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Downtown Grand is reported for sale

Discussion in 'Downtown Hotels & Casinos' started by eaglejohn, Aug 14, 2015.

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  1. eaglejohn

    eaglejohn High-Roller

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  2. Ty

    Ty ?

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    I guess I need to check it out on our next trip.
     
    Christmas Trip. Sam's Town & MSS
  3. Nevyn

    Nevyn VIP Whale

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    Kind of mixed feelings about this.

    It explains the cutbacks to table hours (stopping the bleeding on their way out the door).

    A place in that location would do much better with a chain (Boyd, Stevens).

    But on the other hand, with Stevens buying LVC, if this goes, we should officially start worrying about over-consolidation and its impact on the prices of rooms and quality of games offered
     
  4. TFK

    TFK High-Roller

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    I just hope if Stevens does buy it, he doesn't ruin it like he did Fitzgerald's and the Golden Gate.

    TFK
     
  5. DickTater

    DickTater Low-Roller

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    You mean making it profitable?
     
  6. Grasp

    Grasp Low-Roller

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    You're trolling, right?
     
  7. Droyus

    Droyus Tourist

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    No surprise here. Closing down their table games for almost half of each day and laying off a big percentage of their dealers spoke volumes about their status. Shrinking your operations only shrinks your customer base, which shrinks your operations further which shrinks your customer base further. Next thing you know you're out of business. It's simple math!

    I honestly wonder what would happen if a group of informed and savvy VMB members ran one of these floundering downtown casinos for 6 months. The so-called "professionals" might be very shocked.
     
  8. mjames1229

    mjames1229 VIP Whale

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    My guess is that the so-called "professionals" have forgotten more about running a casino than most of us could hope to learn.

    The world is a different place from when Benny Binion took all bets.

    The more "stuff" there is to experience, the more different opinions are developed. Name a great thing about any downtown casino (any) and I'd wager that within four posts someone says that's what s/he doesn't like (for example... "Derek brought a lot of energy to The D", could be responded with "Omnipresent noise is not energy, and have you seen the Longbar VP tables?")

    The professionals are professionals for a reason.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2015
    Super Bowl with my son
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  9. ruralhipster

    ruralhipster Low-Roller

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    I wonder if Penn Gaming would buy it. With the M resort and Tropicana they could add a nice downtown property to the group.
     
  10. QIKFIX

    QIKFIX Low-Roller

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    They never really understood who their clientele was....it's no surprise.

    Running at a loss for the first few years is not uncommon, so jumping ship this early sounds a little odd.

    Will give them some play in 3 weeks, but it seems like it could be too late.

    Q
     
  11. smartone

    smartone VIP Whale

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    Tru dat... but you will never convince the Downtown Lovers of such "nonsense". They still swear Vegas was a better place when "the boys" ran the town. Rose colored glasses have become absolute blinders!
     
  12. RIRugrat

    RIRugrat Low-Roller

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    I always saw DTG as a boutique/speciality casino like Gold Spike based on its proximity (only bigger and nicer of course). It's in DT but not part of (or in) the FSE so it has the worst of both worlds.

    Hopefully the new owners can make it successful (and still give me comp rooms!). There were significant $$$ spent in the refurbishing of the Lady Luck so the new owners don't have to totally remodel it like Stevens did with Fitzgerald's.

    Just like everywhere else, change is inevitable in Vegas.

    Chris
     
  13. Funkhouser

    Funkhouser In Charge of the Big Door

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    Exactly DTG is a beautiful property by DT standards, had they exceled in service and did a better job at marketing, they could have been sucessful. I think only the GN actually looks nicer than DTG. I commented on another thread about the LVC sale. Everyone reveres Derek Stevens, for what? Basically he took a shithole (IMHO) of the Fitz put a little money in the place to fix it up (not high quality by any standard), added a couple of nice bars, and some decent odds (Not that he is immune to gaming trend changes).

    He is delivering semi decent service and making money off his places. He markets well to the low roller segment downtown. All great and nice. I like The D, but I would never give up my hotel rooms on the strip for that place. DTG at least had a shot at getting my business, and the one time I stayed there I really liked the room.

    I am not advocating the for the stripafication (yes that's a real word I made up) of downtown, but it would be cool to have a couple more nicer joints downtown. Basically one of the smaller operators, with a proven track record. Penn gaming would be a perfect fit (IMHO). M resort, Tropicana coming online, and a remodeled downtown property would be a nice mix for their Vegas portfolio. Considering the mix of smaller casinos across the country they would have a feeder to their LV properties.

    DTG suffered from lack of target audience, established player database and location. It definitely needs the benefit of affiliation to a larger gaming company.
     
  14. TFK

    TFK High-Roller

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    No, I mean by filling it with loud music, dancing girls, party pits, etc. I come to Vegas to gamble, not to watch some girl who's not good looking enough to be a stripper shake her C-Section scar in front of me to some terrible song while I try to figure out what I want to do with my cards.

    Just give me good odds, good food, and be fair with the comps. I understand there's a market for all the party pit nonsense, but there is also a market for the gambler. If you take a casino that's as new and clean as the DTG and market it to the gambler and promote it properly, they can and will be a success.

    TFK
     
  15. Fraggle

    Fraggle Low-Roller

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    Erm, the table girls at the golden gate are mostly young and a pretty good distraction for me.. :p
    The downtown grand failed because they had no player base, and made little attempt to attract any. Honestly, we are playersclub members, played a few times, receive *one* offer, and then absolute silence ever since. Any casino that doesn't even attempt to email its players and say, hey! something is going on here! come spend money! is going to fail unless they have a pretty big player base to make up for ignoring people..
     
