We start this week’s Vegas News mentioning that The National Finals Rodeo (NFR) is in town! There will be cowboys and cowgirls all over Las Vegas for another week. The weeks after Thanksgiving and before Christmas used to be a quiet period to visit Las Vegas. The rooms were cheap and too many people didn’t visit. That’s not quite the case anymore with the rise in popularity of the NFR.
The rodeo is just a catalyst for country culture to invade Las Vegas. The Las Vegas Convention and According to News 3, the Las Vegas Visitors & Convention Authority is estimating the NFR will have a $187 million economic impact on Sin City.
Beyond the sold-out rodeo, there are country music events all over town. Concerts, line dancing, pop-up clubs, rodeo viewing events and more. It’s a great time to visit Las Vegas if you enjoy this.
Don’t worry if you’re not into the country party. Everyone is super friendly and polite. Unless you’re in a casino like South Point or bar/restaurant like Gilley’s at Treasure Island you probably won’t notice more than a few extra cowboy hats roaming the Vegas Strip.
In other news, it takes time for casino sales to be approved before they actually change hands. This week we saw one Las Vegas casino sale become official and another take a step closer to being sold.
It’s always exciting to hear about new casino experiences we can look forward to. While the real estate deal didn’t shed much light on its future, the nearly complete deal had plenty of information.
On top of this, we might hear some new details on Circa next week. I’ll be touring the construction site on Monday and will hopefully overhear things I’m not supposed to. Don’t tell anyone that I’m listening.
Rio Officially Sold!
The sale of Rio was announced in September. This week the sale of the RIO All-Suite Las Vegas Hotel and Casino to companies affiliated with Dreamscape Companies for $516.3 million became official.
Caesars Will Still Operate Rio For At Least Two Years
As previously detailed, Caesars will pay rent on the casino and operate it for at least two years. The World Series of Poker will continue to be hosted at the Rio in 2020.
Eric Birnbaum, the man behind Dreamscape summed up the deal perfectly. He said, “We’re excited by the acquisition as we believe the Rio has great upside potential in all areas of the property.” This isn’t much of a groundbreaking statement considering there’s nowhere to go but up for the Rio.
The Rio needs a lot of TLC and comes with a lot of land for the real estate developers to use. In an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the new owners said they have two years to come up with a “renovation strategy” for the property.
They did say that the Rio will not be imploded to make way for a Major League Baseball stadium. Look for a new plan for Rio to be revealed in 2021 or 2022.
Circus Circus Sale Almost Official
MGM Resorts announced the sale of Circus Circus to Phil Ruffin just over two months ago. The deal is in the home stretch and should be approved before the year is over. Ruffin, the owner of Treasure Island, revealed his plans for the future of Circus Circus to the Nevada Gaming Control Board this week.
In an interview with the Las Vegas Sun, Ruffin previously said he planned on renovating Slots A Fun. During the meeting this week he mentioned that he will also update the main Circus Circus casino. Meanwhile, he will farm out the sports book operation to William Hill once the deal goes through.
Ruffin also confirmed that the RV park will be closed as he previously hinted. The 10-acre park will become a Mandalay Bay style beach complete with a wave pool. The biggest change could be the addition of a 2,000 seat theater that he expects to be home to a Cirque du Soliel show.
Two things will remain intact – The Adventuredome will remain open and parking will be free.
You can read more about Ruffin’s plan for Circus Circus here. While I’m not a fan of the property, I am curious to see how gaming and comps might change. Treasure Island offers affordable blackjack games with fair rules at low minimums. The casino also offers solid drink comps while playing video poker.
It Might Be Time To Play Pai Gow Poker At Paris
I probably play Pai Gow Poker more often at The Cromwell Hotel and Casino than any other casino in Las Vegas. The Caesars multi-property progressive isn’t always a smart gamble but it adds fun to a pretty mellow game. Regardless of my enjoyment playing at The Cromwell, I might have to take my Pai Gow play across the street to Paris Las Vegas.
A guest won the $2.3 million progressive jackpot a couple of weeks ago. This week someone hit the Major progressive at the same casino. The winners are probably just a coincidence, but I’d like to be the next coincidental winner.
Quick Hits – Vegas News
One of the most fun things about Sunday Vegas News and Quick Hits is the ability to write or share news about anything happening in or around Las Vegas. Sometimes there are bits of news hidden in articles on another topic. Other times there are rumors that not every media outlet can report on since they aren’t close to being confirmed. The first Quick Hit today leans into the latter.
- Garth Brooks recently announced a 3-year Stadium Tour in 2020. Las Vegas didn’t make the cut for the first batch of shows. I fully expect that will change in the future. It’s difficult for someone to book a venue that’s still under construction. Look for Garth to announce that he’ll be playing Allegiant Stadium during NFR next year or the year after. You can read more about the tour here.
- Speaking of Allegiant Stadium, during a tour of the stadium the commissioner of the NFL said “I expect it’s going to be a Super Bowl city.” I believe the NFL committed (off the record, perhaps) to a Las Vegas Super Bowl when the state donated $750 million to build the stadium. Read more here.
- Speaking of the Super Bowl, The D Las Vegas just announced prices and info about its Super Bowl party. Read more here.
- The Who will return to Caesars Palace for another blast of concerts during their 2020 tour. Read more here.
- Fast food lovers will be stoked to know that Chick Fil A is now open at the Golden Nugget. The location at Planet Hollywood is still under construction. Find more info about the Nugget location here.
- Chick Fil A is good fast food. White Castle isn’t good but that’s not stopping them from opening another Las Vegas location. The slider joint across the street from the Hard Rock is now open. Read more here.
- Fans of the “Jersey Shore” will be stoked that “DJ Pauly D and Vinny’s Vegas Pool Party” is confirmed for 2020. Read more here.
- Unconfirmed: The Scorpions are planning a residency in Las Vegas in 2020. There’s no location but I’m guessing it will be House of Blues at Mandalay Bay or Palms. Read more here.
- Rumor Of The Week: Beyonce Las Vegas residency to be announced next year. I don’t know this source but with Las Vegas residencies involving as little as 4 shows in a year, why wouldn’t everyone go for the cash grab? Read more here.
- That was quick, a rep for Beyonce told Variety that rumors are “absolutely not true.” Read more here.
- “As Eldorado/Caesars Turns: Legal In Missouri!” Read more here.
- The KAOS drama isn’t over at Palms Casino Resort. Kaskade is suing the casino for breach of contract. Read more here.
- Earth Wind and Fire are taking their residency to Palms Vegas. Read more here.
- This one slid by without a major announcement. There’s a new restaurant opening at Wynn Las Vegas. Read more here.
- The Weeknd recorded his “Heartless” lyric video in Vegas. Enjoy the new jam and a fuzzy Las Vegas.
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)