58°F
weather icon Partly Cloudy

Stratosphere in Las Vegas to rebrand to The STRAT

Golden Entertainment will rebrand the Stratosphere as it plows ahead with a $140 million upgrade of the iconic resort.

The 1,150-foot-tall property will be renamed The STRAT Hotel, Casino and Skypod as Golden seeks to create buzz around the resort’s new amenities and drive more traffic. The top three floors, including the rides and entertainment, will be called SkyPod.

Steve Arcana, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Golden, told the Review-Journal the company launched its upgrade of the property in August to address the Stratosphere’s “kind of outdated” feel.

Upgrades to all public spaces, including the casino floor, restaurants and entertainment, are expected to be completed by early next year, he said. Rooms will continue to be upgraded in stages over the next few years.

Golden will kick off a major marketing campaign for the rebrand Sunday, including local TV commercials during the Super Bowl, the most coveted advertising day of the year. An official date for the rebrand hasn’t been announced.

“What better way to start our ‘STRAT Rising’ campaign but to expose it on the Super Bowl?” said Arcana, adding that 300,000 tourists will be watching the game locally, in addition to Nevada residents.

The operator of PT’s pub bought the Stratosphere along with three other properties in 2017 for $850 million from a private equity firm.

The new marketing campaign “is to get people excited about what is being done at the Stratosphere,” said Arcana.

UNLV hospitality professor Seyhmus Baloglu said it can be difficult to change the perception of a property, but rebranding can “definitely play a role in creating a new perception.”

Part of a trend

Strip casinos have invested heavily over the past three years in upgrading their rooms and casino floors to address changing spending dynamics and tastes.

Properties are changing their color schemes and focusing much more on the quality of food and entertainment as gaming revenues stagnate.

Gaming accounted for 28 percent of Strip revenue in 2017, while food and beverage accounted for 25 percent, Credit Suisse said in a report last year. In 1990, gaming accounted to 53 percent of Strip revenue.

Las Vegas properties invested $1.4 billion last year on upgrades, including their food and beverage offerings, and will spend $1.1 billion this year, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

Some operators are choosing to rebrand properties following an upgrade to create the sense of a new resort. MGM Resorts rebranded Monte Carlo as Park MGM last year, while Alex Meruelo may rebrand SLS Las Vegas as early as this year.

New restaurants, sports book

The Stratosphere has historically attracted crowds that come to look upon Las Vegas from the observation deck on the 108th floor. Golden said more than 1 million people visit the Stratosphere each year. But, many leave shortly thereafter to eat and play at other properties. Golden is aiming to change that dynamic and pocket more visitor spending with improved amenities.

“The rebranding is designed to create an experience throughout the entire casino property including rooms, food and beverage, casino floor so that visitation becomes a little more sticky and the property keeps people around a little bit longer,” he said.

The Stratosphere has recently introduced a new menu at its Top of the World restaurant, opened a 24-hour restaurant cafe and debuted 108 Eats by James Trees on the 108th floor.

“Food is a very important branding position for the company. The first thing we did was understand what food was lacking at the property,” Arcana said.

The Stratosphere will open BLVD Main Taphouse, View Lounge and an upgraded sportsbook in time for the NCAA basketball finals, one of the most popular events to wager on.

Taphouse will offer 20 craft beers and bar food, while View Lounge will serve up cocktails. The three venues will be connected, and the View Lounge will be slightly elevated and look out onto the casino floor.

“One thing about Golden is we know how to build bars,” Arcana said.

Golden operates more than 60 taverns in Nevada.

Gaming floor, rooms

Arcana said the gaming floor will remain the same size, with the number of slots increasing 2 percent to about 765. Golden will update from 5 percent to 10 percent of the slot count each year with the latest games, he said.

The Stratosphere will add IGT’s electronic Dynasty game to the floor as well as create a gaming lounge dedicated to Aristocrat’s Lightning Link, one of the top-performing games in the U.S.

Golden has upgraded 310 rooms since August and will complete four to six floors, or between 240 and 350 rooms, a year. The Stratosphere has 2,427 rooms.

The last room renovation occurred around 2012 to 2014 and touched a few hundred rooms, Arcana said.

Prior owners invested little in the Stratosphere and did not build brand loyalty, said Chad Beynon, an analyst at Macquarie in New York. Golden is making progress in reversing that, he said.

“For years, the Stratosphere has served as a value dormitory for leisure customers. Now that Golden has applied some capital expenditure and significantly improved some of the room product along with internal concepts, we believe a rebranding and remarketing will drive solid returns,” Beynon said.

