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