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Rumor: Boyd Buying Rio

By Chuckmonster on Wednesday, 4th August 2010 4:41pm
  » filed under Mergers & Acquisitions  comments: 20


We're hearing some chatter on the airwaves that Harrah's has sold the Rio to Boyd Gaming.

Boyd announced earlier this week that they were suspending their attempt to buyout the assets of Station Casinos.

More on this as it develops (or not.) If you are an insider and have some information you would like to share anonymously, send it in via the VT Tip line.

Thanks to vespajet and jinx for the tip offs.

Tagged: boyd   harrah's entertainment   rio   


Comments & Discussion:

Eh.... its still that place over there by the palms with the shit on the ceiling...

But this does severally drop the value of the BUffet of Buffet

thanks for the mention. I found the rumor from @LasVegasMichael on Twitter, he's the mod at AllVegasPoker.com. He's definitely got an ear to the ground on the poker scene and from what I can deduce WSOP director is moving to Caesars as a result of this move. Money is still on WSOP at PH for 2011 though, as LVM has advised he's seen plans for the layout of WSOP at PH previously.

In my opinion this would be welcome news, as I think Boyd is one of the few operators that might be able to revive the Rio. They have money for renovations, a player base in LV, and still can use a proper crown jewel in Vegas. Orleans is nice, but it's a bit too far from the strip and the hotel is smaller then many of the strip properties.

HET has been planning an eventual move of the WSOP to CP for some time.

Sounds like fantastic news to me. Anything that reduces the power of the duopoly ought to be celebrated. As long as Penn & Teller remain and are treated well by the Boyd folks I'll be happy to head over there and give them some play.

Pro; They own the Gold Coast across the street.
Con; They own the Gold Coast across the street.
This still doesn't give them a Strip location, but it is better for the Rio. Hell, anything is better for the Rio. Personally, I hope they also buy another casino that starts with R.

I can understand them wanting a full size "major" casino/hotel, (Hey Boyd, wheres the Stardust now that you need it?) But how do they expect to pay for it? Its only been two days' since the announced offically that their profits were down 70+%. They want something big and wonderful, without word on how to pay for it...... Like a democrats' un-employment plan.

Boyd Gaming has a decent amount of cash lying around since Echelon is on hold for at least a few more years. This was the money that they were going to use to try to acquire some of Stations' assets via that company's bankruptcy reorganization and recently dropped those plans.

While it does seem odd that someone like Boyd would be acquiring a property literally next door to one they own, Main Street Station and the California are neighboring properties Downtown and look at the number of MGM Resorts and Harrah's Entertainment properties that are next to each other.

The Rio is a fairly visible property that really doesn't fit in with the rest of Harrah's holdings in Las Vegas (At least prior to Harrah's takeover of Caesars Entertainment it gave them another property to promote.). The property has been rumored for sale for quite some time with various companies kicking the tires. The thing that has kept buyers from sealing the deal is the WSOP. I'm not sure how much of the property's yearly revenues are tied into the WSOP, but I'm sure it's a significant part that would be nearly impossible to replace.

Jeff, I agree I'd like to see them snap up another casino starting with R too. If the strip is going to be a bunch of conglamorates, might as well make it a couple of them. I think the R's could help Boyd put some pressure on the others too for the middle class portion of the strip. Plus it would be a nice way to bring in some revenue for the Echelon project at some point.

Here's the link to LVMichael's forum post on All Vegas Poker, that provides the background that he currently knows: http://www.allvegaspoker.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=13161

and one more bit of fuel to the fire. HET's system is showing Rio as unavailable for booking today, all other properties are up on the site and through the booking system.

correction under the calendar view Rio comes up as unavailable, direct booking dates is still coming up as available.

oh nevermind, calendar view coming up fine now. So much for my cybersleuthing :) .

Think I'll go sign up for trip advisor now and ask if it affects my reservation that I bought through expedia.

Jeez, when is Penn National going to finally get in the game? I'm all for breaking up the Horrors-MGM duopoly but trading Rio off to the third major player in town doesn't really change the status quo that much.

And besides, does Boyd have the savvy to market to the under-60 crowd? Boyd and Rio, Boyd and Rio, it's causing all kinds of cognitive dissonance in my brain. Ouch!

Frankly, they oughta build a new Stardust and just toss the Echelon plans in the dumpster.

The sale of Rio is only the second domino to fall in this saga... The Decline and Fall of the Duopolies (the first domino was MGM's sale of Treasure Island to Phil Ruffin). Like desert vultures circling overhead, Phil Ruffin, Steve Wynn, Penn National Gaming, and other big players are licking their chops for the feast that awaits them. Harrah's sale of Rio at best pays for only part of their acquisition of Planet Hollywood. Harrahs is still on the hook for most of their own leveraged buy-out debt. How many times can Harrahs give creditors the shaft before no fools are left to buy their debt. Do they have another evil plan up their sleeves like the gangster Fertitta Twins? Given a choice between buying Harrahs bonds or playing Harrahs slot machines, I just say "NO!" When the dust settles it's a good bet that both MGM and Harrahs will be much smaller companies. It's exciting to see independent hotels popping up on the strip again. Kudoes to the new management team at Tropicana for restoring the Tiffany of the Strip.

I would be excited to see Boyd buy the Rio as it would give him a strong flagship property close to the strip. No Gold Coast doesn't count. That being said, I think the price would have to be right, and it's hard for me to see Boyd and Harrahs coming to a price that satisfies both parties.

Where is the value in the Rio anymore? It will have to completely reposition itself to begin becoming a player in Las Vegas again. The best case scenario is it takes all the positives that make the Orleans such an attractive off-strip property. The worst case scenario is they pour a ton of money into it and watch the whole hotel look like the VooDoo lounge on a weeknight: Empty.

that's a good one. I like Rio, but Gold Coast is next door.

I think this would be great if Boyd bought the Rio. I would like to see the Rio back to the way it once was before Harrah's took over.

According to Las Vegas Advisor, the guy that runs the WSOP is denying the rumors.

Blurb dated 8/5/2010.

Just because there have already been early meetings regarding the 2011 WSOP and it being held at the Rio doesn't mean that the property isn't being sold. Even if the Rio is sold to Boyd, perhaps as part of the deal, the 2011 WSOP will be held there as a bit of a sendoff to the event there. For all we know, HET is not letting everyone in on the matter, and shifting the venue of the WSOP for 2011 would not be a huge logistical task if the move is announced at the Final Table in November.

The more days that pass, the more I tend to believe this deal did not happen. It's unfortunate, but certainly not the first (or last) Rio rumor. I can keep dreaming that HET or MGM will have to divest a couple properties. I'd be happy with 1 each, but I'm hoping for three more total.

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