Nick's Picks 2008 : Interview With Nick Christenson from Las Vegas Casino Death Watch

Turn your head and cough Las Vegas, the Doctor is In

Posted by Chuckmonster

VT: Some gaming business pundits have speculated that Harrah's may unload the Rio and move the World Series of Poker to Caesars Palace after it's recently announced construction project is completed in a few years. Will Harrah's continue to slow play the Rio or is this whole scenario a bluff?

NC: A bluff! Ah, I get it! That's clever! Could be. With the buy-out, they could use some cash. The Rio isn't a core property, and there is a lot of land associated with that place that could be used for some interesting things. (For example, George Maloof could use it to build, say, a basketball stadium.) However, moving property in today's debt market is tough. I'm guessing most everything stays put this year.

I'm getting the shakes thinking about what parking would be like at the World Series of Poker if it were all held at Caesars.

VT: Many resorts are currently under construction on the Strip, of these - Echelon, Fontainebleau, Encore, Crown Las Vegas and City Center - which of these are you most looking forward to?

NC: I'm most interested in wandering around City Center and trying to guess out how much different things cost. I like the new blood coming to town at Fontainebleau. Crown? We'll see.

VT: Conversely, which of these resorts do you think will have the most difficult time capturing the imagination of Las Vegas visitors as well as market share from existing resorts?

NC: I think Crown will have the most difficulty capturing the imagination of people interested in looking at something more substantial than a vacant lot. Without carefully considering blueprints, I think the other three will all do well.

VT: The Greek Isles' days are apparently numbered, pending 'financing' approval. Odds?

NC: Odds that it closes its doors in 2008? 11 to 2 against. Odds that it is intentionally demolished by the end of 2008? 9 to 1 against. Odds it's demolished if you add "natural causes" or "accident" 6 to 1 against. Odds that someone sitting in their car in front of the Greek Isles for an hour mistakenly thinks the casino is actually closed? 20 to 1 in favor. (That's too easy. I know someone who has done this in the last year.)

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