Contact Todd Prince at 702-383-0386 or tprince@reviewjournal.com. Follow @toddprincetv on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Business Videos
How much do Las Vegas casino CEOs make?
Las Vegas gaming CEOs made anywhere between $1 million and $24 million last year, according to company filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. ((Las Vegas Review-Journal)
30-year-old Rio needs a little TLC
Nearly 30 years after the Rio opened, the red and blue jewel that helped catapult Las Vegas to a new level with its buffet and nightclub has lost its status along with its shine.
The latest on the Drew Las Vegas - VIDEO
Eli Segall recounts his tour of the Drew Las Vegas, formerly the Fontainebleau, on the Las Vegas Strip. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pinball Hall of Fame to move near south Strip
Operators of the Pinball Hall of Fame have been approved to build a new, larger arcade near the south edge of the Strip on Las Vegas Boulevard near Russel Road. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
National Hardware Show underway Las Vegas
The National Hardware Show kicked off Tuesday at the Las Vegas Convention Center (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Caesars for sale?
Caesars Entertainment Corp. has been swept up in takeover speculation since the company’s share price tumbled last year amid disappointing earnings and concerns over a recession. Amid the decline, hedge funds scooped up shares. Billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn began buying shares of Caesars as early as January. Icahn acquired nearly 18 percent by mid-March. In February Icahn called on the Caesars board to study a sale as a way to boost shareholder value.
Las Vegas home prices
Las Vegas home prices grew fastest among major markets in February for the ninth straight month. But amid affordability concerns, the growth rate has slowed down. Southern Nevada prices in February were up 9.7% from a year earlier, according to the latest S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller index. The last time Las Vegas' price growth fell below 10% was in September 2017, S&P Dow Jones Indices reported.
Free Parking Coming To Wynn
Free parking will come to the Wynn and Encore resorts on May 1, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Founding Venetian employees talk about 20 years at the Strip resort
The Venetian, which opened May 3, 1999, is celebrating 20 years on the Las Vegas Strip. Seven original employees talk about opening the luxury resort and working there for two decades. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Circa aiming for December 2020 opening
The 1.25-million-square-foot property will have 44-stories and 777-rooms. It will also have a separate nine-story, 1,201-space parking garage.
Boxabl official explains the building concept
Boxabl business development manager Galiano Tiramani shows off a room built by his company. (Blake Apgar/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TI/Mirage Tram reopens
The tram that shuttles guests between TI and Mirage reopened this week after being closed for much of 2018.
Las Vegas Convention Center expansion taking shape
Renderings and actual footage show how the Las Vegas Convention Center is evolving.
Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz at Las Vegas convention
Former Starbucks CEO and potential presidential candidate Howard Schultz spoke at the Epicor Insights user conference at Mandalay Bay Convention Center Wednesday, April 17, 2019. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Drew Las Vegas to open in the second quarter of 2022
The 67-story Drew Las Vegas is slated to open in the second quarter of 2022 at the north end of the Las Vegas Strip. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
NAB Day 1 (Time Lapse)
NAB kicked off at the Las Vegas Convention Center on Monday, April 8, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
National Association of Broadcasters Show shows 1mm thick 8K TV with 22.2 channel digital sound
Japan’s NHK Science & Technology Research Laboratories booth featured a 1mm thick 8K TV system used in conjunction with a 22.2 channel digital sound system at the National Association of Broadcasters Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Nevada shoppers react to Smith’s no longer accepting Visa credit cards
On March 1, Smith’s announced that it would no longer be accepting Visa credit cards at any of its 142 supermarkets, including the 45 in Nevada.
Massachusetts Gaming Commission asks how long Wynn executives knew about misconduct
Business reporter Rick Velotta gives an update on the adjudicatory hearing on the suitability of Wynn Resorts to retain its gaming license in Massachusetts.
Henderson app developer part of Startup in Residence
Henderson based developers of the app On Point Barricade are taking part in Startup in Residence, a North America program dedicated to pairing tech companies with governments. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Sam's Town employees and customers talk of their love for the iconic casino
Longtime Sam's Town employees and customers love each other and love their casino. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Las Vegas apartments rents
Las Vegas’ apartment market has accelerated in recent years. Developers are packing the suburbs with projects, landlords are on a buying spree, and tenants have filled buildings.
William Boyd talks about the birth of Sam's Town
On the eve of the 40th anniversary of Sam's Town, William Boyd, executive chairman of Boyd Gaming and son of hotel namesake Sam Boyd, talks about how the casino became one of the first local properties in Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
High Roller observation wheel turns five
The world’s tallest observation wheel celebrates it’s fifth year on Sunday, March 31, 2019. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @Vegas88s
Escape Room Industry Growing In Las Vegas
Escapology employees discuss the growing escape room industry in the U.S. and Las Vegas. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Impact of parking fees on visiting the Las Vegas Strip
There are no data showing a relationship between Strip resort and parking fees and the number of out-of-state visitors to Las Vegas. But there are data showing a relationship between Strip parking fees and the number of local visitors to the the Strip. ‘’As a local, I find myself picking hotels I visit for dinner or entertainment, based on whether they charge for parking or not,”’ said David Perisset, the owner of Exotics Racing. ‘’It is not a matter of money, more of principle.’’ A 2018 survey by the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance found 36.9 percent of Clark County residents reported avoiding parking at Strip casinos that charge for parking. 29.1 percent reported avoiding using any services from a Strip casino that charges for parking.
MGM's sports betting deals
MGM Resorts International signed a sports betting sponsorship agreement with the NBA in July It was the first professional sports league to have official ties with a legal sports betting house. The deal came just two months after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a law prohibiting sports betting in most states. In October, MGM became the first gaming company to sign a sports betting partnership with the NHL. In November, MGM became the first gaming company to sign a sports betting partnership with the MLB. Financial terms of Tuesday’s deal and earlier partnerships have not been announced.
Faraday puts Las Vegas land on the market
Nearly two years after Faraday Future bailed on its North Las Vegas auto factory, the company has put its land up for sale. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
El Cortez owner Kenny Epstein on running the iconic property
Kenny Epstein, owner of the El Cortez Hotel in downtown Las Vegas, talks about Jackie Gaughan mentorship and answers rumors about bodies in the basement at the mob-era casino. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
LVCVA recommends construction of underground people mover
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority announced the recommendation for an underground people mover for the convention center. The system would have the potential to expand and connect Downtown and the resort corridor all the way to McCarran. (Michael Quine/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
THE LATEST