Before the end of the year, Caesars Entertainment plans to reopen the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas and is positive about its prospects in Las Vegas as it sees record convention business on its books for the second half of 2021. Owing to the pandemic effect, the company posted a net loss of $926 million for the third quarter, and more than doubled (52 percent) net sales to $1.4 billion.
During a quarterly earnings conference call on Thursday, Caesars CEO Tom Reeg said that before 2021, Las Vegas Sun reports, the last of Caesars’ 56 properties nationwide to remain closed is scheduled to open. The operator sold the off-Strip casino property to a real estate developer from New York, but Caesars will continue to run the resort under a lease-back deal for at least two years.
Reeg also said that, unlike other Las Vegas casino companies that have opted to do so in the face of rising COVID-19 cases in the region, there are no plans for Caesars to close part of their operations on the Strip during the middle of the week. “Business (in Las Vegas) continues to get stronger,” Reeg said. “We’re not going to be talking about closing properties midweek. We’re opening properties.” Reeg said that once the pandemic is more under control and people feel comfortable travelling, fuelled by pent-up demand, he expects business in Las Vegas to be” beyond your wildest dreams.”
Moreover, Reeg said the $375 million Caesars Forum Convention Center has 172 activities planned for next year and beyond, with $600 million in book banquet and room income. He said Las Vegas is new to 78 percent of the business. “None of that matters if the public health situation doesn’t improve,” Reeg said. “We’re heartened by Gov. Sisolak’s recent movement toward socially distanced meeting business and his statement that he’s looking to go to 50 percent capacity by the beginning of 2021.” The 550,000-square-foot Caesars Forum opened in March but closed quickly due to a state-mandated shutdown. Caesars resorts record midweek hotel occupancies in the mid-50 percent range, while weekend stays.
Following the purchase of William Hill, Caesars will mark all Caesars-affiliated sports betting by the company name, but, as reported by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the William Hill brand “will live on “in the U.S. through third-party properties, Reeg said.
During the third quarter, sales declined 60 percent in the Las Vegas segment and adjusted EBITDA declined 83 percent. For the entire third quarter, five of the nine Caesars properties there were available. As for the regional market, sales from the same store fell 39 percent. Revenues (excluding Atlantic City, Northern Nevada and New Orleans, considered destination areas, and Lake Charles due to a weather-related closure) decreased 11 percent for the reopened regional properties.