One of the Las Vegas Strip’s most glamorous resorts has been sold, but it might not become evident for two to three years, if then. The Bellagio was sold for $4.2 billion to Blackstone Group, which also owns the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. However, the seller, MGM Resorts International, is retaining 5% ownership and will continue to operate the hotel and casino for Blackstone, meaning that nothing much figures to change in the near term. MRI’s lease is for two years, with an option for a third (and more if both want it). The “sale-leaseback” arrangement has financial advantages that experts say will lead to more such deals in the future.
Donny and Marie depart: Long-time Flamingo headliners Donny and Marie Osmond performed the final shows of their 11-year run last week. The brother-sister duo opened in 2008 for a six-week engagement, but were such a success that the Flamingo extended their contract several times and renamed the showroom after them in 2013.
Red Square closes: Mandalay Bay’s Red Square Russian restaurant that opened with the hotel-casino in 1999 has closed. The restaurant was famous for its statue of a headless Vladimir Lenin, which stood in front of the restaurant.
Single zero: Downtown’s Plaza is dealing single-zero roulette. Most roulette wheels have two zeros, which results in a 5.26% casino edge. At a single-zero table, the edge is reduced to 2.70%. In addition to being one of the few single-zero tables in town, it’s the only one with minimums below $25.
Question: You wrote in this column about the possibility that more intimate venues might be becoming more in favor than the mega-clubs. What are some examples of those venues?
Answer: The Barbershop at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, On the Record at Park MGM and Camden Cocktail Lounge at the Palms are all examples of the referenced smaller-scale nightclubs. Many of the biggest Strip resorts have opened similar venues in recent years and there are plans for more.
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