Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog

December 26, 2008

Station Casinos Hoping For Cash Infusion

Posted by Hunter

The Las Vegas Sun has a story about the deteriorating financial condition of Station Casinos, the large Las Vegas locals market operator.

The company is facing $5 billion in debt that needs to be refinanced or restructured.


Read archived comments (7 so far)
December 26, 2008 9:41 AM Posted by Casino Bill

Crikey, it would be a shame to see Station go.

I guess we might see a lot of the old names be replaced at some stage in the near future, who has the money to acquire or pay debt off right now?

Talking of the old world Vegas, I wonder what wil happen to the Tropicana? To be honest, I'm just surprised it's still there - glad it is though, had a great vacation there a few weeks back

December 26, 2008 11:04 AM Posted by Jeff in OKC

Looks like a very good article that gives a detailed explanation of why the Fertittas are in a tough spot. I recall reading and hearing vastly differing descriptions of the brothers through the years, ranging from great guys to arrogant and greedy. Anyone got any take on them, and how it figures into the current situation?

December 27, 2008 7:02 PM Posted by Mark D

Jeff, I've been in a couple meetings with Frank and Lorenzo and seen their opulent executive suites. They can be fun, casual guys to be around, and they like to pull practical jokes on the other executives, though I certainly wouldn't want to get in a fist fight with either of them as they have a boxing ring in the basement where they train all the time. Lorenzo has stepped away from management duties at Station to focus on UFC, which is doing well, but that's a totally separate company and even if it was part of Station it doesn't make enough to bailout Station. Over the years they have developed extremely extravagant tastes and have blown a lot of money. I won't get into their personal extravagances, like the art collection and the yachts, but as an example of over spending on the corporate level, Red Rock Resort was the most expensive resort ever built in Las Vegas, when you average the total cost to the number of hotel rooms. It cost more per room to build than Wynn Las Vegas. I first sensed financial trouble over a year ago after they moved into the class A corporate office building they built next to Red Rock, and then they promptly sold it to an Arizona real estate company for a cash infusion and leased it back. They should have built a property on the Strip to diversify their revenue source a long time ago. Their closest properties to the Strip, Wild Wild West and Palace Station, have been allowed to deteriorate when they should have been upgraded or rebuilt following the Palms model. Incidentally, they actually own a percentage of the Palms too, which I think came about as part of the deal when they bought the Fiesta from Maloof.

December 27, 2008 7:25 PM Posted by mike_ch

I maintain that if Station had built a place downtown it would have been a happy marriage for both Station and downtown. But they'd have to build it within a strict budget and expanded to over time.

Station started off well when they basically played the Wal-Mart of casinos around the highway, they seemed to have an all-too-accurate knowledge of where 215 was going to be built for placing their casinos. What they failed to understand is that there's a reason why Steve Wynn doesn't build Wal-Marts.

December 27, 2008 11:21 PM Posted by Mark D

Well, their cousin, Tillman Fertitta, bought the GN downtown, and is expanding it.

December 28, 2008 8:50 AM Posted by Jeff in OKC

Anyone know how do they get along with their cousin? Some accounts portray their relationship as very competetive.

December 29, 2008 1:48 PM Posted by David McKee

I've heard that, Jeff. A.Lot. Seems there is no love lost between the Galveston and Las Vegas branches of the Fertitta family tree. Probably the most interesting part of "Double or Nothing" is where Tilman gets hornswoggled on the Golden Nugget purchase because Frank III and Lorenzo are bidding it up, unbeknownst to him.

Mark D. and Mike are totally spot-on in their analyses. I can only add that the interesting personae that Frank III and Lorenzo showed him do not manifest themselves in public. I interviewed the duo for the opening of Red Rock and actually cut the interview short by 15 minutes because they had so little to say that was worth printing. I might as well have just interviewed Lori Nelson, their spokesperson, because she said the same things in a much more interesting fashion.