Station Casinos Holding On. For Now.

Last night Las Vegas’ mostly locals casino chain, Station Casinos, announced that they were given an extension on their deadline to file for bankruptcy by their lenders.  The extension is for 30 days and doesn’t mean that Station Casinos is in the clear just yet.

The May 15 deadline gives holders of $2.3 billion in bonds more time to consider Station Casinos’ offer to buy back investors’ bonds and exchange them with new, discounted notes with extended maturity dates, potentially reducing the company’s debt by $1.7 billion.

The extension postpones a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing by Station, which anticipates filing for bankruptcy protection regardless of whether bondholders approve the exchange.

Filing for Chapter 11 isn’t always the death of a business.  In this case it could allow Station Casinos the ability to restructure, pay off debt and stay in business.  

As I’ve mentioned before, I like Station Casinos and think there is a place in the market for them.  I, almost always, make it a point to stop off at the Gold Coast.  I have plans on doing that again on my next trip.  The Gold Coast was on of the places where I honed my gambling chops and I hope things stay in tact.

Las Vegas Building Timeline

There has been a lot of building stoppages and delays in Las Vegas.  Vegas Tripping has created a nice visual representation of what and when each project is scheduled to be completed.  There’s also a nice little trash can to note which projects have been shelved.

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A lot of projects have been pushed back or postponed.  I haven’t been to the Golden Nugget in a few years so I’m looking forward to seeing the new changes when I visit.  I love seeing a visual perspective on things like this.  Thanks Vegas Tripping.

Station Casinos to File For Bankruptcy

It has been a rumor for a while that Station Casinos would either sell some or all of the company or file for bankruptcy protection.  Much like most rumors in the casino business this one is now true.  Station Casinos will file for bankruptcy protection by April 15.

Station had its attorneys file court papers Monday opposing a motion for a court injunction sought by a bondholder who is seeking to block the debt-exchange, a key part of Station’s plan to file a pre-packaged bankruptcy petition that would keep its business operating and includes a cash infusion of $244 million by Station owners the Fertitta family and Colony Capital.

Boyd Gaming is still moving aggressively to buy Station Casinos, but they’ve not been able to get that done.

“Station employs over 13,000 people and plays an important social and economic role in the local community. There is no reason to needlessly jeopardize the economic health of this company and its various constituencies so that a single bondholder can pursue spurious claims outside of the established restructuring process.”

It will be interesting to see how this plays out.  I really like Station Casinos because of their local flavor.  They’re always a nice change of pace from the strip casinos.  Nothing will effect my next trip to Las Vegas and I hope Station is able to fight through this.  This kind of feel like a fight for the little guy.  Go little guy!

M Resort – Las Vegas’ Newest Shining Star

There has been a lot of hoopla over the opening of M Resort, located at the south end of the Las Vegas strip.  Vegas Rex too a walk through the casino on opening night.

My first impression from afar is that I like the new modern design of M Resort.  To no surprise there were a TON of people walking around for opening night.  With that being said, I didn’t see many gambling.

Hunter from Rate Vegas reported back that the Video Poker pay tables he found were 8/6.  For a detailed account of his visit head over to Two Way Hard Three.

***UPDATE: Most JoB machines seem to be 8/6 in all denominations.  Blackjack pays 6:5 except in the salon where it pays 3:2.  Salon table minimums are $50.  Goodbye M Resort.  I hardly knew yee.


Caesars Palace Expansion on hold

I just got the official press release from Harrah’s with confirmation that Caesars Palace in Las Vegas has put a hold on the construction of Octavious Tower.  Here’s the release in it’s entirety.

LAS VEGAS — Harrah’s Entertainment Inc. said it is delaying plans to open 665 new rooms at a sixth tower it has just built at Caesars Palace until there is stronger demand for hotel rooms.

The 23-story Octavius Tower was scheduled to open this summer as part of a $1 billion expansion at the casino resort.

Harrah’s said that other parts of the expansion will open on schedule, including 110,000 square feet of meeting space, an expanded pool and garden area, and three 10,000-square-foot luxury villas. Strong advance bookings warranted finishing the new meeting space, Harrah’s said.

With the economy in the middle of a recession and room occupancy low, there really isn’t a reason to go forward with completion at this point.  It’s better than firing people.  The addition is just about complete so if there’s a need to increase capacity, they’ll be able to move quickly.

For details and pictures head over to Vegas Today and Tomorrow.

$20 Trick – Las Vegas

I was advised to take a look at Front Desk Tip after my last trip to Las Vegas.  The premise is simple.  Slip the front desk person $20 at check in and ask for an upgraded room.  We all like upgrades!

Here are instructions from the site:

Why tip $20 at the front desk?
This gives you an opportunity to get an upgraded room/suite for cheap. This has become a common practice at hotels across the world.

Any tips on tipping?
In general people seem to have a better success rate with males 25-35.
It’s also advised to go at a later time (~10pm) because hotels tend to overbook and by this time, they should know which rooms are available.

How should I tip?
There is no secret sign or password. You basically tip the front desk and ask for a complimentary upgrade.

1. When you go to the front desk to check into a hotel, they will ask for a credit card or driver’s license.
2. Put a $20 bill between or under your driver’s license and credit card.
3. Ask the clerk if there are any complimentary upgrades.
4. Most clerks will know to give you back the money if they cannot offer you the upgrade.

If it fails?
It can be embarrassing. You can come down later to talk to another clerk for a different room or just enjoy your time.

I’ve never done this because I haven’t had to, but it seems worth it.  The success rates seem pretty good, and if you don’t get the upgrade all you lose is $20 and a little pride.

I’m not sure if I’ll do this on my upcoming trip since I’m Diamond @ Caesars and use VIP check in.  I’ve never needed to bust out extra cash for a nice room.  Any advice would be great.  Below is a screenshot of Front Desk Tip.

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