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Will Grandissimo Be The New Name Of Las Vegas Club?

Las Vegas Club Casino Downtown Las Vegas

Las Vegas Club

Grandissimo was the name of a hotel and casino that Jay Sarno, founder of Caesars Palace and Circus Circus, was thinking about when he retired. The dream never came to fruition and was over after he passed away in 1984.

Sarno was an interesting man and you can learn more about him in the book Grandissimo: The First Emperor of Las Vegas: How Jay Sarno Won a Casino Empire, Lost It, and Inspired Modern Las Vegas.

In September Gambling Invest uncovered the following information about the name Grandissimo on the web:

Gambling Invest’s domain monitoring service uncovered that at the end of July, The D Las Vegas casino became the new owner of several “grandissimo” domains, including grandissimo.net, grandissimovegas.com and grandissimolv.com.

…The whois details of the three domain names were updated in July this year when The D Las Vegas casino replaced Dickinson Wright as the listed owners, but Gambling Invest believes that the Michigan law firm had registered the domains on behalf of Derek and Greg Stevens, the Detroit brothers who control The D and that in January 2014, Dickinson Wright helped obtain a trademark for Grandissimo in relation to restaurant, hotel and entertainment services.

If I remember correctly (tough before coffee) Derek Stevens purchased alternate URL names before revealing that Fitzgerald’s would be renamed The D.

These URL purchases don’t mean that Grandissimo will be the new name of Las Vegas Club but it’s entirely possible.

Expect Stevens to address the future of the Las Vegas Club on the next episode of the Vegas Gang podcast which will be recorded live at The D this weekend with Grandissimo author David Schwartz.

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Speculation: Downtown Grand Won’t Be Sold Until 2016

Downtown Grand at Night

Downtown Grand at Night

If you follow Vegas news then you’ve probably seen speculation that Downtown Grand is for sale (on Vital Vegas) or possibly sold (Travel Zork).

I’m told that Downtown Grand is on the market but there isn’t a buyer in sight.

My semi-educated view on the real estate market in Vegas is that there won’t be a buyer for Downtown Grand until after Derek Stevens announces his plans for the future of Las Vegas Club (see Las Vegas Club news at Travel Vegas and info on its sports theme at Covers).

The former Las Vegas Club has 400 hotel rooms that can be renovated and rented once the property is re-opened. It’s unlikely that an investor would make an offer on Downtown Grand until they know what Derek Stevens plans to do with those hotel rooms.

Added hotel room supply could (should) drive down hotel room prices in Downtown Vegas. If nothing else added hotel room supply should keep hotel room prices low in Downtown Vegas.

Downtown Grand has 634 hotel rooms between its two towers. Prices for those rooms will be effected if Stevens’ plan is to open those extra 400 rooms at Las Vegas Club. The revenue potential of those 634 rooms should help dictate a price for Downtown Grand.

Derek Stevens says he should have plans set for the former Las Vegas Club by VIMPF which is October 16-18. Unless overall room capacity in the area doesn’t matter to the buyer of Downtown Grand I don’t see anyone making a purchase before the year is end – especially if Downtown Grand is trying to position its sales price as if they’re a luxury property.

Photo: Vegas Photo Blog

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Rumors: Cosmopolitan And Monte Carlo Sportsbook Moving

Monte Carlo Sportsbook

Monte Carlo Sportsbook

Rumors are all over the place with Monte Carlo heading deep into construction of The Park. This park-like area will be located between Monte Carlo and New York-New York leading to the new arena that’s scheduled to open next year.

Monte Carlo has undergone some major changes with its Vegas Strip frontage and now they’re moving to the side leading to the arena. Similarly (but not the same) the Cosmo is renovating its casino floor. Here’s the juice I’m hearing:

Monte Carlo Rumors

Vegas Eater says that the Blue Man Group Theater will be closing and becoming a larger theater to be used as a concert hall. Now comes rumor (on the Five Hundy By Midnight Podcast) that the Monte Carlo sportsbook will be closing and moving into The Pub. This would make The Pub more of a sports lounge and closer to what you see at Bellagio and The Mirage.

If this rumor is true it wouldn’t be surprising to see the poker room also close and move. The sportsbook and poker room occupy the same side of the casino so it might make sense to see both shuttered to make way for the planned restaurants and bars.

Possibility: Both make sense and sound logical.

