I’m always in awe of Las Vegas. There’s so much happening. There’s also a lot that’s almost happening. This week we’ll touch on both ends of the spectrum without even mentioning the possibility of All Net Arena being built or the Virgin train. We will also touch on some M life changes. We’ll leave those monthly rumors to the newspaper this month.
This week’s Vegas News begins with a casino on the Vegas Strip that I haven’t visited in a few years. As I’m writing this, I just planned to return to the Tropicana in a few weeks. How’s that for timing?!
Penn National Gaming And The Tropicana
Penn National Gaming: The owners of the Tropicana and M Resort reported earnings this week. There was a lot of useful information about the national casino operator during its earnings call. You can see the earnings presentation here. There were a few points that focus on Las Vegas.
MyChoice Players Club Expansion: Penn National Gaming has completed their acquisition of Pinnacle Entertainment. They now operate 60 casinos across the US and Canada. The link from the regional casinos to Las Vegas is through the new MyChoice players club. If you visit their casinos outside of Las Vegas you can expect to see offers coming in for Las Vegas if you haven’t already.
New Vegas Properties: During the earnings call a Penn National Gaming reps said they’d be happy to have a center Vegas Strip property. However, they won’t overpay for the casino. Reading between the lines it sounds like they think the Caesars Entertainment properties and Cosmopolitan are overpriced.
Tropicana: They’re happy with the Tropicana being their only property on the Vegas Strip. Previous expansion plans are on hold while they focus on integrating Pinnacles assets and customers. A rep mentioned that they have four acres of underutilized land the Vegas Strip and Tropicana that could be developed. He mentioned using financing from an outside partner could help with expansion in this area.
Sports Betting: Prior to the earnings call, Penn National Gaming announced new sports betting partners. The news that relates to Las Vegas is the lack of a mention about William Hill operating their sportsbooks. The worldwide sportsbook operator just took over M Resort’s sportsbook but that might stop in the future as Penn National brings sportsbook operations in house. I reached out to William Hill this week and haven’t heard back.
I never expected to write this much about Penn National Gaming in Vegas News, but here we are. I’m expecting to hear more about sports betting and the Tropicana before the year is over.
It’s August! New MGM Resort Fees
A few weeks ago we mentioned that MGM Resorts was increasing resort fees at some of their properties in August. Well, it’s August and the fees have risen.
Aria, Bellagio, and Vdara have a new resort fee:
- Old resort fee: $39
- New resort fee: $45
- Total new resort fee after taxes: $51.02
We’ve updated the Vegas Strip resort fee list if you’re curious to see how much other hotels charge.
M life Changes Coming In October
These M life changes aren’t massive but they will impact slot machine and video poker players. Their new rating system for Express Comps is similar to the ambiguous policy Boyd Gaming’s B-Connected started using last year.
According to the website; “Express Comps will be calculated based on time played, average bet, and game type.” These M life changes will probably negatively impact the few comps you can earn playing slots and video poker in Las Vegas casinos.
These M life changes will probably negatively impact the few comps you can earn playing slots and video poker in Las Vegas casinos.
East coast gamblers (ECG!) can probably speak better to these M life changes since they’re already on this system at Borgata, MGM National Harbor, and MGM Springfield.
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Rumor of the week: Kind Heaven Is Dead
Vital Vegas says that Caesars Entertainment has canceled Kind Heaven. This has been in the rumor mill for a while now and still hasn’t been officially announced. The sale of Caesars Entertainment to Eldorado Resorts is likely the last nail in the coffin of this wackadoodle concept.
Eldorado Resorts is looking to stop spending money and cut expenses. Kind Heaven was a strange project and a good place to start cutting expenditures in Las Vegas. I give this rumor a 99% probability of being confirmed shortly.
Vegas Is (Classic) Rockin
“Las Vegas has something for everyone” is a cliche for a reason. While some visitors prefer residencies with rappers, there are plenty of other options. Rock band residencies are all the rage now. Most, if not all, of the rock residencies, are older rock bands.
While older members of Generation X (born 1965-1979) might not want to consider their favorite rock bands as being “old” – they are. Classic Rock now includes rock bands that were popular in the 1980’s.
Aerosmith, Def Leppard, Journey, Steve Miller Band, John Fogerty are just some of the rock performers from the 1970s and 1980s with residencies or limited engagements later this year. Journey is selling so well that they’ve added four more shows at Caesars Palace Las Vegas on December 27, 28, 30 & 31.
The classic rock residencies will continue into 2020(!). Foreigner just announced their first Las Vegas residency at The Venetian. Shows will take place on the following dates next year:
- January 2020: 24, 25, 29, 31
- February 2020: 1
- April 2020: 17, 18, 22, 24, 25
This is not the original lineup from Foreigner. You can read about the shows here. Expect to see more aged rockers in Las Vegas next year.
While we’re talking about Classic Rock, Def Leppard fans can see artwork from Rick Allen (not the drummer) at Planet Hollywood. Read more here.
Las Vegas Loves Baseball
Las Vegas Ballpark near Red Rock Casino won the 20th Annual Ballpark of the Year award. Some of the popular things with the new stadium include new technology, food from celebrity chefs, and lots of promotional nights. Finn The Batdog isn’t new but he’s certainly one of the best features at the stadium. The Aviators are so popular that they lead minor league baseball in attendance. They’ve even drawn more than some Major League teams on occasion.
The City of Henderson (M Resort, South Point, etc.) pitched the Arizona Diamondbacks on a new stadium. It didn’t happen. Taxpayers are stoked not to be paying $1 billion for a stadium 20-30 minutes from the Vegas Strip. You can read the highlights of the deal here. You can find a more snarky take on the stadium deal at Field Of Schemes.
Las Vegas is a city of dreams. Many of those dreams never get off the ground. We’ll start Quick Hits today with an idea that may or may not happen.
- Bleutech is being pitched as a “Digital Infrastructure City.” It seems like these kinds of Smart Cities are a thing. The project will supposedly break ground somewhere in Las Vegas this December. This sounds like a business park so I’ll move on to fun stuff. You can read about it here.
- Remember Iggy Azalea? She was “charged” $64 for a grilled cheese last week. I believe she was performing at Mandalay Bay for the WNBA All-Star game so I doubt she was paying for this. That doesn’t really matter when we’re talking about $64 for a sandwich. You can read all about it here.
- Speaking of Mandalay Bay…The Vegas Food Expo at Mandalay Bay will host the disgusting food museum. No word if Iggy will be performing. Read more here.
- According to Business Insider, Wynn and Encore are the best casinos in the US. Read the info without the 50 ads on Business Insider here.
- The Strat has a Lightning Link lounge. Read more here.
- Ruth’s Chris at Harrah’s is being renovated. Read more here.
- It’s way too early for college bowl selections but that isn’t stopping 247 Sports. They’re projecting that Boise State will play USC in the last Las Vegas Bowl at Sam Boyd Stadium. The game will move to the new stadium after next season. Read more here.
- Mathew Berry from ESPN will be appearing at The Linq to talk fantasy football. Read more here.
- Last and least, I just remembered Boyd Gaming reported earnings. More on this next week. You can read the press release here.
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