Two Bally’s and a Horseshoe

Bally's Las Vegas

As if we didn’t see this coming!  News has been leaking out the last few days of some major changes on the strip.  As each piece came out, it added a few more questions before the final piece dropped and it all made sense.

First, VitalVegas was reporting rumors about Bally’s Resort getting a name change.  Back in October, it was reported that Caesars had sold the Bally’s name but not the resort.  To most people that made no sense. But for longtime Vegas aficionados, we knew what was going to be next. Even as Caesars denied any changes were coming.  But with the Rio being sold and news it would become a Hyatt hotel, and with the two-year leaseback by Caesars was ending, we knew the World Series of Poker would be needing a new home.

 

The Name that Changed it All

In 2004, Las vegas were shocked to find that Harrah’s (now Caesars) had set their sites on acquiring the legendary Binion’s Horseshoe in Downtown Las Vegas.  It wasn’t the building they wanted or the actual name of the hotel (Binions). They wanted the name “Horseshoe” as well as the World Series of Poker (WSOP).  They sold the hotel then moved the World Series of Poker to the Rio. A hotel they recently purchased.

As a little mind jogger. Earlier, Harrah’s had purchased Jack Binion’s (son of Benny Binion) Horsehoe gaming empire in Mississippi and the rights to the Horshoe name and brand worldwide except in Las Vegas.

So now we learn that Bally’s will most likely be renamed the Horseshoe and the World Series of Poker will again call the “Horseshoe Resort” home. So what about the Bally’s name? is it leaving Las Vegas?  Nope.

Tropicana Las Vegas

Another Legendary Resort Changes Name

Today, the final piece of news fell and that helped it all fall into place.

“Bally’s Corporation says has reached a deal to buy the Tropicana Las Vegas on the Strip in a deal valued at about $308 million.”

Now you say “$300 million” ?? What’s with that high of a price for that legendary dump??
In a press release, Bally’s announced it will buy Tropicana’s non-land assets for $150 million and enter a 50-year lease deal that will begin at $10.5 million in annual rent.

Let me explain this.  This is the first real sale in the new era of casino ownership. ( See: Is the Tropicana for Sale?) Look at this like you do the Holiday Inn down the street from your house.  One company owns the land and buildings and another company leases the building to run a Holiday Inn.  Then after that lease runs out, they change it to a Choice Hotel.  Same thing here, except it looks like they took it one step further.

From what I can figure out this early in the process, Bally’s bought the rights to run the hotel as a Bally’s then made a separate deal to acquire the trust holding the deed to the land.  It also looks like the company holding the trust is also part owner in the new land trust. Confused yet??