India’s Oyo Hotels Purchases Vegas Hooters Casino for $135 Million

  • Highgate to manage property, Paragon Gaming remains in charge of casino
  • Hooters will be rebranded as Oyo Hotel & Casino Las Vegas
  • Oyo Hotels company has more than doubled its U.S. properties since June
  • Latest purchase marks the largest property of Oyo’s 23,000 hotels worldwide
aerial nighttime view of Hooters Casino Hotel in Las Vegas
Hooters Casino Hotel Las Vegas has been bought by Oyo Hotels & Homes for a reported $135 million. [Image:]

Oyo makeover in the works

India-based Oyo Hotels & Homes has acquired the Hooters Casino Hotel Las Vegas from Junius Real Estate Partners and Trinity Hotel Investors LLC. Highgate, Oyo’s New York-based partner in the deal, will take over the management of the property. Paragon Gaming, which currently manages the casino, will keep doing so.

the property’s price tag was $135 million

Oyo will rename the casino Oyo Hotel & Casino Las Vegas. The rebrand will include a $20 million facelift, though the Hooters restaurant will remain. The property’s price tag was $135 million, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Company attacking US hotel market

Oyo is in just its seventh year and has a 25-year-old CEO, but it already owns 23,000 hotels around the world. The company’s growth in the budget property market has been extremely rapid. In June, when it announced it was going to invest $300 million to grow its U.S. business, it had 50 hotels in the country. Now it has 112.

“We’ve been opening one building per day across the United States,” Oyo’s founder and CEO Ritesh Agarwal said in a press release on Friday. “That is just a starting point, and one hotel per day will look like a very small number.”

The company has a technology focus, aimed at getting its franchisees and hotel owners the most bang for their buck. For example, Oyo uses a proprietary pricing algorithm that can adjust room rates as frequently as 46 million times per day to find the sweet spot between price and occupancy. It has also developed apps used by everyone, from its sales force, to its customers, to housekeeping staff.

“As we continue to focus on bringing to life our popular concept of ‘comfort design’ and delivering chic hospitality experiences, we are increasingly exploring new ways to connect with our customers, from millennials to young executives and families, in every city we enter,” said Abhinav Sinha, COO and partner of Oyo Hotels & Homes USA.

Hooters is a value proposition

The Hooters casino, located just east of the south end of the Las Vegas Strip, opened in 1973 as a Howard Johnson Hotel. It has changed hands more than once over the years, and was best known as Hôtel San Rémo from 1989 to 2006, after which it became Hooters.

Hooters is a dying breed of sorts in Las Vegas, appealing more to the cost-conscious traveler than its glitzy neighbors. It has struggled at times, and its sales price has reflected that. The property sold for just $60 million in 2012 and $70 million in 2015.

“There are definitely some challenges” for the property, David Schwartz, associate vice provost for faculty affairs at UNLV, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “Not being a part of a (national) rewards program made it more difficult…and being off the Strip like it is makes it hard to get walk-in traffic for the casino.”

That said, it has a niche customer segment, and Schwartz believes it is a solid opportunity for Oyo.

Not everyone wants a mega-resort experience…For customers, more options is always better.”

While the property is dwarfed by its billion-dollar competition on the Strip, the 657-room casino is undoubtedly the largest in Oyo’s portfolio.

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