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Rumor: The Mirage And Marriott To Partner

The Mirage

The Mirage

By now you’ve probably read the rumors and analyst discussion about MGM Resorts selling The Mirage. Today MGM Resorts CEO Jim Murren said that The Mirage isn’t on the market. Well, if the rumors about The Mirage already being sold are true than he’s not lying. It’s not on the market.

My source that says the The Mirage has been sold also says that they will have a new hotel partner once they’re no longer be a part of M Life, MGM Resorts’ players club.

It’s rumored that Marriott will be the hotel partner for The Mirage once the sale goes through.

It’s difficult to be an independent hotel-casino operator on the Vegas Strip so Starwood Capital Group is taking steps to bring in a partner to help fill the hotel. Marriott was just voted the #1 national hotel chain rewards program by US News and World Report.

Starwood is also rumored to bringing in Paragon Gaming to operate the casino. Paragon currently operates the Westgate casino and used to operate the Riviera casino.

Marriott is currently the hotel partner for Cosmopolitan but it’s been rumor for while that the relationship will end soon since Blackstone, owners of Cosmo, also owns Hilton.

You can see the press release for MGM Resorts’ quarterly earnings here.

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How About A New Year’s Eve Implosion For Riviera?

Riviera Las Vegas

Riviera

Timing is everything on twitter. I just saw this tweet about the timeline of when the demolition of the Riviera will happen from JD Morris from the Las Vegas Sun and had to share.

There isn’t a date confirmed date for the demolition of the Riviera yet. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority still has to approve any Riviera demolition plan. That might take place at their next meeting later this month.

If the timeline holds true then 6 months from now would be the end of December. A New Year’s Eve implosion would fit that time frame. I think that would be a great way to send of this historic Las Vegas hotel.

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Vegas Hotel Rooms Up 15% From 2014, Highest Since 2007

SLS Las Vegas Carpet - Vegas Hotel Rooms

SLS Las Vegas Carpet

Prices for Vegas hotel rooms are booming.

..the month’s average daily room rate of $136.02, up 15.1 percent from a year ago, was at its highest level since the Great Recession.

Strip rates were up 13.1 percent to $145.80 while downtown rates climbed 2.8 percent to $64.62.

Furthermore

Visitation to Las Vegas inched up slightly in January…Monthly visitation hit 3.4 million, just 0.1 percent ahead of January 2014.

2014 had a record number of visitors to Las Vegas and that trend is expected to continue in 2015.

More visitors in Vegas and less rooms available (with Riviera closing) is a recipe for higher hotel prices. (don’t forget to add resort fees, here’s a good list).

Happy New Year!

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Speculation Games: SLS Las Vegas To Become Cosmopolitan Jr.

SLS Las Vegas Blackjack Table

SLS Blackjack Table

Speculating on the future of Vegas is fun. This isn’t rumor or anything I’ve heard elsewhere. Just speculation on current news.

Subject: Blackstone may acquire more property in Las Vegas

On February 20th Vegas Inc. had an article the reiterated many of the big changes in store at the Cosmopolitan that were revealed the middle of December. Sort of hidden towards the end of the article is the following quote:

Blackstone will hold onto the Cosmopolitan for a while, and possibly acquire more property in Las Vegas

Speculation: Blackstone will purchase SLS Las Vegas.

SLS Las Vegas is off to a rocky start with employees being let go and restaurants being closed or rebranded. Their business model is similar to the Cosmopolitan where the casino generates 20-30% of the revenue and the rest comes from clubs, restaurantsbars, hotel rooms, etc.

If the financial woes continue at SLS Las Vegas throughout the year their owner, Stockbridge (90% owners of SLS), may look to cut their losses.  If Blackstone can turn around the Cosmo’s financial woes to become profitable they may look to target SLS Las Vegas. The property is new and business model is similar to the Cosmo that it might be a perfect addition.

The two hotels are already linked through Blackstone. Blackstone owns Hilton and SLS Las Vegas is already a part of the Hilton Curio collection of hotels. Cosmopolitan is without an outside hotel partner for the time being but a Vegas Curio combo could help the collection.

Hotel room rates are rising rapidly and capacity is shrinking with the Riviera closing. Adding a second property to their Las Vegas portfolio makes sense to create more value for when Blackstone decides to sell. SLS Las Vegas might be the quickest property to turn around and sell again for a larger profit.

