New Facilities and Features at Major Gaming Resorts and Destinations
Caesars Palace lobby renovation. Credit: Caesars entertainment.
Gaming in the U.S. is on a tear, with Q2 revenues reaching an all-time high at nearly $15 billion, according to statistics from the American Gaming Association (AGA), besting the next-highest quarterly mark—set in Q4 202, no less—by 3.3%.
AGA’s August 2022 Commercial Gaming Revenue Tracker further reported that the first half of 2022 posted revenue of $29.16 billion, a whopping 18% year-over-year increase from 2021, positioning the industry to notch a new annual record for commercial gaming revenue for the second consecutive year.
While traditional gaming leads the way, significant gaming segments posted similarly impressive numbers:
- Sports betting—benefiting from new launches in six states over the past year—resulted in that segment posting revenue gains of nearly 60% when comparing Q2 2022 to the same quarter in 2021.
- iGaming (online betting such as sports betting, casino games, poker and eSports) narrowly beat its quarterly revenue high-water mark, posting $1.2 billion in Q2 2022. The $2.42 billion in revenue posted in the first six months of 2022 is an astounding 43.5% spike over the same period in 2021.
Tribal gaming operations also shared in the success, with the National Indian Gaming Commission announcing that tribal operators registered an all-time high of $39 billion in gaming revenue in 2021, beating the previous record year, 2019, by 13%.
With all that money rolling in, the obvious question is “how to spend it?”
Following are some select happenings in major gaming destinations and the companies that operate in them, which may begin to provide an answer.
The East Coast’s major gaming destination announced a number of happenings, including the following:
- Atlantic City Convention Center and Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall became New Jersey’s first convention center and arena to achieve GBAC STAR accreditation.
- Resorts Atlantic City recently remodeled its pool and pool deck. The $4 million-plus renovation includes a new, 45,000-gallon therapeutic saltwater pool with a state-of-the-art retractable roof that allows the area to be used year-round. Also included in the renovation is a 12-seat, full-service bar and an upgraded fitness center. The pool will allow for year-round swimming and the indoor/outdoor pool deck will be available year-round for events.
- Caesars Entertainment said it will invest $400 million into its Atlantic City Resorts for enhancements to Caesars Atlantic City, Harrah’s Resort and Tropicana Atlantic City, with all expected to be complete by 2023. Caesars Entertainment and Nobu Hospitality partnered on the new Nobu Hotel, which at publication time was scheduled to open in summer 2022. Caesars Atlantic City welcomed a Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen restaurant this summer.
- Caesars Entertainment is working in tandem with DSD Renewables on an 8.4 MW solar portfolio spanning the Atlantic City properties with the ultimate goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 100% before 2050.
- Ocean Casino Resort announced it will spend $74 million on a renovation in 2022, including 12 floors of new hotel rooms and suites.
- Showboat Hotel broke ground on its new ISLAND waterpark, which is scheduled for a 2023 opening.
- Bally’s Hotel & Casino unveiled 750 renovated hotel rooms as well as opened The Yard, a beer garden-style venue featuring entertainment and a gastro-pub-style menu.
- Showboat Hotel opened what is being touted as New Jersey’s largest arcade, named Lucky Snake. The venue will offer a sports bar with a boxing ring, indoor venues for live entertainment, a speakeasy-style lounge and improved meeting spaces.
- Asbury Park developer and Orange Loop investor Pat Fasano has added shipping containers that will serve as an outdoor court, bar and viewing area for live music venue in the Orange Loop Arena.
Here are some happenings at Mohegan Sun, in the East Coast’s other major gaming mecca:
- Mohegan Sun is upgrading the outdoor patio at its Summer Entrance as part of a $15 million program of enhancements. The area frequently hosts summer festivals with live music, lawn games and beer tents, and is also available for private events. When completed in spring 2023, events can utilize a new permanent outdoor bar, deck, new music stage and a redesigned area for activities and lawn games. The renovation program will also feature the addition of a 6,500-square-foot VIP Lounge & Bar in Casino of the Earth as well as upgrades to its high-end suites and a three-year effort toward significant course improvements at Mohegan Sun Golf Club.
The Entertainment Capital of the World, as always, has remained busy with renovations and new additions.
