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Konami Gaming Or Apollo Management Could Be New Owners Of IGT

IGT Logo

When I first saw the news about IGT being for sale I didn’t think much of it. The headline was shaped by IGT’s stock price being up 15%. I’m not in the market, so I wasn’t concerned. Then it hit me that one of the largest slot machine and the biggest video poker machine company is on the market and I was full of WOW.

Evidently this wasn’t a surprise to the stock market as IGT’s value has dropped 31% in the past year. They laid off 7% of their staff earlier this year in hopes of cutting enough costs to salvage the company. It doesn’t look like that’s working as the company is rumored to be on the market just to keep it alive. Reuters says IGT has been planning for a sale for the past two months.

The Las Vegas Review Journal reports that a number of private equity companies and gaming companies are interested in acquiring IGT. The most interesting to me are Konami Gaming and Apollo Global Management. Let’s take a quick look at how both could work with IGT.

[Read more…]

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Will Cosmopolitan Join SLS Las Vegas As Part Of Hilton’s Curio?

Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas Suite

Cosmopolitan Suite – Now THAT’S luxury

Yesterday Hilton announced a new brand of hotels for a collection called Curio. The collection was “Created for travelers who seek local discovery and authentic experiences, Curio will be a carefully selected, global collection of distinctive four to five star hotels.”

Sounds cool, but is Curio really going to be what they say? Not if you look at their first Las Vegas hotel. 

Curio will be a part of the Hilton HHonors loyalty club and start with only 4 properties in the collection. It’s strange that SLS Las Vegas is a part of this collection since they’ve been said that they’re not a luxury hotel. SLS PR people have been calling the hotel “accessible luxury” since the project was announced a few years ago. When I hear “accessible luxury”, I think “shabby chic” or “cheap fancy” or “nice stuff at bargain prices” – NOT luxury.

On the flip side of cheap luxury there’s the Cosmopolitan which is 100% luxury in every way. The Cosmo hotel has the highest average daily room rate in Vegas, it has high-end shopping and dining, it’s home to the #1 nightclub (Marquee) in the entire country where they’ll deliver you a bottle of booze by Drone.

The Cosmo oozes cutting edge and luxury from every inch of the property. It’s already rumored that the Cosmo will be a part of the Hilton system. The Cosmopolitan fits the description of Curio to a tee.

Will the Cosmopolitan end up as a Curio hotel? Does it matter where it stands in the Hilton HHonors ecosystem? 

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Speculation Games Featuring Cosmopolitan, The D, Golden Gate, LVH, Palms, Resorts World And Riviera

Riviera Las Vegas

Riviera

Speculating on the future of Vegas is fun. Instead of full-blown posts about specific subjects I think it’s more fun to be short and concise. Here’s my take on two potential moves that would shake things up on the Vegas Strip.

Topic: Now that Cosmopolitan has been sold which Vegas casino will be the next to go?  LVH, Riviera and Caesars Entertainment have been rumored to have casinos on the market for a while. Caesars may have multiple properties on the market that they need to sell so they can reduce debt and avoid filing for bankruptcy

Speculation: My guess is that Caesars will be the first to move. Their current fire sale and shell game seems like a brighter fire than the other two possibilities.

If there’s a dark horse in this race it could be Derek Stevens moving quickly to add the Riviera to his portfolio of The D and Golden Gate. On a personal note, I’d love this. The D and Golden Gate are two of my favorite places to roll dice.

Update: On a detail specific note, you may remember that Stevens owns a small percentage of Riviera. (H/T Chris Robbins on Facebook for the reminder that some people may not know this)

Palms Casino Hotel Towers

Palms

Topic: What is Dan Lee’s next step now that he’s resigned as CEO of Palms after less than a year on the job?

Speculation: I’m going to speculate that Dan Lee’s next job will be something big. If he has a non-compete clause with Palms or just needs time away from work he might look for a major role with Genting as they open Resorts World Las Vegas.

If that’s too far ahead perhaps a move to another independently operated casino in Vegas might make sense.The Cosmopolitan might make sense as they’ll likely add new leadership when Blackstone takes over operations.