I see this potentially as a 1+1=3 scenario if A) Blackstone can create positive revenue at the Cosmo B) Stockbridge decides to sell SLS Las Vegas C) Blackstone can repeat a turnaround at Cosmo at SLS.

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Riviera Rumors Are Like 50 Shades Of Grey

Riviera Las Vegas

Riviera rumors

Like the movie “50 Shades of Grey”, Riviera rumors are everywhere I look today. It took a week for other outlets to catch up on the rumors that the Riviera will be closed and demolished but they’re out there like gangbusters today.

Riviera hasn’t confirmed any rumors but it seems like that may only be a matter of time. Here’s a quick roundup of current Riviera rumors. Click on links for full story.

  • “Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) Will Buy and Demolish Riviera Las Vegas” – Vital Vegas says an official announcement will be coming on February 17.
  • “Riviera focus of LVCVA purchase” – Las Vegas Sun digging for information says that the Riviera may be demolished by June.
  • Las Vegas Advisor is hearing rumors from reliable sources.
  • “Is Las Vegas’ Riviera Hotel about to be history?” – Las Vegas Review Journal trying to become more upworthy and offering nothing beyond clickbait.

UPDATE: CBS News Las Vegas CONFIRMS Riviera will be sold to LVCVA.

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Vegas Rumors: Monte Carlo Name Change, Riviera Bye-Bye

Rumors about Vegas are fun. Especially when they come from good sources and make sense. Here’s a look at a couple of rumors floating around that seem too good not to be true.

Monte Carlo

Monte Carlo Las Vegas Fountains

Monte Carlo Fountains – Already Gone

  • Rumor: Earlier this week Vital Vegas dropped a rumor that the Monte Carlo would be changing its name.
  • Thoughts: This totally makes sense. They’ve de-themed most of the hotel to the point of where it’s so bland the name doesn’t make sense. A new name announcement after construction is complete around the property and shortly before they open the new arena would work nicely. Maybe they’ll renovate the rooms in time for the new arena too.

Riviera

Riviera Las Vegas

Riviera – Getcha Chips Now

  • Rumor: Riviera has been sold and new owners will close and demolish in favor of something unrelated to gaming.
  • Thoughts: This rumor about the Riviera sounds legit despite rumors about renovations. Despite these mainstream media outlets reporting about $20-$100 million dollar in renovations to the property in recent years the parent company is still having financial problems post bankruptcy. With Resorts World Las Vegas being delayed and SLS Las Vegas having its own problems revitalization of the north end of the Vegas Strip doesn’t look so hot right now.

Both of these are still rumors right now. Both bits of news make too much sense not to happen. We’ll see if they’re true shortly.

Update: 6/16 – Rumors are both finally confirmed. Monte Carlo will become MGM Park and Riviera will be imploded 6/14 and 8/14.

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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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Best Craps On The Vegas Strip

Craps Table At Luxor

Craps Table At Luxor

As the year ended I looked at the best craps in downtown Las Vegas and didn’t find anything to surprising. Main Street Station has the best odds for a craps game downtown. It’s also the most affordable with 20x odds on $5 bets.

Most gaming on the Vegas Strip is worse than those offered in downtown Vegas but that’s not entirely true when it comes to dice. Craps on the Vegas strip is almost the same at every casino but there are a few locations that stand out being better than the rest. Here’s the breakdown.

  1. 100x – Casino Royale – looks like this is now 20x.
  2. 10x – Riviera, Stratosphere
  3. 3-4-5x – Aria, Bally’s, Bellagio, Caesars Palace, Cosmopolitan, Encore, Excalibur, Flamingo, Harrah’s, The Quad, Luxor, Mandalay Bay, MGM Grand, Mirage, Monte Carlo, New York New York, Palazzo, Paris, Planet Hollywood, Treasure Island, Tropicana, Venetian
  4. 2x – Circus Circus

Casino Royale has had 100x odds for years and even though Riviera tried 1000x craps odds for a while that’s gone and Casino Royale returns as the best craps game on the Vegas strip.

