Vegas News January 5th 2020
Happy New Year! Introducing Vegas News January and our first installment for 2020. I hope the holidays treated you well. I’m happy to get back to a normal schedule again. Mid-week holidays mess with how I like to operate. That’s never a good thing.
We’re also getting back to having some fun Las Vegas news and rumors. Let’s jump right into it.
Rumor Of The Week: Tropicana Sold
Our first (sale) rumor of Vegas News January. Let’s start the story about this sale from the beginning. Penn National Gaming purchased the Tropicana in 2015. They discussed renovations and expansion but kept pushing that back. In August of 2019 when asked about purchasing a Caesars property, the company said they were happy having just one property on the Vegas Strip. The reps on the earnings call also discussed having an outside partner develop the underutilized land on the Vegas Strip. This would allow Penn National to keep spending to a minimum.
Fast forward to October where having a Vegas Strip property wasn’t all that important to Penn National. That was quick. Let’s skip ahead to its last earnings call in November when Penn National Gaming reps said they’ve received unsolicited offers on the Tropicana. These offers were beyond the potential developments discussed just a couple of months earlier.
At this point in mid-November, Penn National Gaming said it was starting to listen to offers on the property.
Vital Vegas Tropicana Scoop
This week Vital Vegas confidently blogs that Penn National Gaming accepted an offer for Tropicana and that the sale is imminent. This deal hasn’t been confirmed but absolutely sounds legit.
We’ve known that the sale of Tropicana was in the works since last year so a deal isn’t unexpected. An official announcement should take place in advance of Penn National Gaming’s quarterly earnings report later this month or February.
Don’t Forget MGM Resorts Potential Casino Sales
Scott says Tropicana might be the first casino sold this year. That’s possible but MGM Resorts might have something to say about that. During its most recent earnings call, MGM Resorts said it would announce the sale of MGM Grand before 2019 ended. Well, 2019 is over and they haven’t announced anything yet.
MGM Resorts also floated selling Aria and Vdara
MGM Resorts also floated selling Aria and Vdara in the new year. Additionally, Bloomberg reported that MGM Resorts could couple the sale of MGM Grand with Mandalay Bay. Since these are leaseback deals, there shouldn’t be any changes in how the casinos operate.
Like the Tropicana sale, expect to hear about any deals in advance of MGM Resorts reporting earnings in late January or February. Neither Penn National or MGM has announced reporting dates. Keep an eye here and on twitter for dates on when these earnings reports and calls will take place.
New Caesars Coming In Hot With Another Sale Rumor – Vegas News January
Let’s not forget Caesars while we’re on the topic of casino sales. Since the merger deal with Eldorado was announced, the new operators have been saying they will sell at least one Caesars Las Vegas property. That probably won’t take place until the deal is finalized later this year.
During its last earnings call in November, Eldorado seemed open to land and casino sales. This week Roger Gros from Global Gaming Biz shared a rumor that PLANET HOLLYWOOD Las Vegas Resort could be the first Caesars Las Vegas casino on the chopping block. The rumored buyer is the San Manuel tribe.
Rumored Buyer – San Manuel Tribe
You might know this company from the San Manuel casino in California. A California casino connection could be a good deal for Las Vegas tourism in general. Visitation to Las Vegas from California state took a dip in 2019. A new operator with ties to the Golden State could offer special deals for residents including free valet parking and more.
If Eldorado holds true to its word, this shouldn’t happen until the merger with Caesars is complete later this year. Hold on to this rumor because an announcement should be a while away.
More New And Renovated Casinos In 2020
We’d be remiss if we didn’t remind you that construction on Circa in downtown Las Vegas is continuing at a rapid pace. The casino should be ready to open in December. Related: The Circa Sports Million contest paid the winner a cool $1 million.
Here’s a reminder to chip collectors: The Hard Rock will close after the Super Bowl on February 2. The property is scheduled to reopen as Virgin Hotels Las Vegas later this year.
Meanwhile, Circus Circus is now a Phil Ruffin casino. Expect renovations and additions throughout the year. William Hill will be renovating the sports book after the Super Bowl. It will re-open in time for the first weekend of March Madness.
Quick Hits – Vegas News January 5th 2020
It looks like we could see a slew of casinos changing hands this year. I’m just happy that Las Vegas news and rumors are back! There haven’t been a lot of new restaurants opening that excited me lately. That changed as the year came to an end.
This was supposed to be my first trip to the Vegas Strip in 2020 but someone had other plans. I visited David Chang’s Majordomo at The Palazzo on opening night in 2019. I expected a great meal and will share that with you shortly. Let’s hop into the rest of the news in and around Las Vegas as part of our Quick Hits weekly feature for Vegas News January.
- As I mentioned Majordomo is open. Read about the restaurant here.
- A waiter at Majordomo says David Changs Moon Palace slider joint across the hall will be open in a couple of weeks. Read about it here. He also says this will be open 24 hours a day. I’ll believe that when I see it. You can see a few pictures of the exterior here.
- You know I’m not a show guy so it shouldn’t surprise you that I forgot Cherry Boom Boom was still around at Oyo last year. Well, they just announced a contract extension for 2020. Read more here.
- The Westgate SuperContest winner took home more than $1.4 million. Read more here. They will begin taking entries for next season’s contest on January 13 and will add quarterly prizes this year.
- The Sahara poker room is ahead of schedule and will now open before the end of January. Read more here.
- I thought this happened last year but let’s say it didn’t and the local newspaper has something new for us. Golden Entertainment (The Strat, etc) has a new players club. Read more here.
- Downtown Grand now has standup comedy. You can now see Chris “Kid” Reid from the icon group Kid ‘n Play on a regular basis. Read more here.
- Speaking of Standup comedy, the Plaza added a slew of good comedians to The Comedy Works. See the updated list here.
- The Caesars/Wyndham status match ends this month. Read more here.
- Tim Burton’s show at the Neon Museum has been extended into April. Read more here.
- Last and certainly least for Vegas New January — There was a real estate transaction on the Vegas Strip last week. Nothing major but you can read about it here.