Sam Nazarian & sbe Sell Their 10% Of SLS Las Vegas

Buffet Monkey At SLS Las Vegas
First Buffet Monkey, Now Sam Nazarian Out at SLS Las Vegas

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Sam Nazarian (sbe) decided to sell their 10% Of SLS Las Vegas. SLS Las Vegas has gotten off to such a bad start since opening in 2014 that they’ve made drastic changes like closing the nightclub, removing brand names from stores and restaurants, refreshing their players club to a more locals friendly model and more.

SLS Las Vegas isn’t the cool, hip casino originally planned and this basically seals the nail in that coffin.

Stockbridge Capital will operate the casino-hotel for the time being. Earlier this year I speculated that SLS Las Vegas was on the road to becoming Cosmopolitan Jr. but I don’t think that will be the case moving forward. The executive staff at SLS Las Vegas is doing everything they can to change the image of the property. By the time Stockbridge sells SLS there won’t be any cross marketing opportunities for Cosmo and SLS to make any sense.

I really like the hotel rooms at SLS Las Vegas and the Umami Burger/William Hill sports book but I’m not sure there’s a compelling reason to visit more often. I’d like to see the property do better but I think that will take new ownership. We’ll see.

Read more about “Nazarian to Sell Stake in SLS Las Vegas Hotel” at the Wall Street Journal

Speculation Games: SLS Las Vegas To Become Cosmopolitan Jr.

SLS Las Vegas Blackjack Table
SLS Blackjack Table

Speculating on the future of Vegas is fun. This isn’t rumor or anything I’ve heard elsewhere. Just speculation on current news.

Subject: Blackstone may acquire more property in Las Vegas

On February 20th Vegas Inc. had an article the reiterated many of the big changes in store at the Cosmopolitan that were revealed the middle of December. Sort of hidden towards the end of the article is the following quote:

Blackstone will hold onto the Cosmopolitan for a while, and possibly acquire more property in Las Vegas

Speculation: Blackstone will purchase SLS Las Vegas.

SLS Las Vegas is off to a rocky start with employees being let go and restaurants being closed or rebranded. Their business model is similar to the Cosmopolitan where the casino generates 20-30% of the revenue and the rest comes from clubs, restaurantsbars, hotel rooms, etc.

If the financial woes continue at SLS Las Vegas throughout the year their owner, Stockbridge (90% owners of SLS), may look to cut their losses.  If Blackstone can turn around the Cosmo’s financial woes to become profitable they may look to target SLS Las Vegas. The property is new and business model is similar to the Cosmo that it might be a perfect addition.

The two hotels are already linked through Blackstone. Blackstone owns Hilton and SLS Las Vegas is already a part of the Hilton Curio collection of hotels. Cosmopolitan is without an outside hotel partner for the time being but a Vegas Curio combo could help the collection.

Hotel room rates are rising rapidly and capacity is shrinking with the Riviera closing. Adding a second property to their Las Vegas portfolio makes sense to create more value for when Blackstone decides to sell. SLS Las Vegas might be the quickest property to turn around and sell again for a larger profit.

I see this potentially as a 1+1=3 scenario if A) Blackstone can create positive revenue at the Cosmo B) Stockbridge decides to sell SLS Las Vegas C) Blackstone can repeat a turnaround at Cosmo at SLS.