Earlier this year, Red Rock Resorts (aka Station Casinos) sold Palms Casinos Resort to the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians. The soon-to-be Las Vegas casino operator paid $650 million in cash for the casino that hasn’t been open since closing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Palms sale is now expected to close in the first half of 2022. The property should open shortly after regulatory approvals. Until then, San Manuel will be somewhat vague with their plans for Palms.
However, the company can hint at their plans for the casino’s reopening.
One thing we know for sure is that the giant Damian Hirst shark will remain the centerpiece of the casino bar.
New Las Vegas sportsbook among plans for Palms
Even though Station Casinos operated Palms, the company wasn’t in control of the sportsbook. Rather, Palms hosted a CG Technology (CGT) sportsbook. While William Hill purchased CGT’s assets, it never took over as the casino closed when the deal became official.
San Manuel isn’t saying who will operate the Palms sportsbook when it reopens next year. However, the operators have indicated that the space will look different. San Manuel will update the outdated sportsbook and change its size.
The Palms sportsbook is rather large for the property with a bar outside of the VIP area. PlayNevada reached out to Palms public relations for more information, but that isn’t ready just yet.
It wouldn’t be a surprise to see the bar moved closer to the viewing screens, which should also see an update. The VIP area at the sportsbook was created for high rollers at CG Technology. This space went mostly unused when Station Casinos took over the property.
A bar with a clear view of new video screens would work nicely behind a few rows of comfortable lounge chairs or horse racing carrels. It’s unclear if William Hill will continue operating the sportsbook when Palms reopens.
San Manuel loves catering to Las Vegas locals
Similar to San Manuel’s Yaamava’ Resort & Casino in California, Palms will be marketed like a true locals casino. While amenities and a shiny new casino will be attractive to anyone, San Manuel’s calling card has always been marketing to customers who live near their casino. Palms will be no different.
Due to its close proximity to the Vegas Strip, Palms has always been a hybrid casino that was marketed to both locals and tourists. The casino floor is so large that Las Vegas residents who drive to the casino and park in the garage or lot have enough casino space to enjoy without ever mixing with tourists if they chose not to.
Laurens Vosloo, chief executive of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal: “We think we’ve got something different and special that the locals will like.”
Unlike most Vegas Strip casinos, San Manuel sees locals as the big revenue generator for Palms. The tourists will visit, but the bulk of the business should come from locals.
Ironically, Station Casinos’ “we love locals” marketing slogan got lost a bit while the company was trying to market to both. The original owners of Palms, the Maloof brothers, did a fantastic job of catering to both groups. This was no easy task as creating a different experience in one casino for two different customers wasn’t easy.
San Manuel will also market Palms to Yaamava’ customers. The California casino is four hours away from Las Vegas. The Southern California market proved to be important for Las Vegas casinos over the past year as tourists weren’t necessarily flying during the peaks of COVID-19.
Last, but certainly not least: parking will remain free at Palms when it reopens.
Don’t expect KAOS when Palms reopens
KAOS was a beautiful dayclub/nightclub that turned out to be a money pit for Station Casinos. Between spending money to build a beautiful venue and pay resident performers, the previous owners of Palms didn’t see a good return on this investment.
The hope was that guests visiting Palms to go to KAOS would spend much money elsewhere at the property. Unfortunately, that never happened, and KAOS closed and never reopened.
At this time, San Manuel doesn’t have a plan for reopening KAOS. The club was part of Station Casinos’ marketing to tourists. That doesn’t quite fit the local market San Manuel will be targeting.
On a related note, San Manuel says there is a plan to open a new rooftop pool complex. However, the company hasn’t revealed details about the pool complex. The views of the Vegas Strip could be a calling card for tourists and locals alike.
Expect a longer name for Palms in the future
Palms will reopen with the same name next year. However, San Manuel is already thinking about changing the name slightly.
This would sort of mirror a recent name change at its San Manuel Casino in California.
The California property is now Yaamava’ Resort & Casino at San Manuel. At some point in the future, a similar change should happen a Palms in Las Vegas.
The casino could officially become Palms by San Manuel. This and more changes should become public sometime after the deal for Palms closes in the first half of 2022.