I’ve never been in Casino Royale and wouldn’t go just to play craps. 3-4-5 Craps is the norm on the strip and that’s fine. Regardless of the odds craps is still has some of the lowest house edges in the casino. The difference between 3-4-5 and 100x odds is fairly small and not enough to make me go somewhere I don’t want. That said, if Cosmopolitan or somewhere nice had a 100x odds game they would likely find me at the table.

Note: If you know different odds at any of the casinos please leave a comment. The craps survey on Wizard of Odds is about 9 months old.

Photo – flickr jcnikon

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Best Video Poker On The Las Vegas Strip

Royal Flush Video Poker at Red Rock Resort

Royal Flush!

I’ve been taking a look at the best video poker from Atlantic City to Las Vegas recently. Today I decided to look to see which casinos offered the best video poker on the Las Vegas Strip. The Vegas strip does NOT include places just off the strip like Palms and Hard Rock Casino.

Most casinos offer good video poker games in their high limit rooms with games starting at $5 so I decided to look at the best video poker games under $5 since that’s what more people play.

The good video poker games listed here are between 10 cents and $2 with max bets from 50 cents to $10. The pay table percentages are all based on max bets. Once again casinos are listed from best video poker to worst.

  1. Circus Circus 100.25% Aces and Eights
  2. Excalibur 99.58% Triple Double Bonus
  3. Luxor 99.54% Jacks or Better (JoB)
  4. New York-New York 99.54% JoB
  5. Treasure Island 99.54% JoB
  6. Mandalay Bay 99.20% Loose Deuces Wild
  7. Aria 99.17% Bonus Poker (BP)
  8. Casino Royale 99.17% BP
  9. Riviera 99.17% BP
  10. Tropicana 99.17% BP
  11. MGM Grand 99.11% DB
  12. Mirage 99.11% Double Bonus (DB)
  13. Wynn 99.11% DB
  14. Caesars Palace 98.45% JoB
  15. Flamingo 98.45% JoB
  16. Palazzo 98.45% JoB
  17. Planet Hollywood 98.45% JoB
  18. Venetian 98.45% JoB
  19. Bally’s 98.01% BP
  20. Cosmopolitan 98.01% BP
  21. Encore 98.01% BP
  22. Harrah’s 98.01% BP
  23. Paris 98.01% BP
  24. The Quad 98.01% BP
  25. Monte Carlo NA
  26. Stratosphere NA

The biggest surprises from this research is that there are positive returning machines on the Vegas strip (Circus Circus) and that the Stratosphere has absolutely no playable video poker games according to vpFREE. Monte Carlo has playable video poker but all are $5 machines.

All information from vpFREE2, the best place to research video poker. Each casino links to their respective page on vpFREE.

Also see: Best Video Poker Downtown Vegas. Best Video Poker in Atlantic City.

I practice video poker with the WinPoker app on my iPhone. It’s $9.99 and worth every penny. It’s the best way to practice video poker.

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Rumor: Which Vegas Casino Filed Chapter 11?

Dave McKee from who writes the awesome Stiffs & Georges blog threw out an interesting question on twitter this morning about a Las Vegas strip casino going belly up (or restructuring debt) by filing Chapter 11.

He didn’t say “Company” so you rule out MGM Resorts, Venetian/Palazzo, Wynn or Caesars properties immediately. Duetche Bank has been looking to sell the Cosmopolitan before the end of the year for a while now so you can understand why that’s not in the running. That doesn’t leave many properties to left on the strip for possible Chapter 11.

Who ya got from the remaining strip properties?

  • Tropicana
  • Casino Royale
  • Riviera
  • Treasure Island

Unless Phil Ruffin is looking for a tax write off, I don’t see him divesting of Treasure Island so soon and I haven’t heard a peep about Casino Royale ever.

That leaves Tropicana and Riviera as possible casinos to file for Chapter 11. Both have had financial trouble, but after a relaunch of the Tropicana went nowhere and President Tom McCartney left there hasn’t been much positive good talk about the property. In fact, the only real news from Tropicana has been about it’s club not opening.

Meanwhile on the other end of the strip Riviera has been trying to create a niche for itself with constant marketing and promotion. I’m not sure this is working, but it’s difficult to imagine that it’s not helping. Of course, it may not be working which would give cause for Chapter 11.

I don’t think silence is can’t be a good thing here and I’d have to imagine that Tropicana is the strip property about to announce Chapter 11.

Copyright © 2017 Marc Meltzer & EDGe Vegas