Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog

June 27, 2007

MTR Gaming Sells Binion's in Downtown Las Vegas

Posted by Hunter

Binion's, formerly Binion's Horseshoe in Downtown Las Vegas, has reportedly been sold by owner MTR Gaming to TLC Casino Enterprises, the folks that own the Four Queens.

Binion's is a property full of history - once one of the most popular spots in town, it's been heading downhill for years.

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Read archived comments (7 so far)
June 27, 2007 1:52 PM Posted by doc_al

Great news. 4Queens flies under the radar, but the owner has put some money into the place recently, and moreover has a clear understanding of how to do business downtown.

Binions is still a headache tho - IMO it owns too much parking land for the size of the place, plus some of the parcels under the building are still owned by other individuals, which would seem to complicate development matters.

June 27, 2007 3:35 PM Posted by hail2skins

Just returned from Vegas, stayed at the Nugget, and did the vast majority of my play at 4Q. The place does still have a couple of the few 3-2 single-deck games in Vegas, and the personnel are cool......the pit boss gave me a couple of 2-for-1 coupons to Magnolia's (coffee shop) without me even asking. This could be a good thing.

June 27, 2007 7:03 PM Posted by detroit1051

Hi Hail2skins, what did you think of the Golden Nugget under Landry's ownership? If you've written a trip report elsewhere, please let me know where. Thanks.

June 27, 2007 7:25 PM Posted by hail2skins

Detroit, I just posted a TR (albeit not very detailed......was mainly a guys trip) on LV Talk. I loved the Nugget.....think Landry's has done a good job freshening up the place, and the new pool is a rock solid winner. There is construction underway to at least expand the casino, although I couldn't get a straight answer on whether a new hotel tower was a definite.

June 28, 2007 6:25 AM Posted by detroit1051

Downtown desperately needs Binion's to succeed. It may have a chance with Caudill running it. I didn't know about the ownership issues of the land underneath the property.
Here's the RJ's take on the sale. The reporter must have read Hail2skins post on blackjack.

June 28, 2007 7:22 AM Posted by Mark D

I heard from a friend that knows someone that knows someone that works at Binion's and they said the infrastructure of the building is bad. The plumbing is bad, the air conditioning is bad and the electricity is bad. And yeah, some of the land is leased from multiple owners.

Across the street, there is construction happening on the northwest corner of the Nugget building, blocking off 1st street. The new hotel tower is supposed to go there, but the new frame work I saw a couple weeks ago doesn't look robust enough for a tower. Somebody else said they are building a mega-Landry's seafood restaurant there.

June 28, 2007 9:26 AM Posted by mike_ch

I'm not really sure how Binion's can keep going. I've heard what Mark D had said before, that there's some long-deferred maintenance on the tower from the Becky years and maybe earlier. VT Chuck wasn't kidding about stepping into their garage elevator and hoping you don't just freefall. It looks like something you'd expect to find in a never-renovated NYC project.

The situation with the land is a total mystery to me but adds to the problems, and whatever you do with the place to draw in anything more than a hardcore gambling crowd "isn't true to the original." Beyond the casino stuff is spread out on so many different levels (upstairs there's some shut down food court/buffet thing and gift shops because nobody ever bothered to go upstairs.) The most egregious error is the amount of parking property they have: Parking goes from behind the casino all the way out to Stewart St, and then they have a second lot for employees between Ogden and Stewart with an overhead bridge over Casino Center.

This is an absurd amount of parking for one place, and the customer lot looks more often like you're more likely to run into a bum than somebody's car. They obviously overbuilt this stuff because they used to get totally swamped once a year for WSOP but that event is gone. The amount of parking spaces is so absurdly high that it demands attention. Consolidate your parking. Their main lot is so long that they could do like the Strip places and put employees on the top few floors and customers below that. Then, assuming the land stuff works out, you can sell the garage on the other side of Casino Center to some mark of a developer who thinks he can build condos or something just off Fremont and next to the entertainment region on 3rd.

It's a mess, and while I'd say the people running the 4Q are either third or tied for second in Boyd when it comes to Downtown ownership, I'm not sure if even they can take the challenge. Binion's is damn near a doomed effort either way.