Rio Las Vegas

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Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino
Rio Vegas logo.svg
Rio Hotel and Casino.jpg
Rio Las Vegas in 2014
Location Paradise, Nevada, U.S.
Address 3700 West Flamingo Road
Opening dateJanuary 15, 1990; 31 years ago (1990-01-15)
ThemeBrazilian
No. of rooms2,522
Total gaming space117,330 sq ft (10,900 m2)
Permanent showsPenn & Teller
Signature attractionsVoodoo Sky Lounge
Wine Cellar & Tasting Room
World Series of Poker
Voodoo zip-line
Notable restaurantsGuy Fieri's El Burro Borracho
Voodoo Steak and Lounge
Casino typeLand-based
OwnerEric Birnbaum
Operating license holderCaesars Entertainment
ArchitectMarnell Corrao Associates
Renovated in1993, 1997, 2005, 2007
Coordinates36°07′01″N 115°11′13″W / 36.117°N 115.187°W / 36.117; -115.187Coordinates: 36°07′01″N 115°11′13″W / 36.117°N 115.187°W / 36.117; -115.187
Websiteriolasvegas.com

Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino is a hotel and casino near the Las Vegas Strip in Paradise, Nevada, United States. It is owned by Eric Birnbaum and operated by Caesars Entertainment. The Rio was the first all suite resort in the Las Vegas area. It was named after the city of Rio de Janeiro and is influenced by Brazilian culture. It is the host casino for the World Series of Poker.

The hotel towers are covered in blue and red glass. The Rio hotel's 2,522 suites range in size from 600 to 13,000 sq ft (56 to 1,208 m2) and have floor to ceiling windows. There are several private villas on the property for high-rollers.

The complex includes a wine cellar that has more than 50,000 bottles.[1] The Rio Pavilion convention center has a total of 160,000 sq ft (15,000 m2) of space. A Race and Sports Book is also available.

History[edit]

Rio Las Vegas logo
Rio Las Vegas with an advertisement for Penn & Teller in 2008
Rio Las Vegas in 2008

MarCor Development Co., Inc purchased the vacant property in 1988, at a cost of $11 million. At the end of the year, the company announced plans to build the Rio, which would be Las Vegas' first all-suite hotel-casino.[2][3] MarCor broke ground on the $80 million project on February 9, 1989. The groundbreaking ceremony included a 15-foot by 30-foot sand sculpture replica of the 21-story hotel.[4] The resort was designed and built by Marnell Corrao Associates.[5]

The Rio opened on January 15, 1990.[6][7] It featured a Brazilian theme based on Rio Carnival,[6][8] and Brazilian musician Sérgio Mendes performed at the resort a few weeks later.[8][9] The property included a 44,000 sq ft (4,100 m2) casino,[10] with 900 slot machines and 42 table games.[6] It also had 424 suites, five restaurants, five bars,[10] and a pool with a waterfall. It employed 1,500 workers. The resort's target demographic would consist primarily of local residents and motorists from southern California. Resort officials believed that the property's location, just west of Interstate 15 and the Las Vegas Strip, would be appealing to tourists.[6]

The Rio was the first casino opened by MarCor, which had largely focused on business parks and shopping centers.[4][11] By 1992, MarCor had sold all of its other properties to focus solely on the Rio.[12] The hotel was successful, prompting a 437-unit addition, which broke ground on January 4, 1993.[13][14] A $25 million expansion was announced later that year which would include more casino space.[15][16] The new hotel tower opened during Labor Day weekend, bringing the room count to 861.[14] The casino expansion opened at the end of 1993.[17] A few months later, the resort announced a $75 million addition which would further expand the casino, and would increase the hotel with 549 rooms, for a total of 1,410.[18][19][20]

The Rio had a $250,000 laser system for nighttime displays. The system had to be adjusted in 1994, to avoid temporarily blinding commercial pilots.[21] A $20 million expansion began in 1995, adding 144 suites, more meeting room space, and a new health club and salon facility.[20][22] A $187 million expansion was underway in 1996, including six new restaurants and the addition of a 41-story tower with 1,000 rooms.[23][24][25]

Masquerade Village, a hotel tower and casino expansion including the Masquerade Show in the Sky, opened in 1997 at a cost of over $200 million. The Rio was purchased by Harrah's Entertainment (later named Caesars Entertainment) in 1999 for $888 million. After the purchase, the Culinary Workers Union organized the Rio employees through card check recognition by enforcing the neutrality clause of the existing Harrah's contract on the new acquisition.[26]

Danny Gans, after moving from the Stratosphere Las Vegas, opened as the headliner in 1998. He later moved to The Mirage in 2000. Penn & Teller have been the resident headline entertainers since 2001.

