Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Las Vegas Casino Death Watch On The State Of Vegas

This blogger loves the blog Las Vegas Casino Death Watch, because it gives a simple, by the word, report on the latest news with specific casino and hotels in Las Vegas that may be closing for some reason.

The blog's intent is not to celebrate, but to sadly report, and the authors say they prefer the "Old Vegas" to what's new. But even with that, there's very little editorial comment on casinos, just the facts.

That's makes the blog a reliable source to determine "the state of Las Vegas." Here's what they wrote:

Current State of the Business

It's no secret that things are tough now in Las Vegas. Many construction projects were started when things looked rosy that aren't so appealing now. Casino companies, namely Harrah's and Stations, went private at the absolute peak of the market and are now having big problems servicing their debt. New casinos or expansions occurred that are now having problems making their monthly nut.

Despite this, we do not expect a lot of closings in the next few months or years. Casinos close when someone wants to build something new and exciting in their places. That's not the case now. Even in a down market, the run rate of these casinos is usually positive.

The problem is that the companies that financed these casinos can't make enough off of them to service their loans. This means that there will be a lot of refinancing debt, a bunch of Chapter 11s, but few places will close. If places do close outright, it will probably be the lower end places.

Stay tuned.

CES FYI: Las Vegas Hilton Is Called LVH; Hilton's Out

International CES attendees are used to calling the giant hotel at the end of the Las Vegas Monorail and two football field's away from the enormous, unfinished, Fountainbleu, "The Las Vegas Hilton."

Even cab drivers refer to it that way.

But that's wrong.

Earlier this year, Hilton took its name off the 2,900 room resort hotel and it's now called "LVH," which kinds brings one to the next step of referring to it as the Hilton brand, but the name's just "LVH."

What happened?

Suffering from the economic downturn after the 2008 crash, the owners of the hotel under the Hilton brand defaulted on a $252 million loan from Goldman Sachs. Goldman Sachs filed for foreclosure on the property, but hit a snag when Colony Capital, the owners of the hotel, claimed that Goldman was acting in a untoward way; Goldman owns 40 percent of the Hilton brand, and also has an ownership interest in competing Vegas hotels, like The Stratosphere. It was sold to the only bidder, a partnership of Goldman Sachs and Gramercy Capital.

At that point the Hilton name was removed.

So, it's LVH - not the Hilton.

SLS Las Vegas To Have LA Retail

The planned new SLS Las Vegas Hotel, a new lifestyle-branded casino resort and the replacement for the legendary Sahara, will have a large retail component more reflective of Los Angeles than Las Vegas, according to the Las Vegas Review Journal - on the other hand, it's hard to tell the difference at times.

SBE Entertainment, which owns SLS-branded hotels in Beverly Hills, and Miami's South Beach, has said it will give the Fred Segal chain what is described as an "exclusive hold" over the SLS retail business. Segal will control over 10,000 square feet of space, and open its first presence outside of Southern California.

As to when the hotel will be complete and open for business, details are somewhat murky, but it's said to be sometime in the Summer of 2014.

SLS Las Vegas is financed by investors secured by ADF: American Dream Fund.

Here's the video showing what the SLS Las Vegas will look like:

American Express, AT&T, Coca-Cola, Salesforce.com, Samsung Execs At CES Keynote

The International CES 2013 Keynote called "Brands Matter" will feature a large lineup of executives representing American Express, AT&T, Coca-Cola, Salesforce.com, Samsung, and other companies. CES 2013 will be held between January 8-11th in Las Vegas. It's one of the World's largest conventions, drawing over 120,000 people. Visit Zennie62.com for the details: American Express, AT&T, Coca-Cola, Salesforce.com, Samsung Execs At CES Keynote

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