Although the economy of Las Vegas is rebounding, at least two, and maybe three, casino resorts could be up for sale.
According to sources unnamed by Bloomberg, the Macquarie Group has been charged with the assignment to sell the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas. If so, it would be the third up for grabs as money and gamblers pour back into the gambling city.
The Palms is located off the Strip in Paradise Nevada. It has three towers, 1,300 hotel rooms, a large casino, a restaurant, two nightclubs, a concert theater that seats 2,500 and even a recording studio. It’s popular with many Hollywood celebrities and actors. The 2-story Sky Villa on the top floor goes for $40,000 a night, one of the most expensive hotel suites in the world. The Fantasy Tower has a suite with its own basketball court. The Palms is the hotel where guests on MTV’s The Real World, Las Vegas stayed. Many musicians and recording artists have used the recording studio, including Madonna, Carlos Santana, Panic at the Disco and Wayne Newton.
The Maloof family opened Palms in 2001 to great acclaim and a grand opening attended by Dennis Rodman, Paris Hilton, Pamela Anderson, Samuel Jackson and others. In 2011 the Maloof family handed almost all ownership over to TPG Capital and Leonard Green & Partners LLC. Perhaps they don’t want to be in the casino business and are hoping to get out from under with the economic recovery in Las Vegas making it possible to get a better asking price than they could have a year ago.
In November, Las Vegas’s McCarran International Airport reported a 10 percent jump in the number of passengers landing there. In December, the gaming revenue approached $1 billion. The Strip’s revenue went up 5.4 percent. For all of 2015, visitors to Las Vegas rose by 3 percent to a total of 42.3 million people.
Despite those hopeful numbers, at least two Vegas casinos besides the Palms are on the block.
According to The Wall Street Journal in a story published in November, Carl Icahn hired the CBRE Group to sell the Fountainbleu.
Reportedly, Apollo Management is looking to sell the North Las Vegas Aliante Casino.
However, new development in Las Vegas continues. Three new developments are scheduled to open within the next few years. They are Alon Las Vegas, Lucky Dragon and Resorts World Las Vegas. Andrew Pascal of Alon Las Vegas said macroeconomic factors such as the stock market and currency crisis in China were making it harder for his team to raise capital, the Las Vegas market had never been stronger. They would continue to make progress.