Vici REIT (Caesars Spin-Off) to Buy MGM Growth REIT (MGM Spin-Off)

In an exciting turn of events for lawyers and spreadsheet enthusiasts, Vici Properties (a real estate investment trust, or REIT) will purchase MGM Growth Properties (another REIT) in a deal valued at $17.2 billion.

What does this massive deal mean to you? Nothing, really, but it’s a slow news day, so you’re hearing about it, anyway. Sorry.

Vici MGM Growth

If you remember nothing else from this article, you will remember the Vici logo dry humping the MGM Growth logo.

The marginally intriguing element of this sale is Vici is an offshoot of Caesars Entertainment.  The main competitor of Caesars Entertainment is MGM Resorts. MGM Growth is affiliated with MGM Resorts.

In movie terms, this deal is a little “Pretty Woman” (for the mergers and acquisitions), a little “Deliverance” (the inbreeding) and a little “Sleeping With the Enemy” (the non-adverserial relationships between two entities that would normally be adverserial).

Look, not all analogies are perfect analogies.

In other exciting news, “Simultaneous with the closing of the transaction, Vici Properties will enter into an amended and restated triple-net master lease with MGM Resorts.”

Translation: At least three Deutsche Bank analysts are currently having to swap out their underwear.

Vici and MGM Growth own casinos (and the land beneath them), then lease them back to themselves, pretty much. It’s all so simple.

Basically, Vici owned 28 casinos, now it will own 43.

MGM Growth Properties owns Luxor, New York-New York, Delano, MGM Grand and Mandalay Bay on the Las Vegas Strip. MGM Grand and Mandalay Bay are co-owned by Blackstone (yet another REIT).

Luxor Las Vegas

Random shout-out to Luxor’s “inclinators,” the hotel’s elevator system.

MGM Resorts will pay Vici $860 million in rent.

Vici recently purchased Venetian and Palazzo, and owns Harrah’s Las Vegas, as well as a slew of other casinos which are less interesting because they are not in Las Vegas.

The upshot is MGM Resorts doesn’t actually own very much in Las Vegas anymore, and that’s by design. They describe their strategy as “asset light.”

MGM Resorts isn’t a real estate owner and casino operator anymore, it’s an operator. With this strategy, MGM Resorts is accumulating a ton of cash, useful for paying down debt and investing in other areas of its business. Read more.

Delano Hotel

Random shout-out to people who don’t know it’s pronounced like Roosevelt’s middle name.

Simply put, MGM Resorts used to be the landlord, now it’s a tenant.

The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2022.

If you must, read the boring version of this deal in the form of the official news release.

If you’ve been paying attention, you knew 2021 was going to be a big year for mergers and acquisitions in Las Vegas.

Gird your loins, there’s more to come.

Word is Harrah’s is Getting a Walk-On’s Sports Bar and Restaurant

As we’ve shared exclusively, Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill has permanently closed at Harrah’s.

Now, we’re hearing what could take its place.

A few weeks back, we were told the Toby Keith spot would have a new (and very expensive) sports-themed bar and restaurant, in partnership with a well-known, retired athlete.

This just in: The athlete’s name is Drew Brees.

As-yet-unconfirmed, but the association with Drew Brees leads us to believe Harrah’s will be getting an outpost of the business he co-owns, Walk-On’s Sports Bistreaux.

Vital Vegas. Spoiling surprises since mid-2013.

Walk-On’s Sports Bistreaux is based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The first Walk-On’s opened in 2013.

Walk-On’s seems a great fit for Harrah’s, as it has been transitioning into a convention hotel due to its proximity to the Caesars Forum conference center.

While the former Toby Keith’s space isn’t readily accessible to Las Vegas Blvd., it’s in the perfect spot to snag ravenous conventioneers. The idea is for it to be the go-to post-meeting hangout.

Here’s a video about the company.

Co-owner Drew Brees, of course, is a former professional quarterback who played 20 seasons in the NFL, most of that time with the New Orleans Saints.

While Harrah’s has lost a good deal of its Mardi Gras theme, that New Orleans connection could still be a marketing hook.

There’s no timeline for when Walk-On’s might join the Harrah’s restaurant line-up, which means they’ll have time to reconsider that apostrophe that’s going to drive us nuts.

Stay tuned for more about the new sports bar and restaurant coming to Harrah’s.

Free Parking Ends at Planet Hollywood and Miracle Mile Shops

We told you paid parking at Miracle Mile Shops and Planet Hollywood was in the works nine months ago, now it’s official.

It was fun while it lasted.

Miracle Mile Shops

The “mile” in Miracle Mile Shops refers to the distance from the parking garage to Planet Hollywood’s craps tables.

The previously free self-parking will now cost $12 (up to four hours) and $15 for 24 hours, according to the Las Vegas Sun. The first hour is free.

