Vegas Gang #87 – February 14th, 2013

This time on the show:

– Bill Eadington
– Trump Plaza Sold
– SLS Las Vegas
– Downtown Grand
– Closing of Bill’s
– Wynn Philadelphia

and more!

** Reminders **

VIMFP 2013
Roll The Bones : Casino Edition

** Sure Bets **

Chuck – The Internet
Dr. Dave – Chris Hadfield
Hunter – Tempo

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8 thoughts on “Vegas Gang #87 – February 14th, 2013

  1. I like your show you guys rock I think Vegas is turning around and so is Atlantic city. 1 downtown grand will keep good for downtown. 2 Trump Plaza being bought is good for Atlantic City

    If Las Vegas market would be good again do you think Wynn will build a new megaresort for the strip.

  2. Long time listener, first time commenter. Love your podcast.

    I wanted to say a bit about downtown Vegas, since you had a good discussion of the area. Most of what’s interesting downtown right now isn’t about gaming and resort hotels; it’s about Zappo’s, Tony Hsieh, tech (and to some extent, fashion) startups, and real estate. There is some interaction – as you noted, at the El Cortez bar, in the row of restaurants and bars on the block of Fremont east of Vegas Blvd., and on weekend nights under the Downtown Experience canopy. Lots of the newcomers aren’t the typical gaming audience (if you’d have looked at the rest of the El Cortez that night, it wouldn’t have looked a whit different from what you would expect).

    But the amount of money being invested can’t help but have interactive effects. It’s recently reported that Hseih has spent $50 million on land in recent months, mostly close to Fremont East. Others have jumped in, too. There are several remodels and a few new building sites. As you’ve likely seen, the local press is gaga over downtown, giving it lots of attention.

    Bottom line: if new people, building, investment, jobs, and residences come downtown, it will eventually have some effect on the casinos and hotels. For an area that hasn’t changed all that much in a long time, that’s interesting.

  3. @ Chris: I don’t think that Steve would build a mega resort. I think an events center/convention center with a boutique hotel on the Plaza site might, might happen 5 years from now. Depending on what happens with visitation, of course. I wouldn’t expect to see significant room capacity added until occupancy gets close to 90%.

    And with Cotai and maybe Philadelphia, Wynn D&D have their hands full for the next few years.

  4. Here’s the first question I have about this show. The Trump Plaza sold for $20 million, and from what I have read, that leaves the lone property in the old Trump group as the Trump Taj Mahal? But the debt on the Taj is $250 milllion (or rather, the debt of the entire company is $250 million, but the only asset is the Taj?). So when is the Taj going to bankrupt again? I can’t imagine it’s possible to service a quarter billion debt in a market where the Marina and Plaza combined sell for less than 25% of what is owed on the Taj.
    Which brings me to the question of why are the Atlantic City casinos selling so cheap? If the Atlantic City gaming market is $2 billion a year, then wouldn’t it be 1/3 the volume of the Strip? I can’t imagine any Strip casino selling for $60 million (maybe Slots-A-Fun).
    Love the show, guys. Love what you stand for.

  5. I have a feeling that the Taj is actively being shopped, so it might have new owners before the day of reckoning is here.

    AC casinos are selling for cheap because of the market’s slide–the indicators are awful, and they’ve lost 40% revenue in the past 6 years. The Strip is challenged, but much more stable.

  6. I agree that the Taj is probably being shopped. But a casual observer (like myself) might think that the Taj is being saddled with more debt that it’s value in order to see a real cash gain from both the Marina and Plaza sales. That both the Marina and Plaza might have been sold without their debt being properly assigned to them at sale, so that the Taj can take the fall. The assumption being that the entire debt load is so high that there would be zero equity at sale.

    Seems like Atlantic City casino values are being treated like they are the dregs of the earth. If Dr. Dave’s rationale is correct, then it seems like now is a pretty good time to invest in Atlantic City.

  7. Is downtown becoming the Rock N Roll alternative to the EDC Strip?
    Is downtown welcoming the 35 & up new balance wearing middle of America hipsters?
    Is the strip just for conventioneers & d**chb*gs, & 4:30AM gun battles (Maserati vs Range Rover)?
    Ignore the beggars and the costumes – no tips, no $$$, just maybe Downtown gets a new identity as a “value” comfortable place to play, eat, drink and party for that 35 & up crowd with no $500. bottle service……..

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