Harrah’s Takes Step to Acquire Planet Hollywood





Anthony Curtis’ nationally syndicated weekly column.

Jan. 20, 2010

While 2010 may not bring a bonanza of new-casino openings to the Las Vegas scene, it figures to be a year of changes on another level. Specifically, ownership changes loom on several fronts, as companies with stronger balance sheets look to absorb others that have run into financial difficulties. One such situation is unfolding on the south end of the Strip, where Harrah’s is moving forward on a plan to acquire Planet Hollywood. Last week Harrah’s took over management of Planet Hollywood’s hotel operations and some of its restaurants and bars. Planet Hollywood continues to run its own casino for now, though Harrah’s has made it clear that it wants eventually to own the entire operation. If successful, it would give the company control of all 126 acres on the east side of the Strip between Flamingo Road and Harmon Avenue. Adding PH’s 2,496 hotel rooms to Harrah’s inventory would give it nearly 23,000 rooms on or near the Strip.

Birthday Bash: The Rio is celebrating its 20th anniversary with special offers through February 4. Deals include $20-per-night/per-person room rates (mid-week only), 20% off the entire meal at Voodoo Steak and Buzios Seafood, a $20 ticket (after buying one at full price) to Penn & Teller, and more. While many don’t realize it, the Rio was the second casino to open at the beginning of the epic Las Vegas building boom that kicked off with the Mirage.

More Playboy at Palms: Adding to its rooftop Playboy Club, the Palms will debut “Playboy Comedy” on February 18. Tickets for the newest comedy club in town will be $39.99 (inclusive of taxes), which includes entry into the Playboy Club following the show.

Question: Are there any reviews yet on the dinner buffet at the new Aria casino?

Answer: It’s a good one, the strengths being cold seafood (crab legs, oysters, shrimp, and sushi), exotic salads (great potato salad), and carved meats (New York strip, prime rib, lamb, and turkey). Dinner is $27.95 and this one’s still undiscovered, so lines are still light.

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