- Caesars Palace unveiled the highly anticipated, multimillion-dollar renovation of its main entrance, casino dome and porte-cochere. A 15-foot-tall Carrara marble statue of Augustus Caesar now welcomes visitors under the raised ceiling, which features hand-painted illustrations of Roman gods and a chandelier containing 70,000 crystals. The property also added two gaming pits—including a chandelier with 12,000 crystals—and added the 24-seat Galleria Bar in the lobby, which features specialty cocktails and is adorned with four life-size Venus sculptures.
- The $1.8 billion MSG Sphere at the Venetian is set for a 2023 opening. Already a formidable part of the Las Vegas skyline, the 17,500-seat performance venue is expected to redefine the live concert and event experience.
- Palms Casino Resort, which was purchased by the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians from Station Casinos last year, reopened in April. The 766-room property, which offers 190,000 square feet of meeting, convention and event space, underwent a $600 million renovation in 2019 and features a 73,000-square-foot pool space.
- Circa Resort & Casino Las Vegas opened 35,000 square feet of new meeting space, representing the second phase of development at the 512-room Downtown property. Highlights include a 14,500-square-foot ballroom, breakout space, banquet space, prefunction space and a 1,600-square-foot outdoor terrace, all designed to complement Circa’s Mid-Century Modern, Art Deco and modern design motif.
- New York-New York Hotel & Casino launched a $63 million renovation of its 1,830 rooms and 155 of its suites in August. The project is scheduled for a summer 2023 completion. Design details hearken to iconic New York City and Las Vegas elements, such as rooms with exposed faux brick walls and accent colors of Big Apple Red and Taxicab Yellow. The rooms will also feature movable work surfaces, readily available USB/USB-C power outlets and additional shelving and closet space.
- Aria Resort & Casino in January unveiled seven redesigned SKYVILLAS as well as a complete redesign of its more than 400 Sky Suites. Offering stunning floor-to-ceiling Strip views, the SKYVILLAS boast jewel-toned furnishings and living rooms with shape-defying sofas. The 420 Sky Suites, designed by Rottet Studio, feature a Mid-Century Modern design with soothing cream, gray and beige shades, and intended to provide a tranquil oasis from the nonstop energy of Vegas.
- Wynn Las Vegas revealed a new room concept in both the Wynn Las Vegas and Wynn Tower Suites. The massive project is billed as the largest and most extensive renovation ever made to the tower’s 2,674 guest rooms, suites, elevator lobbies and corridors. Design features include wood accent walls, atmospheric illumination, fine textiles and linens, and accents of natural stone, decorative metal and original artwork.
Nevada’s second city is welcoming a new boutique brand and has greatly revamped its major event facility management:
- Visit Reno Tahoe in June took over the operations and management of four major meeting facilities: Reno-Sparks Convention Center (RSCC), Reno Events Center, National Bowling Stadium and the Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center. Visit Reno Tahoe owned and operated the RSCC before taking over responsibility for the other three venues. Aramark Sports + Entertainment, a division of Aramark, will be the foodservice provider. Trent LaFerriere was promoted to vice president of facilities and will oversee the operations of all four venues.
- The first Kimpton hotel in the state of Nevada recently broke ground in downtown Reno. The 270-room hotel is expected to open in 2025 and offer 20,000 square feet of meeting space.
- Reno-Tahoe International Airport is embarking on a multi-year construction project, named MoreRNO, that will bring approximately $1 billion in infrastructure investment.
With major tribally owned casinos east of Los Angeles and San Diego and stretching to the Coachella Valley, SoCal has become a gaming mecca in its own right. Here are some happenings from Pechanga Resort Casino and its sister property, Temecula Creek Inn.
- Pechanga Resort Casino is continuing its commitment to low waste and helping members of the community by installing large L’Occitane amenities in all of its 1,100 rooms before the end of the year to reduce the amount of waste generated by small amenity packaging. The casino is also donating unused rolls of toilet paper to Project T.O.U.C.H., a homelessness assistance program in Riverside County. Spa Pechanga also added a new series of treatments that utilize the native botanicals used by their tribal ancestors. Treatments include the Great Oak Signature Massage and the Luxury Lavender massage or pedicure.
- Temecula Creek Inn, which is owned by the Pechanga Tribe, is offering a nighttime Glow Ball program for groups from eight to 72 players at its 27-hole golf course. Glow Ball can take place on the putting green or on the Creek nine-hole course. Groups booking the Glow Ball program also will receive glow-in-the-dark bands to wear as a bracelet or necklace and glowing golf clubs. Packages include complete set-up, striking and the assistance of a golf course pro during the event.