Parking continues to be free for Planet Hollywood hotel guests, per the hotel. Parking is free for Platinum, Diamond and Seven Star tier levels of the Caesars Rewards loyalty club.

Unlike at other Caesars Entertainment casinos in Las Vegas, locals don’t get a pass on paid parking.

We first caught wind of the change back in Oct. 2020.

Our sources are tope, which you just learned is a portmanteau of “totally” and “dope.”

We’re told Miracle Mile Shops is expected to generate about $100,000 a month in revenue from
paid parking.

Caesars Entertainment resorts have had paid parking for some time, but Miracle Mile Shops has remained free because it’s not owned by Caesars. Planet Hollywood guests have benefited.

The owners are Miller Capital Advisory and CalPERS (California Public Employees’ Retirement System), which we didn’t know until we started typing this sentence.

While it’s a bummer Miracle Mile Shops will now charge for parking, the reality is it’s tough
having a free self-park garage when everyone around you has paid parking.

Las Vegas Monopoly

Parking fees should be waved for old-timey cars and showgirls.

The list of Strip casinos with free parking has dwindled, but there are several that still have it, including Tropicana, TI, Venetian and Palazzo, Casino Royale, Circus Circus, Wynn and Encore and The Strat.

On the bright side, pretty much everywhere else in the world has paid parking. All right, we’re using the term “bright side” liberally, but you know what we mean.

Seriously, though, ask people in New York, Chicago or L.A. if they think $15 is a lot to park somewhere for 24 hours.

Still, there’s no sugar-coating it. Parking fees suck.

Don’t cry because it ended, smile because it happened.

Vital Vegas Podcast, Ep. 128: Filling Your Orifices With Vegas Exclusives

It’s the podcast you never asked for, and plenty of it!

In this episode, we mostly talk food. There’s a virtual buffet of restaurant scoop you won’t hear anywhere else.

There’s a major restaurant shake-up happening at several Caesars Entertainment casinos, and we’ve got the first word on what’s going down. Just in case people still say “going down.”

Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart are in at Paris, Martorano’s is out.

Martorano's

It was a great run!

Drew Brees is in, Toby Keith is out at Harrah’s.

A new Vanderpump lounge is in at Paris, the Laurel Lounge is out.

At Bally’s, Buca Di Beppo and Tequila Taqueria are reportedly out.

Buca Cafe Italiano

No official announcement yet, but chatter abounds.

We also touch based with Dan Coughlin, the mastermind behind the glorious brisket fried rice at Circa’s 8 East, and chatted with Manuel “Manny” De Jesús Saldaña, co-owner of the new Taqueria Ktrina at downtown’s Pawn Plaza.

Also, we circle back with Jonathan Michaels of Sightline, the company powering Resorts World’s new cashless system. We dig into how the new system is being received, what refinements are in the works and what’s next.

Cashless is the future of casinos, so better get your feet wet.

See? It’s not all drunken rambling! Some of it’s just rambling.

We dive into the new Las Vegas mask mandate (required indoors, vaccinated or unvaccinated), and provide an update on the sharp decline in table games at Caesars Entertainment casinos.

You know there’s a “Listicle of the Week” in your future as well.

It’s news. It’s views. It’s schmooze, taboos and moderate amount of booze.

So, gird your loins as we stuff your various cavities with all the things you love about Las Vegas.

Angels & Airwaves Music Video Has Hell-Ton of Vegas

Angels & Airwaves, a musical performance group we haven’t particularly heard of before, just released a new single, “Losing My Mind.”

We like the song, but love the video, and you can probably figure out why.

The video is bursting at the seams with Las Vegas.

Angels & Airwaves

Finally, somebody in Las Vegas is using a crosswalk.

According to Rolling Stone, the “video features TikTok star Rampage and a callback to one of Tom DeLonge’s characters for Blink-182.” Of that phrase, we literally only understand a couple of the prepositions.

Anyway, here’s the video. We trust you will enjoy picking out all the Vegas featured by the band.

From what we can tell, the lead singer of Angels & Airwaves, Tom DeLonge, was one of the co-founders of Blink-182. They did the catchy “All the Small Things” and “What’s My Age Again,” according to a renowned music expert referred to as the Internet.

DeLonge created a character named Boomer for a Blink-182 song, “First Date,” and the new video features Disco, Boomer’s brother.

In all seriousness, though, who cares?

There’s so much Las Vegas!

The video takes “Disco” and his dancing companion to various spots on The Strip and downtown.

The pair spend a good time at the Bellagio fountains, as well as at Plaza on Main Street.

They also hang out in an alley downtown, which might seem odd, but we always thought those alleys are very cinematic.

The new Angels & Airwaves showcases our world-class dumpsters.

Hogs & Heifers also gets some time in the spotlight.

Hogs & Heifers has been through a lot recently, so glad they got a little screen time.

There’s also a stop at the downtown gateway arch outside Strat.

Any time the world Las Vegas appears in a music video, an Angels & Airwaves gets its wings.

