We’ve been tossing out red flags for some time about changes coming to Caesars Entertainment following the merger with Eldorado, and now we’re seeing the repercussions of the shift in the company’s direction.
Live entertainment is being hit hard across town, with a number of venues being closed along with announcements their shows and entertainers will have to seek new theaters.
Among the venues closing are Cleopatra’s Barge at Caesars Palace, the Chippendales Theater at Rio and Anthony Cools Experience Theater at Paris, per a statement from Caesars.
“X Rocks” at Bally’s has also been shown the door, as well as the Bronx Wanderers and “John Caparulo’s Mad Cap Comedy” at Harrah’s.
That means acts like Wayne Newton, “Chippendales,” the hilarious hypnotist Anthony Cools and shows like “Friends, The Musical Parody” and “Sex Tips for Straight Women from a Gay Man” are homeless.
Just like that, one of the best male revues in the history of Las Vegas, “Chippendales,” has closed at Rio.
Also closing are “Crazy Girls” and “Tenors of Rock” at Planet Hollywood.
The changes don’t stop there, however, as we’re hearing numerous live bands and lounge acts are going away, too.
We’ve heard unconfirmed rumors other entertainment venues will feel the effects of this new direction, including the end of bands and elimination of the stage at Carnaval Court outside Harrah’s.
Ditto the stage inside O’Sheas at Linq casino.
The cuts in live entertainment seem to track with statements by Caesars Entertainment that the company’s focus is returning to gambling, as opposed to restaurants and entertainment.
The move by Caesars Entertainment is strange because it would appear a cost-cutting move, but these shows are four-wall deals. The shows pay for production costs and marketing themselves, so with its decisions Caesars is not only eliminating revenue from “rent,” it’s turning away customers who might visit the casino or take advantage of other amenities before or after a show.
That’s right, Caesars Entertainment is taking the “entertainment” out of “Entertainment,” a tectonic shift given gambling revenues have continued to decline over the past few years. MGM Resorts even launched a campaign to distance itself from the perception of being a “casino company,” preferring to portray itself as an “entertainment company.”
If you’re worried your favorite shows are in danger, you should be.
We hear the shake-up isn’t done, and it extends beyond entertainment.
A number of strategic moves in Las Vegas are being made right now, under cover of the COVID crisis. Gird your loins!
For example, our source says Laurel Lounges at Caesars Entertainment resorts will be eliminated. Again, not confirmed, but we hear reliably these VIP lounges are done, and the one at Paris will be replaced with a Vanderpump Lounge.
All these moves are made all the more fascinating by the timing, as casinos move to 100% capacity and masks are no longer mandatory for vaccinated guests.
Demand is high for mid-level shows, and we’re curious to see what Caesars Entertainment does next.