No Vacancy: The Impact Las Vegas Casino Closures Will Have On You

What's gonna happen to us Vegas Trippers when all these joints are closed?

Posted by Chuckmonster

With the rash of casino closures and endless swirl of redevelopment rumors, acquisitions, megamergers and good ol' "progress," I got to thinking. What's gonna happen to us Vegas Trippers when all these joints are closed? How many rooms are going to go offline? And how will the lack of "room inventory" in a town that already has a 93% occupancy rate affect our ability to GET a room, much less pay less than 300 George's a night for it?

Well... there's good news and bad news.

The good news is that the quality of rooms are going to go up... mostly because the largest low-mid range hotels are gonna close. That $89 room at the Trop will quickly turn into a $189 standard at LuXor! You like jacuzzis? Kiss your $139 mondo LuvTub digs at the IP guh-bye... you're moving on up to $169 at Ballys, till that closes and you get bumped over to Caesars for $350 a clip (on a Tuesday).

The bad news is that you'll be pretty darn lucky to even get those rooms at those prices from mid-2007 to late-2009 and beyond. In fact... you'll probably be lucky to get a decent room at all that dosen't require a second mortgage or selling your kids into prostitution.

There are approximately 125,000 hotel rooms in Las Vegas (2006). With the closure and redevelopment of many casinos - some confirmed, some tentative, some speculative, and some rumored - approximately 15-20% of Las Vegas' hotel room inventory will be offline between 2008 and 2010.

Stardust -> Echelon Place
Closing early 2007, opening mid 2010. Inventory loss: 1,500

Boardwalk -> Project City Center
Closed, opening late 2009, early 2010. Inventory loss: 674

Tropicana (tentative)
Closing late 2006, early 2007. Inventory loss: 1878

New Frontier (tentative)
Closing mid-2007, opening late 2009. Inventory loss: 980

Imperial Palace (tentative)
Closing mid-late 2007, opening mid-2010. Inventory loss: 2700

Wild Card: Las Vegas Hilton Redevelopment will last until 2010. During this time a percentage of rooms will be offline as they are being refurbished and redesigned. Our guess is it will be a rotating group of 10-15% of rooms - somewhere between 400-450 (this is a guess, with zero evidence backing it)

Encore-Wynn Las Vegas (new)
Opening mid-2008. Inventory GAIN: 2049

Bally's -> Horseshoe (speculative)
We have no idea what Bally's plans are, but if there is a redevelopment in the plans, it will probably happen before the Flamingo gets started - late 2007 or early 2008. If Ballys is closed completely for a ground up rehab, the inventory loss will be 2,814 rooms. Rolling rehab would be 10-15% loss, 300-400 rooms.

Flamingo -> Harrah's Megaresort (speculative)
Again, this is speculative... but it's probably a safe bet to get rolling before the end of the decade, maybe mid-2008. Inventory loss at the dirty bird would be 3,626.

Riviera (speculative)
With the Riviera undergoing a stock takeover right now (January 2006) the new owners will surely want to begin planning for redevelopment or risk having their investment sink further into the also-ran category. Throw a dart at the wall for a time frame - our hunch is mid-late 2009.

If all of this speculation actually pans out... approximately 15,000 or Las Vegas' 125,000 hotel rooms will be offline between 2008 and 2010.

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Comments & Discussion

Aren't there going to be additioanl rooms from CityCenter, Cosmopolitan, and Palazzo comming online?

Yes. Palazzo will open 3025 rooms in late 2007. Cosmo will have mostly condos and some hotel units open late 2008 - if they complete financing and meet construction deadlines - doubtful since they've barely scratched the surface there. CityCenter won't open until 2010, although some sections may be ready before then.

You also have some additional inventory from the condo/hotel towers being added at MGM. I would expect Station and Coast would absorb some of the demand. I'm already at the point where one of every three trips, I'm staying off the Strip.

Ah yes Atlantic City or Tahoe. Let's see... take a wrong turn in AC... step one block away from the Boardwalk and say hello to half a dozen muggers. Tahoe is also a distant dream for any of us East-Coasters. As they say in Maine "you can't get there from here". Of course those of us here in Boston (who LOVE Vegas) have our "Indian Gaming" options like Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun, but who wants to stay and play in a one-act town? Oh well there is always the "Lady Luck" sailing out of Lynn harbor on a 3-hour gambling cruise!

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