Rio name will remain
The owner of the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas is rebranding the property and embarking on an ambitious renovation project. Dreamscape Companies LLC announced on Thursday that it is partnering with Hyatt Hotels Corp. on the multiphase endeavor for the off-Strip casino.
Hyatt will rebrand the property’s two hotel towers to reflect the company name. Specifically, one tower will become a Hyatt Regency with 1,501 rooms. The other will be either rebranded or at least “affiliated” with a different Hyatt brand, most of which still use the name “Hyatt” in some form.
The name of the property as a whole, however, will not change.
We will maintain the iconic Rio name.”
“We will maintain the iconic Rio name,” a spokesperson for Dreamscape founder and CEO Eric Birnbaum said.
In addition to the hotel towers, the renovations will include virtually every key public space, including the gaming floor, restaurants, retail shops, pools, and spa and fitness centers.
Will the WSOP stay at the Rio?
Though the Rio name doesn’t have the instant recognition that, say, Caesars Palace, Bellagio, and MGM Grand do, the news is of particular interest to gamblers because the Rio is the home of the World Series of Poker. Caesars, which operates the property, owns the WSOP and its assets.
The question in the minds of poker players now is what will happen to the World Series of Poker. It is not going away, but rumors have swirled for the better part of a decade that it would move to a different location at some point.
After Caesars sold the Rio to Dreamscape in 2019 for $516.3m, the two companies agreed that Caesars would continue to operate the property for two years, paying $45m in rent per year, with a $7m third year option. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, they pushed the end of the lease term to December 15, 2023. If Dreamscape takes over completely at that point, it is very possible that the WSOP will have to find a new venue.
Convenient spot off the Strip
The Rio opened on January 15, 1990 as the first all-suite resort in the Las Vegas area. It is named after Rio de Janeiro and has a general Brazilian/South American interior theme. The hotel’s blue and red glass towers make it an easy property to locate off of Flamingo Road, just west of the Strip.
In 1999, Marnell Corrao Associates sold the Rio to Caesars Entertainment (again, Harrah’s at the time) for $888m. Caesars parted with the Rio in December 2019 as part of the trend of gambling companies shedding their real estate holdings and focusing strictly on operations.
A major reason the World Series of Poker moved to the Rio, and likely the primary reason, is because the property has extensive convention space. As the WSOP has grown, it has spread across multiple, cavernous convention halls. The Penn & Teller Theater serves has home to the WSOP Main Event final table.