1 Iconic Las Vegas Strip and 1 Off-Strip Resort Casino Face Implosion
Published by John on
One of the two huge names could disappear from the Las Vegas skyline sooner than you might expect
Nothing lasts forever in Las Vegas.
With land on and near the Las Vegas Strip reaching record values, with no sign that prices will come down anytime soon, any struggling property will have its value questioned. That’s why Hawaiian Marketplace, an 80,000-square-foot shopping area that was designed to ‘bring a taste of island-style shopping to Vegas,” according to its website was shuttered and sold last year.
There’s simply no room on the Strip — which is only 4.2 miles long — for a kitschy shopping area to exist when a new owner can replace it with higher-end shopping. Where you could once buy Hawaiian trinkets in a vaguely traditional marketplace you will soon be able to experience top-tier shopping and dining.
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Any struggling properties or even ones that are doing okay might be in play. That’s especially true with the Oakland A’s now centering their search for a new stadium on Las Vegas. The team, which is likely to make the Vegas move as negotiations have stalled with the city of Oakland, has three sites under consideration.
Two of those possible homes for the Major League Baseball (MLB) team would involve knocking down existing well-known casinos. One of those possibilities has been known for months while a second, more surprising one has emerged as a potential landing spot for the A’s.
When Bally’s Corp. (BALY) – Get Free Report bought the legendary (but dated) Tropicana, the resort casino’s new owners pushed the question of renovating and renaming the property down the road.
Bally’s President George Papanier told the Nevada Gaming Commission in late-September that the company intended to use Tropicana as its western flagship property, Casino.org reported. He also made it clear that no decision would be made anytime soon, saying his company would take 18-24 months before making a decision.
“But in this case, we think we should also evaluate the potential for a complete redevelopment because of its competitive position in the market right now,” Papanier told the regulatory agency.
The Bally’s executive also made it clear that his company was also having a dialogue with the A’s about using the site for a stadium (which would mean the end of The Tropicana at least as it currently stands).
In addition to the Tropicana site, the A’s have also expressed public interest in another site on the Strip — the essentially vacant Las Vegas Fairgrounds owned by Circus Circus and Treasure Island owner Phil Ruffin.
A’s Looking at Caesars-Operated Site
Last year, Caesars Entertainment (CZR) – Get Free Report failed in its efforts to sell The Flamingo as part of an attempt to cut the number of hotel rooms it offers on the Las Vegas Strip. The company never mentioned selling its off-Strip resort casino, the all-suites Rio, but a new report suggests that site is now also being considered by the A’s.
“The A’s are now seriously considering the land where the Rio sits, on Flamingo Road, just west of the Strip and Interstate 15, a person with knowledge of the dealings told,” the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Caesars does not own the land the Rio sits on. Instead, it operates the property on a leased basis (which is how most Caesars and MGM Resorts International (MGM) – Get Free Report properties in Las Vegas are structured). Dreamscape Properties owns the off-Strip property and confirmed that discussions were happening, according to the newspaper
“The company has been engaged in a dialogue about the Rio as a potential MLB ballpark site for the past several years and it remains open to this idea,” the spokesperson said.
Caesars sold the Rio site in 2019 agreeing to lease it back for a minimum of two years. Dreamscape released plans for an $850 million renovation of the resort and a press release issued Feb. 15 noted that at the conclusion of the work the company (Dreamscape) “would officially take over and manage operations at the resort in 2023.”
That makes it clear that Rio is already slated to leave the Caesars portfolio, but instead of the current plan “to reimagine the two-tower structure, restoring it into a premiere resort and casino experience with modernized amenities and an array of offerings that speak to today’s gaming and hospitality consumer,” a teardown/demolition in favor of building a new stadium for the A’s has become a possibility