These guys cover a lot of ground, and while we’re not sure “Rampage” can hold a candle to our very own Jabbawockeez, this is still a fun romp around Sin City.

Innumerable bands have chosen Las Vegas as a location for their videos, including recent favorites The Weekend (125 million views) and Bruno Mars (1.4 billion views), among many others.

We’re pretty sure the ultimate song shot in Vegas remains “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” from U2. There’s just something about our alleys.

The more the merrier when it comes to filming in Las Vegas, no matter the musical or cinematic genre.

Just don’t close off any streets. That’s irksome, musical performance groups and filmmakers.

Paris Las Vegas Confirms Vanderpump Lounge to Replace Laurel Lounge

It took a minute for Caesars Entertainment to confirm our scoop, but a new Vanderpump lounge will replace the closed Laurel Lounge at Paris Las Vegas.

The reason is fairly obvious: The Vanderpump Cocktail Garden at Caesars Palace is absolutely crushing it, so Caesars wants to make the most of that surprising success.

Vanderpump Paris lounge

This seems a great fit for Paris, what with all the fancy.

We say “surprising” because the lounge that preceded the Vanderpump lounge at Caesars was Fizz. Despite having the seal of approval from Elton John (his husband David Furnish operated
the venue), the place (wait for it) fizzled out in 2017.

Fizz lounge Caesars Palace

Fizz was gorgeous but never caught on. Try, try again.

After Fizz, the space was dubbed Cocktail Lounge. We are not making this up.

The Vanderpump Cocktail Garden, however, has taken off, and we hear it’s become one of the most financially successful, if not the most successful, lounge at any Caesars Entertainment resort in Las Vegas. No small feat.

As for the new lounge, it’s called Vanderpump à Paris. In French, an “a” with a thingy over it means “at.” Think of all the cost-savings resulting from simply eliminating an entire letter from the name! We aren’t going to use the accent mark because it’s an annoying affectation, but you do you.

We’re just happy they didn’t put “Le” in front of the name. They do that with everything at Paris. It’s wasn’t just the Village Buffet, it was Le Village Buffet. Which is closed and not coming back, by the way. “Au revoir,” Le Slightly Better Than Average Village Buffet.

Le Village Buffet closed

Lots of changes the works at Paris. Say goodbye.

From the news release, “Vanderpump a Paris will feature delectable dishes, whimsical and unique cocktails, and a lush, elaborate atmosphere with eclectic, Parisian-inspired design details.”

Fun fact: Whimsical Cocktails was the name of our band in high school.

Lisa Vanderpump says in the news release, “After living in France for many years, it has been such an incredible journey to make our ideas a reality and, working with our extraordinary design partner Nick Alain, we have created a design unlike anything we’ve ever seen, with epic visual statements—it is our hope to bring the stunning visuals of Paris into the heart of Las Vegas. The food will be sexy and delicious, the cocktails exquisite and unique, and the overall experience will be one that is unforgettable! It’s really been a labor of love and we can’t wait to share it with you.”

On the Nick Alain front, the designer and longtime Vanderpump collaborator sort of tipped everyone off about the new lounge by sharing a photo from inside the former Laurel Lounge on Instagram. Oddly, Caesars is more upset about us spoiling their surprises than this guy. Go figure. We do that a lot. We actually shared Lisa Vanderpump was coming to Las Vegas long before (Feb. 2018) her Caesars lounge was announced (Nov. 2018). Not that everything has to be about us, probably.

We probably should’ve covered this ground sooner, but in case you don’t know who Lisa Vanderpump is, we’re right there with you. She’s a restaurateur and TV personality, mainly known for her appearances on “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” and “Vanderpump Rules.”

Vanderpump Rules

You’d be surprised how many opinions we have about things we know nothing about.

She and her husband have owned 36 restaurants, bars and clubs in L.A. and London.

The Vanderpump at Paris lounge will have about 200 seats, featuring ornate awnings, signature light fixtures and an entrance flanked with statues.

The news release says this about the cocktails, “Like Vanderpump’s other locations, the cocktail menu will feature the unique and never-before-seen.” Which we’re pretty sure means the same thing, but let’s just say we’ve tried a few of the drinks at the Caesars location and they were tasty AF.

We’re pretty sure a publicly traded can’t put “tasty AF” in its news releases.

Vanderpump at Paris will also have “light bites.”

While we were skeptical about the Vanderpump experience, the team at Caesars Palace proved us wrong, and we’ve enjoyed our visits a lot.

Before wrapping this up, we should bid a farewell to the Laurel Lounge at Paris. Cost-cutting measures at Caesars Entertainment have led to the demise of these popular VIP lounges. The free “light bites” and unlimited hooch were fun while they lasted.

There’s a lot going on at Paris, and look forward to a Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart restaurant concept to be announced soon.

The new Vanderpump lounge at Paris Las Vegas casino opens in winter 2021.