Cosmopolitan Rumors

Last month I wrote about the rumor that Cosmopolitan may be getting a poker room on Vegas Chatter. That still hasn’t come to fruition but there’s another rumor about their tiny CG Technology sportsbook.

Word is that the sportsbook will be moving from the second floor to the first floor with the other casino gaming. I reached out to a CG Technology rep on twitter and didn’t receive a response like I have every other question I’ve asked.

Possibility: Not sure the majority of customers would care about either. I could make a case for both but I can also see bean counters not caring about such a small piece of gaming revenue (about 2%-3% total).

Closing

Rumors are a hit and miss proposition. Sometimes they’re true and sometimes they’re not. The success rate I’ve had with rumors that make sense is about 50%. If that holds true here then we should see two of the rumors mentioned above come true. Time will tell as construction is progressing at Monte Carlo and Cosmo is quietly making changes to their property.

 

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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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Scientologist Moves From Cosmopolitan To North End Of Vegas Strip

The Frontier And Encore Las Vegas

The Frontier

Almost a year ago it was rumored that James Packer would be buying the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. Like many rumors in Las Vegas that turned out not to be true in the end. Packer might have been sniffing around Cosmo but didn’t end up making the purchase. Earlier this year the Cosmopolitan was sold to Blackstone.

Last week rumor had it that James Packer wasn’t done with Las Vegas when Bloomberg reported that James Packer is seeking a return to Las Vegas. Late last night and this morning those rumors were confirmed as James Packer purchased the land across the street from Wynn and  Wynn and Encore.

Australian billionaire James Packer said he has acquired controlling interest in a nearly 35-acre Strip land parcel and will form a company to build a hotel-casino on the site with former Wynn Las Vegas President Andrew Pascal and investment firm Oaktree Capital Management.

James Packer and Crown Resorts have a pretty bad history in Las Vegas. If he was making this plan alone I wouldn’t think that this new development on the New Frontier land would actually happen. His partnership with Andrew Pascal says that development is possible. Pascal was previously President at Wynn and is very respected in the casino community.

Details on what the property haven’t been released yet but they’re looking at a potential opening as soon as 2018. With the former president of Wynn involved it’s easy to guess the property will have good and fair gaming and will target a more upscale customer than average.

I’d love to see more development on the north end of the Vegas Strip but, like SLS Las Vegas, I’ll believe it when I see it. I look forward to seeing what comes from this. The more casinos on the Vegas Strip the merrier!

Like I said last time I wrote about him, I don’t care that James Packer is a scientologist it just makes for a fun headline and makes me giggle.

Photo: Vegas Chatter

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Rumor: LVH Sold To Westgate For Only $150 Million

LVH Las Vegas Hotel And Casino

Sweet pic of LVH

Update: Looks like the deal is done and only one tower will become timeshares.

LVH has been on the market for a while now with rumblings on who will buy it. Over the past few weeks the rumblings have gotten louder that Westgate, the timeshare company, would be purchasing LVH.

Since the only people reporting this are gossip columnists like Johnny Kats, Norm Clarke and Robin Leach I wouldn’t consider this a done deal just yet. These aren’t traditional reporters as much as they’re gossip gatherers and rumor mongers. This sale could be true but their job is to share rumors, not report facts.

The rumor that the LVH was sold for $150 million is a bit of a surprise on the low side. For reference, the beautiful Cosmopolitan was sold to Blackstone for 10x that amount, $1.7 billion. The comparison isn’t apples to apples just a point of reference. Since these are just rumors there isn’t any real information about the sale.

Westgate is a timeshare company and not a casino operator. Westgate currently operates the timeshare behind the Flamingo. They took a big swing at opening the 2nd tower at Planet Hollywood but the recession killed that after a short run. It’s now called Elara.

Timeshare’s are typically livable apartments with kitchens, dining rooms and living rooms. They’re not outdated hotel rooms with minimal amenities and a casino with a few restaurants. If the idea is to make LVH into 100% timeshare units Westgate might have to close the hotel and combine two hotel rooms to make one giant suite. That’s a lot of work and a lot of money.

This is an interesting move for Westgate. Will they close the casino and hotel and renovate all of the rooms and casino floor? Will they find a partner to operate the casino and a hotel tower? With the connection to the Las Vegas Convention Center will they operate LVH as a traditional hotel only property?

There really are a lot of options for Westgate if this rumor is true.

