Las Vegas Rio to be Rebranded as Hyatt Hotel
There have been rumors for years over whether the World Series of Poker will move from the Rio in Las Vegas. Those rumors will likely ramp up now that the Rio will be rebranded into a Hyatt hotel. The deal was recently announced, making some speculate as to the future of the live WSOP in Las Vegas.
Hyatt Signs Deal With Dreamscape LLC for Rio Property
Earlier this week, news broke that the Rio All-Suites Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas will be rebranded into a Hyatt-branded hotel. Dramscape Companies, LLC has signed a franchise agreement with Hyatt Hotel Corporations that will see the Rio rebranded.
According to Kimo Bertram, VP of Real Estate and Development with Hyatt, “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.”
Rio Las Vegas will be repositioned to multiple Hyatt full-service offerings, starting with a Hyatt Regency hotel
— Vegas Tweets (@VegasTweetsInfo) March 20, 2021
You may remember that Caesars sold the Rio to Dreamscape LLC in 2019 for $516 million. At that time, Caesars signed a 2-year agreement to operate the Rio. It is unclear at this time how much time is left on that deal. As such, it may be up to a year or a little longer before renovations begin on the Rio.
The rebranding of the Rio raises questions as to the future of the World Series of Poker. We will take a look at a couple of scenarios.
WSOP Continues at Hyatt Past 2021?
First, if a live WSOP is held in 2021 as Kevmath claims, then it will be at the Rio. When the Rio was sold, WSOP VP Seth Palansky stated that the WSOP would be at the Rio through 2021. As such, this year should be fine. However, what happens beyond that will depend on what the Hyatt does with the property.
There will be a baseball stadium at the Hyatt Regency before there’s a WSOP at that location.
— Kevin Mathers (@Kevmath) March 18, 2021
There is a good chance that the company rebrands the property and makes it exclusively a hotel. If that is the case, the property will not hold a casino license, which could make it nearly impossible to hold the WSOP at the venue.
However, if the property decides to pick up a casino license, this could bode well for the WSOP. The convention center at the Rio can still host the WSOP as it currently sits. Caesars could simply rent the convention center from Hyatt for the series. This could be mutually beneficial as the Hyatt could offer hotel rates for players. With that said, another scenario is much more likely.
WSOP Moves to Caesars Forum Convention Center
What we believe will happen starting in 2022 is that the World Series of Poker will move to the new Caesars Forum Convention Center in Las Vegas. The new property will have 300,000 sq ft of meeting space, which is almost double that of the Rio.
Moving to the Caesars Forum would give the WSOP room for continued growth and allow for the series to be operated much more comfortably than is presently done over at the Rio. The Rio venue has juggled spacing for years and the Caesars Forum would effectively solve those problems.
As such, we believe this will be the last year we see the World Series of Poker at the Rio in Las Vegas. Having only ever played the WSOP at the Rio, this will definitely take some getting used to. In the end, it is all about the poker and winning WSOP bracelets. Whether it is at the Rio or the Caesars Forum, the high level of competition will remain. A change of venue may be exactly what the WSOP needs for future growth.