The original owner of this site was a large online poker affiliate. We did a lot of fun promotions with our customers during the poker boom; one of the best was a poker league that I organized (SICK BRAG) where we awarded World Series of Poker seats to the winners. As part of the WSOP package, we hosted a private tournament at the Hooters Casino Hotel Las Vegas, just off the south end of the Strip. I spent a decent amount of time there, both attending to business and just hanging out/dining with a couple customers who decided to stay there. I was a bit worried that my wife wouldn’t approve, but I quickly realized that compared to a lot of the outfits female employees wore at other casinos, Hooters was tame. It certainly wasn’t as snazzy as, say the Bellagio or Wynn, but Hooters seemed like a solid place to stay if you didn’t want to break the bank. And now an era is over, as Hooters casino has been sold to Oyo Hotels & Homes, India’s largest hotel chain.
Oyo acquired Hooters from Junius Real Estate Partners and Trinity Hotel Investors LLC in a partnership of Highgate. Highgate will take over the management of the property as a whole, while Paragon Gaming will continue to manage the casino. The property will be renamed Oyo Hotel & Casino Las Vegas.
Oyo did not announce financial terms of the deal in its press release on Friday, but The Wall Street Journal reports that the sale price was $135 million.
In the announcement, Abhinav Sinha, COO and Partner, OYO Hotels & Homes USA said:
I am really excited to announce the commencement of the OYO’s operations in our newest city – Las Vegas. We are excited to be here as we believe Las Vegas is an exciting city in which to invest as the market continues to evolve with projects such as the new Las Vegas Raiders NFL stadium and the $1 billion expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center. As we continue to focus on bringing to life our popular concept of ‘comfort design’ and delivering chic hospitality experiences, we are increasingly exploring new ways to connect with our customers, from millennials, to young executives and families, in every city we enter.
Ritesh Agarwal founded Oyo at the age of 17 in 2013. The company has taken the value-hotel niche by storm, already amassing more than a million hotel rooms at 23,000 properties worldwide. Agarwal, now 25-years old, said that his company’s presence in the United States is about to explode. In June, he announced that Oyo would invest $300 million in the U.S. At that point, the company had 50 U.S. hotels, and now it has 112. He said that they are added one per day to the portfolio and even that feels like a slow pace to him.
Hooters, with 657 hotel rooms, is now Oyo’s largest property. Experts believe this is a good move for the company, as it gives it an entry into the Las Vegas market while sticking to its budget-focused strategy.
“It’s the kind of place in Las Vegas you don’t see as much of these days,” David Schwartz, associate vice provost for faculty affairs at UNLV told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “Not everyone wants a mega-resort experience. …For customers, more options is always better.”
Oyo plans to invest $20 million in the Vegas property. And for those who like orange shorts and wings, never fear: the Hooters restaurant will stay.