The Las Vegas Strip has been ever-changing. Hotels come and go in a never-ending attempt to lure visitors in with something newer, glitzier and more enticing.
In fact, in December it became public that MGM Resorts International (MGM) - Get MGM Resorts International Report had sold The Mirage -- a Strip hotel that was built in 1989 -- to Hard Rock International for $1 billion. The new owner intends to knock down the still new(ish) property and replace it with a guitar hotel like the one it currently operates in Florida.
That move came not long after MGM disclosed plans to buy an even newer casino/hotel on the Las Vegas Strip.
"This quarter, we announced an agreement to acquire the operations of the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, a high-quality resort with enviable product offerings, strong brand awareness, and complementary customer base making it an ideal addition to our Las Vegas Strip portfolio," MGM Chief Executive Bill Hornbuckle said. "We also believe that the synergies we have identified are highly achievable."
Essentially, MGM put its cards on the table and pushed its chips into the middle of the table. And now, its biggest rival, Caesars Entertainment (CZR) - Get Caesars Entertainment Inc Report, has made a countermove.
Caesar's Has Big Plans for Bally's
Bally's, a Las Vegas Strip hotel owned by Caesars, actually started its existence as an MGM property under the name MGM Grand. It was rebuilt after a deadly fire in 1980 and went through a number of renovations and ultimately a name change when it was acquired by Bally Mfg. (a maker of pinball and slot machines).
The company that would eventually become Caesars eventually gained control of the property in 2005 and it has invested heavily in the property. That's included multiple renovations and building an adjacent shopping area.
Now, Caesars has big plans for the property and that includes getting rid of the Bally's name. The company plans to renovate the casino/hotel and rebrand it under the Horsehoe name.
Bally's Becomes the Horseshoe
The Horseshoe name previously had been on the Las Vegas Strip. Caesars described it as a brand started "started by a gambler for gamblers." That's a spirit the company hopes to bring back after it renovates and renames the casino for a summer 2022 opening.
"Over the years, as the brand expanded to markets across the country, Horseshoe has stayed true to its heritage, holding on to the thrilling spirit of no-limit betting," the company said in a news release.
"That spirit will come alive this summer as World Series of Poker returns to its roots, having been first played at original Horseshoe in 1970, as it moves to the Strip for the very first time."
The renovations will begin in spring 2022 and will include a revised exterior, new entertainment and food and beverage options, and a reimagined casino floor and public areas.
"In keeping with Horseshoe's classic sophistication, the design team will incorporate a handcrafted feeling with tooled leather, dramatic colors, and the brand's signature gold horseshoe iconography," the company added.
Bally's stands at roughly the center of the Las Vegas Strip, although the property is somewhat set back from the actual Strip.
"At Horseshoe, it's all about the gambler. Since 1951 Horseshoe Casinos have been home to the best odds, highest limits, and biggest jackpots. So, it's fitting that we bring Horseshoe back to Las Vegas, and right on the Las Vegas Strip," said Jason Gregorec, general manager of the property.
"Holding to the Horseshoe tradition of providing impeccable service, our guests will see the property transform over time, ensuring we aren't disrupting the excitement while we make the transition."
Caesars owns a number of properties that use the Horseshoe name around the U.S.