Hotel had been closed mid-week
Though COVID-19 vaccines are getting into arms at a rapid pace now, it is still going to be a while before things are back to normal in the United States. Things are definitely starting to feel a little more normal, though, as people are starting to return to some of the places they haven’t been in a year. One such place is the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, which will finally start taking room reservations seven days a week, starting April 19.
Because of decreased demand during the pandemic, many Las Vegas casinos stopped taking reservations mid-week, only keeping their hotels open Thursday through Monday or thereabouts. Rio’s casino has been running 24/7 since December, but will now be Caesars’ last Las Vegas property to reopen its hotel in full.
The Rio follows closely behind two other Caesars properties, The Linq and Planet Hollywood, both of which started accepting daily reservations in March. Also on tap to reopen is the famous Penn & Teller magic show, which comes back on April 22.
In a press release, Sean McBurney, Caesars’ regional president of Las Vegas operations, said, “As the destination continues to rebound, we look forward to seeing more visitors enjoying all the wonderful amenities our properties across the city have to offer.”
Rebranding to Hyatt
The Rio’s hotel towers will eventually have new names. Just a couple weeks ago, the Rio’s owner, Dreamscape Companies LLC, announced that it has partnered with Hyatt Hotels Corp. on a rebranding and renovation of the entire property. One of the Rio’s two hotel towers will be rebranded to a Hyatt Regency, while the other will take on a different Hyatt brand.
Renovation, remodeling, and redesign will include the property’s hotel suites, gaming floor, restaurants, shops, pools, and spa and fitness centers, basically everywhere anyone would go. And though it is being called a rebranding, the Rio name will remain.
This brings back the question that has been lingering in the poker world for about a decade now: will the Rio continue to be the home of the World Series of Poker? Caesars owns the WSOP brand, but no longer owns the Rio. It sold the Rio to Dreamscape Companies for $516.3m in 2019, immediately turning around and entering into a lease contract. Caesars agreed to operate the property for two years, paying $45 million in annual rent, with a $7m third year option.
That meant that the end of next year was to be the final year of the lease, but because of the pandemic, both companies agreed to push everything back one year, so now the lease term will end December 15, 2023. If that’s it for Caesars, then it will either have to come up with an agreement with Dreamscape to continue to host the WSOP at the Rio, which it might not want to do, as Caesars would get no property-wide financial benefit anymore, or find another Caesars-operated location to which to move the Series.