The Rio's Penn & Teller Theater was the host venue of the 30th anniversary special for the hit CBS game show The Price Is Right and has been used for Live! with Regis and Kelly, Hell's Kitchen and numerous Penn & Teller television projects. The hotel hosted the World Series of Poker in 2005, the first time this event was not held at Binion's. Binion's was used for the final three tables and the last two days of the competition as part of the celebration of Las Vegas' centennial. Since 2005, the Rio has been the home for the tournament.

In December 2019, Caesars sold the Rio for $516 million to New York-based real estate developer Eric Birnbaum. Under the deal, Caesars would continue to operate the Rio under lease for at least two years, paying $45 million a year in rent.[27]

In March 2021, it was announced that the property had entered into a franchise agreement with Hyatt. Following a renovation, the main 1501-room wing and its facilities will be rebranded as a Hyatt Regency, while the other 1009-room tower will be rebranded later to other Hyatt brands.[28]

Features[edit]

KISS by Monster Mini Golf[edit]

KISS by Monster Mini Golf is a franchise of the Monster Mini Golf chain; as the name suggests, this location is based on classic rock band KISS. In addition to the 18-hole miniature golf course, the venue also boasts a Rock and Roll Themed wedding chapel called the "I Love It Loud Wedding Chapel", the world's largest KISS gift shop, and a KISS Museum featuring memorabilia from the band's career on display. It also hosts regular appearances by KISS band members, both past and present.[29]

Sapphire Pool[edit]

On May 30, 2008, the Rio opened the Sapphire Pool in conjunction with a local club. The daylight-hour, adults-only club surrounded one of the property's outdoor pools and featured dancers. It opened with a $30-per-male-customer admission price.[30][31] The venture was a high-profile joint venture between a casino company and a topless business, and was notable because the possibility of bringing in criminal activity at the club had caused the Nevada Gaming Control Board to balk at previous collaborations; some in the media questioned whether the risk was worth the potential payoff for the hotel.[30][31]

In late July 2009, the Rio hotel asked the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) to do a routine undercover investigation of the Sapphire Pool, as casino-resorts in Nevada are held responsible for the activities held on their premises. The request was a part of the resort's effort to show good faith to the Gaming Control Board.[32] The July 25 visit resulted in 11 arrests. Upon finding out the results of the investigation, the Rio immediately shut down the pool.[33][34]

Events[edit]

When Creation Entertainment lost the "Star Trek mecca" for its annual Official Convention after the closing of Star Trek: The Experience at the adjoining former Las Vegas Hilton, the convention moved to the Rio in 2011 and has grown ever since. For 2016, the 50th anniversary of Star Trek, the event expands to a fifth day and by December 31, 2015, had already broken a room-reservation record with 12,000+ rooms reserved by attendees, guests and vendors.

The SKUSA SuperNationals, a kart racing event to which international kart and car drivers are invited (Michael Schumacher raced in 2009),[35] takes place each year at the Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino, a circuit is set on the hotel parking lot.[36]

The DEF CON hacker convention took place at the Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino from 2011 to 2014.

