Confirmed: Palms Casino Sold to San Manuel Band of Mission Indians

As we were the first to report, the sale of Palms casino to the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians has been confirmed.

Thanks for following up on our scoop, every other media outlet!

Also confirmed: Modesty is exhausting.

Palms San Manuel

You knew there was a reason we went to the trouble of Photoshopping this.

The sale price for Palms is $650 million.

The tribe recently created a new entity, San Manuel Gaming and Hospitality Authority, to operate Palms.

In a statement, Red Rock Resorts (Station Casinos) said the sale is expected to close by the end of 2021, but we’d say it’ll be closer to 90 days. After that, it’s licensing time, which could take in the neighborhood of six to nine months before Palms could reopen again.

As we’ve shared previously, San Manuel telegraphed its intention to buy a Las Vegas casino in a variety of ways, including advertising at T-Mobile arena, partnering with the Las Vegas Raiders and donating millions to Las Vegas nonprofits and UNLV.

While not reported elsewhere, we have further details about the sale, including that San Manuel plans to keep the Palms name.

In addition, we understand San Manuel plans to reopen Palms as quickly as possible. Anticipate the announcement of a job fair soon.

The existing Palms restaurant concepts are believed to be out, although discussions with Michael Symon’s Mabel’s BBQ are ongoing from what we hear.

The sale of Palms follows on the heels of denials the resort was even for sale. We had some eloquent thoughts on that at the time.

Palms never reopened after the mandatory closure in March 2020. We were the first to share the Palms wouldn’t reopen under its current ownership.

We’ll play nice when the Review-Journal starts giving attribution.

While Red Rock Resorts got a solid return on what it spent to buy Palms, $313 million, the company didn’t come close to recouping its $1 billion (if you include the cost of a major renovation, $690 million).

We’ll put it plainly: Palms was an unmitigated disaster for Red Rock Resorts, a huge financial misstep based upon arrogance (bordering on delusion) and a misguided vision even its own executive team didn’t seem onboard with, according to industry chatter.

And don’t get us started on Kaos, the trainwreckery against which all others are measured.

We have high hopes for Palms under its new ownership, the San Manuel tribe. Its Southern California casino is printing money, and everyone we’ve talked to speaks highly of the operation.

Palms will be the first Las Vegas casino owned by a tribe, although feathers have been popular here for ages, if you get our drift.

While Palms may never return to its mythical “former glory,” it doesn’t have to. It just has to provide a solid, gambling-focused experience, keep locals in mind and (gasp) turn a

Welcome to Las Vegas, San Manuel. Show us what you’ve got.

8 thoughts on “Confirmed: Palms Casino Sold to San Manuel Band of Mission Indians

  1. Andrew

    I feel sorry for what happened to Station in the Palms deal. They thought,pretty much like anyone else, it may have been a smart idea to bring back the place to its heyday of 2001ish . Market changed since then and competition got stiff,but nobody saw that coming.
    Good luck to the tribe guys,i’m sure they’ll do great.

  2. MrBuzzkill

    They can’t go big and strip-slick. Station already proved that was an unprofitable trajectory. The building is all wrong for a hometown local approach. No charming magnetism there. With no natural surround they can’t create a secluded desert or mountain retreat-style resort. One of the few options available is boutique. It’s a bit big for that, but there’s marketspace here for a resort where all the rooms are different, tiny retail and restaurants with local names. It’s already theme-less. Boutique wouldn’t surprise me.

  3. Michael Alexakis

    I think The Palms should offer much better than average video poker as a start, it will not take very long for that to catch on, if they distinguish themselves from the others people will come, and those people will indeed play some other games, only a small amount of “pro’s” only play video poker. San Manuel in Southern California has been smoke-free for almost a year, they have seen for themselves that smokers will adjust, it would be a bold move to open smoke-free, but a popular one with most people. If San Manuel wants to leave a mark on their new expansion, they need to figure out ways to do that, the status quo will not fill the space once people go to check it out, there has to be a hook. Fortunately for the tribe, no Las Vegas casino has taken any risk except for perhaps Park MGM going smoke-free, Circa looks like a nice place, but they are not courting consumers with gambling conditions, they are banking on being the nicest place Downtown. The Palms opened with fabulous video poker, it caught on with people, it created a buzz, then things went south when they cut video poker and tried to be a nightclub destination. I wish San Manuel well, I am only offering my old dude perspective, many like myself were and are jilted by them closing their poker room in Southern California. Morongo and Pechanga keep their poker rooms humming with nice promotions and atmosphere. The gamblers will tell the tale in the end, The Palms is miles away from convention venues, if you build it nicely, we will come…

  4. Neonglowy

    I’m hopeful San Manuel will give The Palms nice, locals-style theming and treat players like family instead of like roasters, fryers and egg-layers. I’m even more hopeful that they will start a trend of casinos run by human beings who are not grandiose greedbags. Casinos have forgotten to be fun for regular people.

  5. Gregm

    I hope this is just the beginning. I think that getting owners out there that do not function solely to bring value to their shareholders will be be a good thing. The customer experience has really gone downhill. Maybe this will put those other guys (MGM, Caesars, Wynn) on notice. Vegas needs a shakedown.


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