Las Vegas Advisor: Aging Rio Hotel & Casino is on the comeback trail
After years of neglect and borderline irrelevance, things might be about to change at the off-Strip Rio casino. The site has emerged as a strong contender to be the location of a Major League Baseball stadium that would be the home of the Oakland A’s.
The vast parking lot and excess land surrounding the casino-hotel make it possible to build the stadium, even without having to demolish the buildings. Further, the Rio’s owner, Dreamscape properties, has indicated that it plans to make a sizable investment into returning the property to its former glory and recently secured an $850 million loan, a portion of which is reportedly earmarked for that purpose, even if the stadium isn’t built.
Sphere opening: The exact date wasn’t specified, but the opening of the MSG Sphere, the state-of-the-art events venue located behind the Venetian, has been announced for September. That means it will be ready in time to be shown off when Formula One arrives in November (it’s on the race route). The rock band U2 will open the Sphere.
Exit angels: One of the Strip’s most renowned restaurants, Mandalay Bay’s Aureole, has announced that it will close this year. Aureole was famous for its extensive wine selection and its “Wine Angels”— attractive women in catsuits — who would be hoisted on pullies to retrieve bottles from a wine tower. The space will be renovated to house Retro by Voltaggio, a restaurant from the Voltaggio brothers who were stars on “Top Chef.”
Question: Is it possible that President Joe Biden’s bill called the “Junk Fee Prevention Act” will put an end to casino resort fees?
Answer: Resort fees would seem to meet the bill’s definition of “surprise charges,” but the casinos counter that the fees are disclosed upfront. Regardless, casinos make a lot of money off the resort fees and will fight to protect them, meaning you shouldn’t expect them to be abolished anytime soon.