The Computer Measurement Group (CMG) annual conference took place at the Rio in December 2012.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Wine Cellar and Tasting Room." Harrah's Las Vegas. January 1, 2009. Harrah's Entertainment Inc.. August 3, 2009 <http://www.riolasvegas.com/casinos/rio/restaurants-dining/wine-cellar-and-tasting-room-detail.html>.
  2. ^ "MarCor buys 30 acres in Las Vegas". Reno Gazette-Journal. June 20, 1988. Retrieved July 15, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  3. ^ "Partners". Reno Gazette-Journal. December 26, 1988. Retrieved July 15, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  4. ^ a b "$80 million hotel project starts". The Daily Spectrum. United Press International. February 10, 1989. Retrieved July 15, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  5. ^ "Ground Is Broken In Las Vegas on All-Suite Casino". Los Angeles Times. February 19, 1989. Retrieved July 15, 2021.
  6. ^ a b c d Burbank, Jeff (January 15, 1990). "Rio kicks off the '90s". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved July 15, 2021.
  7. ^ "New Vegas resort". The Press Democrat. January 16, 1990. Retrieved July 15, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  8. ^ a b "'Best-known Brazilian' Mendes to perform for opening of Rio Hotel". Los Angeles Times. January 14, 1990. Retrieved July 15, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  9. ^ "Sergio Mendes, Jim Brown help kick off new Rio Suite resort". Los Angeles Times. January 28, 1990. Retrieved July 15, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  10. ^ a b "MarCor Granted Gaming License". Los Angeles Times. December 26, 1989. Retrieved July 15, 2021.
  11. ^ "Guests are in for a 'suite' treat at popular Rio Hotel & Casino". Times-Advocate. December 9, 1990. Retrieved July 15, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  12. ^ "Marcor Resorts Sells Properties". The New York Times. January 1, 1992. Retrieved July 15, 2021.
  13. ^ "Rio Suite Hotel Breaks Ground for 430-Unit Addition". The Press of Atlantic City. January 10, 1993. Retrieved July 15, 2021.
  14. ^ a b "Second all-suite tower to open". Los Angeles Times. August 29, 1993. Retrieved July 16, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  15. ^ "Another Las Vegas hotel announces expansion plans". Reno Gazette-Journal. May 25, 1993. Retrieved July 15, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  16. ^ "Rio Suite Holds Double Ceremony for Tower, Casino". The Press of Atlantic City. August 1, 1993. Retrieved July 15, 2021.
  17. ^ "Rio Hotel expands casino with Rain Forest, Coral Reef opening". Reno Gazette-Journal. December 24, 1993. Retrieved July 15, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  18. ^ "Rio to build $75 million addition". Reno Gazette-Journal. March 4, 1994. Retrieved July 16, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  19. ^ "Rio Suite Hotel & Casino marks its 5th year in business". Los Angeles Times. January 15, 1995. Retrieved July 16, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  20. ^ a b "$20 million expansion for Rio Hotel & Casino". Reno Gazette-Journal. March 15, 1995. Retrieved July 15, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  21. ^ "Las Vegas laser displays moved away from pilots". Elko Daily Free Press. Associated Press. June 29, 1994. Retrieved July 16, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  22. ^ "Vegas Wire / Rio Suite Breaks Ground for $20 Million Expansion". The Press of Atlantic City. April 16, 1995. Retrieved July 15, 2021.
  23. ^ Calkins, Alison (May 24, 1996). "Shareholders briefed on Rio plans". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved July 16, 2021.
  24. ^ "Construction impacts casino earnings". Las Vegas Sun. October 17, 1996. Retrieved July 16, 2021.
  25. ^ Berns, Dave (February 7, 1997). "Experts say: Bravo, rio". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Archived from the original on October 7, 1999. Retrieved July 16, 2021.
  26. ^ Benston, Liz (March 23, 2005). "Culinary, Boyd in legal bout". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved October 4, 2008.
  27. ^ "Caesars Entertainment completes $516 million sale of Rio". Las Vegas Sun. December 5, 2019. Retrieved December 5, 2019.
  28. ^ Net, Hospitality. "The Rio Las Vegas Will Be Repositioned To Multiple Hyatt Full-service Offerings, Starting With A Hyatt Regency Hotel". Hospitality Net.
  29. ^ "KISS by Monster Mini Golf | KISS Mini Golf".
  30. ^ a b John L. Smith, Rio-Sapphire joint venture an inevitable merging of casinos and strip clubs Archived, Las Vegas Review-Journal, June 20, 2008, Accessed August 3, 2009.
  31. ^ a b Richard Abowitz, Rio: Bringing sexy back, LATimes.com, June 20, 2008, Accessed August 3, 2009.
  32. ^ Recent Raids Have Casinos on Edge Archived, KLAS, July 30, 2009, Accessed August 3, 2009.
  33. ^ Metro: Prostitution, drug activity found at topless Rio pool, Las Vegas Sun, July 29, 2009, Accessed August 3, 2009.
  34. ^ Richard Abowitz, Rio kicks the strippers out of the pool, LATimes.com, July 29, 2009, Accessed August 3, 2009.
  35. ^ SKUSA Supernationals/Michael Schumacher - YouTube video
  36. ^ SKUSA SuperNationals - SuperKarts! USA

External links[edit]