If you’re not familiar with Dan Lee, Vegas Tripping had a really detailed post when he was named CEO of Palms last year.

Photo: Riviera – Vegas Chatter, Palms – Vegas.com.

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Cosmopolitan To Say Goodbye To Marriott

Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas At Night

Cosmopolitan At Night

If you’re a Marriott customer and looking to visit to the Vegas Strip you might want to make your reservations for a visit soon.

When Cosmopolitan was sold to Blackstone people with common sense assumed that the new Cosmo would be moving away from some of their current partnerships. Well, that’s the case with their hotel partner.

Say goodbye to a Marriott hotel partner on the Vegas Strip.

Since Blackstone owns HiltonLa QuintaWyndham and the brands beneath them, like Waldorf Astoria, the common thought was that they’d link the Cosmo with one of their existing hotel businesses. #Synergy.

The Las Vegas Sun confirms common sense:

…they will merge one of their hotel investment affinity programs into the Cosmopolitan to reward frequent players and guests.

“We believe that gaming revenues can increase there very quickly by 50 percent,“ I was told. “We have portfolio positions with other leisure travel properties that can be very beneficial to the future of the Cosmopolitan. There will be changes to ensure the property’s profitability in the short term.”

Changing hotel partners won’t guarantee that kind of gaming revenue increase. Even though Hilton hasn’t been named the hotel partner yet the change would be logical as Hilton and Marriott mirror each other.

The Cosmo has some of the highest room rates in Vegas and are often over 95% capacity. The change in hotel partners won’t help hotel revenue much, if any. Are Hilton customers more likely to gamble? We’ll see.

Going full circle, this changeover won’t happen overnight but if you want to use your Marriott Rewards on a free stay at the Cosmo you should book and stay soon.

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Drone Bottle Service At Marquee Dayclub

Drone Bottle Service!

I caught this quick video of a drone delivering bottle service to a waitress at Marquee Dayclub at the Cosmopolitan on the morning news today and was waiting for someone to share the video. Well, it’s finally made its way around the interwebs.

It doesn’t really look cool but it’s a different way for clubs to deliver drinks. New delivery methods of bottle service will be key in keeping the “Look At Me” generation interested in paying 20x+ the retail value for their booze.

It was really only a matter of time until drones were used for bottle service at nightclubs (or dayclubs). What do you think?

Video @jasonstrauss on instagram

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Cosmopolitan’s Marketing Should Plan Read: Same Amount Of Same

Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas Casino Floor

Cosmopolitan Casino

Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas has been open for open for less than 5 years yet but it feels as if the Cosmo has been a part of the Vegas Strip forever. In fact, the hotel has already been sold. There haven’t been many casinos sold since they’ve opened so this is kind of a big deal.

Time sure flies unless you’re working for the advertising team (fallon) originally hired by Cosmopolitan. Their newest TV commercial continues the “Right Amount Of Wrong” campaign and is a whole lot of the same thing that used to shock people.

The ad is fine but the campaign that was so effective for the Cosmo is growing tiresome. It feels like it’s time to dip into the idea pool and come up with something new. It will be interesting to see how advertising and marketing changes when Blackstone takes control of the Cosmo. “The Right Amount Of Wrong” campaign was strong and set the tone for the building of the Cosmopolitan brand.

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BREAKING: Cosmopolitan Sold!

Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas was sold by Deutsche Bank to Blackstone Real Estate Partners for $1.73 Billion. Since this is still developing I’ll pass on information as it’s decimated disseminated.

I’ll keep updating this list as news comes in. I’m off to get coffee.

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Wifi Is Most Important Amenity For Hotel Guests, Mini Bar Is Least

Mini Bar at Cosmopolitan Las Vegas

Mini Bar at Cosmopolitan

I love a good survey when done by a reputable company. Trip Advisor is a pretty good representation of the American traveler as their users include everyone from the person that travels weekly for work to the person that takes just one trip a year.

TripAdvisor just released a survey that looks at the hotel amenities travelers can and can’t do without.

