Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Biggest Shoe Yet Drops...

In the biggest shoe yet to drop in the financial disaster that is the Casino Gaming sector, Station Casinos finally filed Chapter 11 Bankruptcy today. It has long been spectulated that it was going to happen and almost did back in March. They have been negotiating with debtors for several months but were not able to come to a resolution to refinance the $5.4B in debt they took on in the 2007 leveraged buy-out that took the company private. The filing doesn't change much for the day to day operations of the company but a few bondholders will certainly be taking it in the shorts, as they should.

This BK filing is the price that Station's management pays for their hubris. Like MGM and Las Vegas Sands, they took on a mountain of debt beyond their ability to pay for it in a poor environment. The big difference between them and MGM/LVS is those companies built with their debt whereas Station just decided they were better than Wall St. and wanted out of the public company game. I am hardly an Econ PhD but only the very best of economic forecasts could have predicted making good on that amount of debt with nothing more than current cash-flow to pay for it. The Fertitta's got so used to the cash register ringing from the endless amount of Las Vegs home-equity that they couldn't envision anything but. Well that register stopped ringing and here now lies the remains of the Fertitta's grand plan. You know the guys over at Harrah's who made the very same bet but only for 3 times the amount of money are sweating coming to work each day. It's only a matter of time before that LBO disaster visits the LV Federal Courthouse with its tail between its legs.

I have predicted these BKs for quite a while and I believe that despite short-term pain, Las Vegas will be better off because of it in the long run. This is capitalism's nature flushing mechanism as those who made bad bets lose their money with no taxpayer bailout required. The new company that emerges is leaner and less burdened with debt allowing it to compete more aggressively for business. Once again, the winner will be the customer who Station will be fighting for. Remember that the very best thing that ever happened to both the Stratosphere and Aladdin/Planet Hollywod was BK as both of the places are now thriving even during this economic downturn.

Visit VegasCasinoInfo.com for the complete guide to Las Vegas Hotels and Casinos. Property maps of every major casino, 100s of pictures and a ton of other info all without annoying ads!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Web Hosting Nightmare Comes to an End...

The horror of dealing with a 3rd-party web host has finally ended. After well over a month in hell dealing with the grossly incompetent people at Godaddy.com, I have moved VegasCasinoInfo.com along with my other sites back to my own server. It required a bit of an upfront outlay that I really wasn't planning on but to have control back and to not have to pay a monthly fee for shitty service is well worth it. The worse part of the whole experience with the clowns at Godaddy was not only incompetence but the arrogance to blame the problems on me despite basic common sense dictating otherwise. I even went through the effort of producing reams of data to help them fix the issue since they wouldn't even make an effort to look at logfiles. After the 15th conversation and hours on hold with tech support (which isn't even an toll-free number), they finally admitted THEY had a problem. They then proposed a completely unacceptable solution plus no reimbursement for the days of downtime that was incurred. It was time to bring the site back in-house! So after a long week of banging away, everything now resides on a brand spankin' new network under my complete control. This will allow for not only better uptime but to implement things I could never do with the amateur setup I was working with at Godaddy. If you ever consider using them for even the most basic of websites, think again.... I can finally now get around to posting some new maps and pictures that I haven't been able to get up due the problems with GoDaddy.

Since this was a pretty much a complete re-design of the network including plus a complete migration of the website and database, I would greatly appreciate it if you let me know if you run across any errors or fluky behavior. As always, THANKS for visiting VegasCasinoInfo.com!

Visit VegasCasinoInfo.com for the complete guide to Las Vegas Hotels and Casinos. Property maps of every major casino, 100s of pictures and a ton of other info all without annoying ads!