Photo: Wikipedia

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Rumor: Cosmopolitan Sold To Scientologist

Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas At Night

Cosmopolitan At Night

Just before kickoff of the Ravens at Broncos game last night I read a handful of tweets asking if the rumor that the Cosmopolitan was sold were true. I couldn’t find out any information about this rumored sale from my regular sources for until I read this tweet from Howard Stutz from the Las Vegas Review Journal where the Cosmopolitan was denying that they were sold.

Okay, so Cosmo is speaking up about this rumor but I still had no idea where it started. The rumor wasn’t started by Robin Leach so maybe it came from somewhere credible. I’m not sure that the rumor is credible but I did find out where the rumor about Cosmopolitan being sold was started.

KingOfNightclubs.com is first to report that the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas has been sold according to our sources. Rumor has it that deal is signed and their official announcement will come soon.

Allegedly James Packer, son of the Late Kerry Packer, An Australian media mogul, also owns Crown LTD, with casinos in Australia and Macau, just purchased The Cosmopolitan. The purchase of The Cosmopolitan comes with an approximate $3 billion dollar price tag.

Although NOT yet announced, sources confirmed that as soon as this deal became official, the first thing to go was the old casino reservation and computer system. A new system has already been installed and they have already moved the casino host desk to the front of the high roller gaming lounge to keep the casino hosts on the floor and out of the back of the gaming lounge.

Also, the VP of casino marketing in charge of all the hosts did NOT renew his contract which expired in August. More info to come.

This is not a news site but Joe Vargas is well-connected in Las Vegas so there’s potential that the rumor about Cosmopolitan being sold is true. The rumored buyer, James Packer, is an Australian businessman who was born into wealth. According to his wikipedia entry he’s a scientologist who knows Tom Cruise and has dabbled in the casino business before (Read the complete wiki for more info).

I don’t frequent the Cosmo as much as I used but I really like it and like what they bring to the Vegas Strip. The way the Vegas Strip works today it doesn’t seem like an independent owner is the right move for the existence of the hotel in the future.

If this rumor about James Packer buying Cosmopolitan is true expect I fully expect him to sell it off to a more viable casino operator in the future.

This is all just rumor and speculation but it’s fun.

PS: I don’t care that James Packer is a scientologist, it just makes for a fun headline.

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Rumor: Playboy Club Going to Cosmopolitan?

I don’t like passing on rumors, but if I see or hear the same rumor enough times I figure that there must be fire near all the smoke. The most recent rumor is that the Playboy Club, which is closing at Palms, will be re-opening next year at Cosmopolitan. First there was a comment on the story at the Las Vegas Sun and then there was a tweet from Global Gaming Biz, which also pointed to the story in the Sun. More recently the often inaccurate Robin Leach tweeted that he’s hearing the same rumor.

 

While the sources of this rumor aren’t the most reliable the addition of the Playboy Club to the Cosmopolitan doesn’t seem too far fetched given the recent changes going on at Cosmo. With the person that brought in all the “cool” entertainment recently leaving Cosmo and the addition of the EA Sports Bar the the hip factor seems to be leaving Cosmopolitan slowly, but surely.

The addition of the Playboy Club would fall in line with unhip, but seemingly popular addition of the EA Sports Bar. It would also continue the shift away from hip non-gamblers that are visiting the casino. While it may not be the most hip club and brand the Playboy Club was certainly popular and would draw a different demographic. Potentially a demographic of people that may gamble.

This is all just rumor from various places that don’t seem reputable, but the Playboy Club moving to Cosmopolitan seems very possible.

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Rumor: Caesars and MGM Merging?

The Seven Stars Insider newsletter is always chock full of interesting information. In the December edition posted last week there was a particularly interesting nugget of information that you may have missed.

MGM-Caesars Merger?
My e-mail receipt from a late-October stay at Caesars Palace came from “MGM Caesars”:
Could this be a hint of what’s to come?

I haven’t heard or read about a potential merger between MGM Resorts International and Caesars Entertainment anywhere, so I’m not sure there’s much smoke to this rumor but it’s certainly interesting to think about.

I’m not even sure that the government would allow this merger because, essentially, it would create a monopoly on the Las Vegas casino market with about 90% of the strip being owned by one company. It would also probably be considered a national monopoly, but I’m not sure of that.

It’s interesting to ponder a merger of this size, even if it may never happen.

Copyright © 2017 Marc Meltzer & EDGe Vegas