Last week LVH was sold to Westgate. In turn the hotel formerly known as LVH, Hilton and International will now be known as Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino. The purchase price was somewhere around $180 million and the owner says that they will put more than twice that much into rehabbing the old property.
A lot of changes are planned for the new Westgate Las Vegas, here’s what you need to know:
Update: Looks like the deal is done and only one tower will become timeshares.
LVH has been on the market for a while now with rumblings on who will buy it. Over the past few weeks the rumblings have gotten louder that Westgate, the timeshare company, would be purchasing LVH.
Since the only people reporting this are gossip columnists like Johnny Kats, Norm Clarke and Robin Leach I wouldn’t consider this a done deal just yet. These aren’t traditional reporters as much as they’re gossip gatherers and rumor mongers. This sale could be true but their job is to share rumors, not report facts.
The rumor that the LVH was sold for $150 million is a bit of a surprise on the low side. For reference, the beautiful Cosmopolitan was sold to Blackstone for 10x that amount, $1.7 billion. The comparison isn’t apples to apples just a point of reference. Since these are just rumors there isn’t any real information about the sale.
Westgate is a timeshare company and not a casino operator. Westgate currently operates the timeshare behind the Flamingo. They took a big swing at opening the 2nd tower at Planet Hollywood but the recession killed that after a short run. It’s now called Elara.
Timeshare’s are typically livable apartments with kitchens, dining rooms and living rooms. They’re not outdated hotel rooms with minimal amenities and a casino with a few restaurants. If the idea is to make LVH into 100% timeshare units Westgate might have to close the hotel and combine two hotel rooms to make one giant suite. That’s a lot of work and a lot of money.
This is an interesting move for Westgate. Will they close the casino and hotel and renovate all of the rooms and casino floor? Will they find a partner to operate the casino and a hotel tower? With the connection to the Las Vegas Convention Center will they operate LVH as a traditional hotel only property?
There really are a lot of options for Westgate if this rumor is true.
At the end of 2011 Hilton decided not to renew their license with the casino that’s been known as the Las Vegas Hilton for years. The owners decided to keep continuity with the name by calling the property LVH. Well, the LVH has new owners and may have another new name next year.
Could the casino now known as the LVH wind up with the name Vegas International Casino + Hotel?
American Casino and Entertainment Properties LLC (ACEP), which applied for a trademark for the name and accompanying logo, is in the middle of the month during which outsiders can register their opposition. This standard part of the process ends Nov. 22.
Executives at ACEP, owned by an affiliate of Goldman Sachs & Co., declined to comment on what they would do with the name. “What’s in the public record is in the public record,” said spokeswoman Kathy Topp.
If you’re familiar with Vegas history you might remember that this property was called Vegas International before becoming the Hilton. Back then it was home to a guy named Elvis.He’s kind of a big deal.
Renaming the hotel Vegas International and bringing back Vegas history may help the casino find some identity and a niche with older Las Vegas vacationers. The article mentions that many of the acts already booked at LVH would make sense with this possible vintage rebranding.
If the LVH opts to adopt a version of its original International name, it would fit with an entertainment lineup heavy with acts that gray-haired guests can remember from when they were young. The current lineup includes impressionist Rich Little, the Doobie Brothers, a Rat Pack tribute group and an Elvis impersonator, reprising the hotel’s most famous headliner.
LVH is a filthy lifeless dump of a casino that offers nothing besides a large sportsbook and something to do when taking a break from the Las Vegas Convention Center.
This rebranding, along with a major deep cleaning and new ventilation, could help the casino continue to stay in business.