partnership to 2030. Yeah, this is lame. This deal isn’t about the Caesars and Wyndham Hotels loyalty club partnership. This is about marketing timeshares. Read more here.
Flamingo steakhouse is closed. Read more here.
Gwen Stefanie has more shows at Planet Hollywood in 2020. Read more here.
Bally’s Las Vegas renamed the Window’s Theater as The Magic Attic. They have 3 magic-related shows. Read about it here.
Status Matching To Caesars Diamond (Even If You Don’t Have Status)
Want LOTS of Status and Perks?
Check out FoundersCard
News About “the Drew”!
In 2018, Fontainebleau was purchased and renamed as The Drew. We were led to believe that it would open in 2020. Then we learned that the opening was pushed back to 2022. Earlier this year, we were told that The Drew is now “Drew Las Vegas.” Well, maybe not.
According to Travel Weekly, it’s now called “the Drew” and slated to open in 2022. As previously discussed, Two Blackbirds Hospitality will oversee operations. The company is led by John Unwin, the former CEO of the Cosmopolitan. He tells Travel Weekly that “permits are filed, and construction is set to resume in earnest next year.”
He also says, “the Drew is taking event reservations for September 2022.” You can read more about the current plans at Travel Weekly. Like every other construction project, I’ll believe it when I see it.
The Global Gaming Expo (G2E) is a few weeks away and gaming manufacturers are slowly revealing some of their new games. Aristocrat will debut the Star Trek Next Generation slot machine shown above.
Remember the Roll To Win craps game that was at G2E last year? After rumors that it would launch at The Linq in January, the game is finally in a casino. Nope, not Las Vegas. Harrah’s Cherokee has the first installation on Roll To Win craps.
Lastly, Ainsworth has the non-skill version of Galaga below. There have been skill-based Galaga slot games at G2E for the past couple of years. Skill-based slot machines don’t seem to have caught on. This is the first Galaga slot machine to hit casinos.
Wowsers, there’s a lot going on in and around Las Vegas so there’s a lot more to read. We haven’t even heard confirmation of MGM Resorts’ real estate deals. If you love news in or related to Las Vegas, we have lots more below.
- Lakeside Supper Club is replacing Hyde at Bellagio in December. The patio with the sweet view of the fountain show will still be open to the public. Read the press release here.
- The Nevada Taxicab Authority approved flat fees for taxis from McCarran Airport to the Vegas Strip. It’s about time. See rates and info here.
- McCarran Airport has a new ride hailing pickup area at Terminal One in case you don’t like taxis. See details here.
- JD Power says people like LAS. Read more here.
- The California now has room service. I never thought about it before but this is only the third casino in downtown Las Vegas to offer room service. Read here to find out where else you can get room service downtown.
- The Electric Daisy Carnival is sold out! Read more here.
- Whiskey Licker Up at Binion’s opens this week. Read more here.
- Marshmello and Skrillex are out at KAOS inside Palms. Read more here.
- How’s about a mixed-use condo/hotel building in downtown Las Vegas? Read more here.
- The Del Frisco’s location in Las Vegas is an underrated steakhouse. The owner of the Golden Nugget purchased the chain.
- A baby dolphin was born into captivity at The Mirage. MGM named her after the basketball team they own. Read more here.
- So, Bleutech might be a scam. Read more here if you’re curious.
- There are a lot of coffee shops in Las Vegas. Read more about coffee in America here.
- Read something about resort fees here.
- Magic Mike is moving from the Hard Rock to Sahara. Read more here.
- Last and least, White Castle is opening across from the Hard Rock/Virgin. Read more here.
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)