Confirmed at Last, Rio Las Vegas Sold to Imperial Companies

Caesars Entertainment has officially announced the sale of Rio, finally.

Rio was purchased by a New York real estate group for $516.3 million. The deal is expected to be finalized in early 2020.

Rio

It’s about damn time.

The buyer is Imperial Companies, run by founding partners Eric Birnbaum and Michael Fascitelli.

Gosh, if only someone had known who the buyer was way back in April 2019.

Rio sale

Haters, please form a line to the right for the traditional eating of the crow.

While the Rio has finally sold, Caesars Entertainment will continue to operate the resort for at least two years. Imperial has the option to pay Caesars $7 million to extend the lease an additional year.

While Caesars operates Rio, it will pay $45 million a year in rent.

The announcement of the sale of Rio puts to rest some lingering questions such as the fate of the World Series of Poker. The popular event will be held at Rio in 2020, and 2021 is likely as well according to Seth Palansky, V.P. of Corporate Communications for the WSOP.

Caesars Entertainment will continue to own the rights to WSOP.

Rio Las Vegas sign

Please fix the neon, already.

At this juncture, it’s unclear what Imperial’s intentions are for Rio.

We do know the asking price for Rio at one time was more than a billion dollars, so Imperial got this fading casino at a relative bargain. That is, until you consider what it’s going to cost (possibly a billion-plus) to bring the Rio back up to snuff.

Rumors and speculation continue to swirl, and we’d share them, but at the moment we’re busy reveling in how badass we are for calling the Rio sale months before anyone else.

One more self-indulgent Tweet, please! (We took at lot of crap for this scoop, so let us have our moment.)

Rio sale

The Rio sale was announced on the last day of summer, Sep. 23, 2019. Boom.

More to come, and thanks to our amazing sources. You know who you are.

15 thoughts on “Confirmed at Last, Rio Las Vegas Sold to Imperial Companies

  1. WILLIAM WINGO

    Based on what I’ve seen at the Rio and heard about it, I predict that $1 billion to fix it up is on the low side.

    Reply
    1. Jason

      Nah…just lower your operating standards…I’m thinking you could throw, like, $4,000,000 at that property and America’s Best Value Inns would probably agree to operate it!

      Reply
  2. Rooster

    So essentially Caesars just monetized the asset, and the place will continue to be run into the ground by the same company that did it to begin with?

    Reply
  3. LA WB

    Quite the place back in the day, surprised at what it now is. But times and tastes change, of course. Anyone remember the now-discontinued lasers on the roof?

    Reply
    1. DJ

      Never stayed there, but some of my favorite Vegas memories took place at the Rio. The Voodoo Lounge was legit once upon a time. Kind of sad what has become of the property.

      Reply
  4. Adam

    My only experience with the Rio was meeting up with a few friends from an online game while they where at the star trek convention around 7 years ago even back then the place was in need of a major face lift. As with the circus circus I hope with new owners the place gets the help and renovations it needs. I always hate hearing about casino closures and all the people losing their jobs when that happens.

    Reply
  5. Grish

    The only reason we have been to Rio in the last 10 years is because of Caesar’s Quest for Rewards program. Outside of that, it’s not convenient and not enough reason to go. Guy Fieri’s Burro Burracho is incredibly good, though. Any word on what would happen with Penn and Teller?

    Reply
    1. James Robbins

      My question as well. What will happen with Penn and Teller? They need to be ON the strip. Paris, Flamingo, Linq, one of those would suffice.

      Reply
  6. Jaxon

    So Caesars will lose money on this deal, in the short term. Management fee of $7 million vs Rent of $45 million……lose of $38 per year, on top of operating costs. At end of the management deal, move Chippendales to a Strip property (Paris maybe?)

    Reply
    1. Andy W

      Caesars gets to keep all the revenue generated by the slots/tables/etc., since they have the gaming license, and then pay $45M/year for the right to run the gaming operations. I guarantee they’re not going to lose money on this deal.

      Reply

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