  16. kingpasty

    kingpasty High-Roller

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    There's a reason those places are successful. People don't like to gamble in a library.
     
  17. Someone

    Someone High-Roller

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    I think this was always a real estate play for CIM

    CIM has some pretty weird investments in their portfolio that are outside of their core area like a "water bank" in California where water is stored in underground aquifers for times of drought (probably making a killing on that now until it is also tapped out), but Casinos seem to be something they know nothing about

    you are never going to be a high end place when you have one of those "casino license holder management teams" running your casino for you because there is a disconnect between them running the casino and you running the rest of the property and making all of that work IMO

    I think CIM was looking at the cult of Zappos buying up stuff downtown and taking it basically OUT of the casino/tourist market and they were hoping for an uptick in gambling and in the REAL WORLD economy and they were looking at low overall cost of construction and remodeling at the time they did the refurbishment and they figured somewhere in there was a profit to be made by basically flipping a property that was take over ready for a new owner when the time was right

    I think they way underestimated the cost (losses) of running an "up scale" (for downtown) property and they failed to really capture any significant gambling action from the GN, Boyd, D/GG or anyone else and they failed to capture any really significant dining or "resort/club/pool" (downtown level) action as well

    combine that with the cult of Zappos kind of stalling out on anything being built, converted, added to the downtown area and Tamares having a cheaper property sitting there waiting for a buyer that can buy it and do with it as they wish (LVC) and even an established property that has been refurbished (Plaza) that I am sure could be bought for the right price today (or yesterday or tomorrow) and the DTG was just not the investment CIM thought it was going to be

    I think to a degree Tamares beat them to the punch (though who knows if their deals will turn a profit).....they got more properties in their Barrick they flipped one to cult of Zappos (western) and some to others that ended up going to cult of Zappos eventually (Gold Spike) and they renovated the Plaza on the ultra cheap when construction cost were WAY down and Fountain Blue was having a fire sale on room furnishings and they basically put nothing into the LVC

    it is not a surprise that the DTG is suddenly (possibly) publicly up for sale (I am sure it was ALWAYS for sale from day 1 for the right price) now that the LVC deal appears to be done because cult of Zappos is done buying properties I think and Stevens has vacant land now (former court house) and he has the LVC if reports are correct and that is probably it for anyone that really wants to be a player in the downtown market right now

    I would imagine CIM is looking at wasting time and effort on the DTG and thinking they can take a single loss right now, this year or they can fart around and probably take that amount of loss or maybe much more over the next few years while the property gets older and more stale, the poor performance becomes all the more apparent for a future buyer, and while they have whatever money they can get for it still sunk in it

    I would imagine they have made some good profits elsewhere and this is a good year to take some losses on under performing assets, get their remaining cash back out and move on with something else

    I think what this shows (and a lot of other Vegas deals gone bad) is that the casino industry is still an industry that needs an owner that understands gambling, entertainment, customer service, comps, players clubs and all the rest and if you approach it as a real estate/flip/side/alternate investment you are better off flushing your money down the toilet or probably way better off just walking into a casino and gambling it away because at least then you can walk away when you have whatever loss you are comfortable with or you have that small chance of taking a win if you have the discipline to walk away when up

    when you look across the landscape you see Wynn, Adelson, Ruffin (no matter what you think if TI he still makes money on it), CET, MGM, Penn, Boyd, Alante, Stations and then all the Marnels, Gaughans, Fertittas (both sides of the family), Maloofs. Elardi ect that even when they have taken a bath or been slaughtered they manage to stay in the game and retain control or management of some properties and they can make some money on them some years

    then you have the hard rock, hooters, SLS, CIM types that come in from outside the industry and they just get their asses handed to them no matter what they try and how cheap they enter the game and if they are not a dead dog in the middle of the road at the end of their run they tuck tail and run like a whopped dog and take their losses and never come back for more

    it is a lot more than hanging the next shiny neon covered turd and expecting people to hand you their money with little in return for it
     
  18. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    Well I've gone into the D twice. After 10 minutes I was running for the door because of the LOUD music. I don't need sensory overload.
     
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  19. TFK

    TFK High-Roller

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    So you think a casino without ridiculously loud music and dancing girls is a library?

    Casinos were successful long before the party pit era, and they'll continue to be successful long after the party pit fad goes away.

    The point is, there is room for everybody, both the serious gambler and the person who'd rather have a dancer deal their cards than play 3\2 blackjack.


    TFK
     
  20. Someone

    Someone High-Roller

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    I think the real point I see with the D and GG and Stevens is no property will stay open, be invested in or become anything other than a shuttered eyesore and a detriment to the overall area if it does not make a profit

    Stevens seems to make money on his properties so for that I give him a lot of credit because if he did not it could be another LVC, Binions with a shuttered hotel and little sign of that changing anytime soon or a property just going into decline

    he did some renovation to the place, he seems to get what people say and listen (IE new elevators) which I am sure was not a small investment and he attracts people to the overall area

    there are plenty of other choices in the area of at least equal quality or better with different atmospheres, but at least his is making money as well and attracting people to the area instead of just going into decay and running people off

    I think it is hard to ask for much more than that in the Las Vegas market or really ANY gambling market......downtown Vegas could be doing "as well" as atlantic city is if people were not willing to try something different and aim for a different crowd

    and with AC again I think that points to the major overall limits to "upscale" and "high end" because Revel was nothing but a massive failure and destined to be a nice looking pile of declining shit until it becomes not so nice looking at the current pace

    being next to the ocean is a hell of a lot harder on a building than the Nevada desert and they were already crapping their pants when the power was cut off for 2 weeks and saying how the building would go downhill FAST if the power was not restored to keep up the interior
     
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