The home of the World Series of Poker will soon become a Hyatt-branded hotel.
Hyatt Hotels Corporation announced Thursday that it had entered into a franchise agreement with Dreamscape Companies LLC, the owner of the Rio All-Suites Hotel & Casino, according to report from a local Fox affiliate.
The agreement will renovate the former Caesars property, which opened in 1990, and turn it into multiple Hyatt hotel towers. The announcement did not give a timeline for the renovation and it is not clear whether the property will still operate a gaming floor when the renovation is completed.
“We are thrilled that Dreamscape will help us bring multiple Hyatt full-service brands to Las Vegas, starting with a Hyatt Regency hotel, which we believe will deliver on the Hyatt Regency brand promise of creating meaningful connections in modern spaces designed for sharing, socializing and collaborating,” said Hyatt’s Vice President of real estate and development Kimo Bertram in a statement.
In September 2019, Caesars announced that it had sold the property for $516 million to Dreamscape, a group controlled by New York-based real estate group Imperial Companies. As part of the agreement, Caesars agreed to continue to run the casino and pay $45 million in rent for two years, with an option for a $7 million rent payment in the third year.
The deal was finalized in December 2019, which leaves between 9 and 21 months left before Caesars severs ties with the property.
Given that there was no timeline on the rebranding and renovation process, a likely scenario is one where it doesn’t happen until Caesars no longer operates the facility and it could be transformed solely into a near-Strip hotel.
That would be the scenario which would allow Caesars to run the WSOP at the Rio Convention Center for another few years until the company finds a new destination for the world’s largest poker series.
There have been rumors of the WSOP moving away from the Rio for quite some time. Most of the speculation surrounding the possible move away from its home since 2005 had it going to the recently finished Caesars Forum Conference Center.
The $300 million 550,000 square foot building is one of the few buildings owned by Caesars capable of housing the series. It has 300,000 square feet of meeting space and located on the Las Vegas Strip behind the Linq. By comparison, the Rio’s convention center is 160,000 square feet.
When Caesars sold the property, Seth Palansky, former Vice President of Corporate Communications for the WSOP, told Card Player that the series would be held at the Rio in 2020 and that “people should feel confident that the 2021 WSOP will be at the Rio as well.”
The 2020 WSOP was hosted online due to the pandemic and there has been no announcement about the status of the 2021 series yet.