Most Important Hotel Amenities for U.S. Travelers

1.      Free In-Room Wi-Fi (89%)
2.      Free Parking (89%)
3.      Free Breakfast (84%)
4.      Free Personal Care Items (72%)
5.      Free Lobby Wi-Fi (71%)

Least Important Hotel Amenities for U.S. Travelers

1.      Mini Bar (21%)
2.      Spa/Beauty Treatments (23%)
3.      Business Center (34%)
4.      Laundry Service (39%)
5.      Free Pool-Side Wi-Fi (42%)

I didn’t realize that so many hotels offer free breakfast that so many people would want that. I’ve never considered that an amenity, but of course I usually travel to casinos. Beyond breakfast I’m in line with much of this list.

I must be the last person that uses the mini-bar. Last week I had a Red Stripe in a can from the mini-bar at Cosmopolitan. I don’t know what I would have done if I had to wait 15 minutes for my friend without that beer 🙂

What amenities do you want in your hotel room?

Photo: Flickr

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3 Card Poker Popularity Growing Rapidly On Vegas Strip

3 Card Poker Bonus Bet At Caesars Casinos

3 Card Poker

This past weekend was my annual vacation in Vegas. This started when I lived back east and it continues even though I live in Las Vegas now. I stay with my friends on the Vegas Strip and enjoy a few days in Vegas like a tourist. The once crazy Vegas vacation has turned into a catch up of friends from different parts of the country now. There are three parts of this trip:

  1. Eat
  2. Drink
  3. Gamble
  4. Repeat

This group mostly plays blackjack. After many hours of play blackjack can become a little boring so we may move to slot machines for a change of pace. Since I play other table games we’ll explore those.

I visit casinos often but usually for a reason so I’m not wandering and looking around. Over the weekend I noticed how many more 3 Card Poker tables there are. Most, if not all, of those tables are filled. 3 Card Poker has quickly grown from that game where there was just one table to two tables to upwards of five tables at the larger casinos today.

3 Card Poker’s popularity has separated it from the other fringe “carnival” type games that have one table in most casinos. Cosmopolitan has multiple 3 Card Poker tables and Bally’s has almost as many 3 Card Poker tables as they do blackjack.

When given the choice between 6:5 blackjack and potential for huge 40-1 jackpots with 3 Card Poker it’s easy to see why the strip casinos have more 3 Card Poker players than ever. Downtown Vegas casinos pay mostly 3:2 on blackjack and only have one or two 3 Card Poker tables.

If the Vegas Strip casinos had a plan to increase profit from other games by decreasing blackjack playability they’re on the right track. Tomorrow I’ll look at the next fringe game that looks as if it will be the next one to expand from one table. It’s already happening.

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Love The Cosmo Wrap Around Suites? Live There For $1.3 Million

Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas Suite

Cosmopolitan Suite

Love the wrap around suites at the Cosmopolitan? Well, you can buy one in the East Tower for a cool mil from Caldwell Banker.

THE ONLY EAST TOWER UNIT FOR SALE! Fabulous panoramic views from Corner Wrap Around Terrace Suite unit, Views Facing South & West. 456 s/f balcony overlooks The Cosmopolitan pools, City Center, Bellagio. Rental Program & Condo-Hotel. Enjoy a Las Vegas Blvd. address at The Cosmopolitan, Platinum status membership, VIP owner privileges.

Unfortunately this condo at the Cosmo faces south and west so you don’t get to see the fountains at Bellagio or anything on the Vegas Strip heading north. In my opinion facing north on the strip is much nicer.

In addition to the lesser view you are low enough where you may hear music from concerts at the Boulevard Pool. Of course, that might also be great. Here’s a tour a wrap around suite facing north.

If you’re looking to live in the middle of the action of the Vegas Strip you might get more bang for your buck at Veer Towers. Unlike a condo at Cosmo, you won’t have a casino right downstairs at Veer. You’ll have to put your shoes on and walk all the way to Aria.

H/T @Mac78130

Copyright © 2017 Marc Meltzer & EDGe Vegas