LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — With the $50 million expansion of the Fremont Hotel & Casino set for completion at the end of this year and eyes on a new Joker’s Wild casino along Boulder Highway in Henderson, Boyd Gaming has one word for investors: stability.
After the up-and-down gyrations of the pandemic, the company believes it’s a good place to be. And it was a theme for company leaders as they discussed Boyd Gaming’s third-quarter performance on an earnings call on Tuesday.
Revenues of $877.3 million showed a 4% increase over the third quarter results from last year. Company officials said it was the best quarter ever, behind only last year’s third quarter. They said inflation is not stopping customers from spending.
Boyd Gaming President and CEO Keith Smith said by the end of this year, the company will have spent $250 on capital projects highlighted by the Fremont and the $100 million Treasure Chest casino project in Louisiana. The company has also socked away enough cash to continue buying back $100 million in stock each quarter through 2023.
With more than 5,000 hotel rooms in Las Vegas, Boyd’s properties include Aliante Casino Hotel + Spa, The Orleans Hotel & Casino, Gold Coast Hotel & Casino, Suncoast Hotel & Casino, Sam’s Town Las Vegas, Cannery Casino Hotel, California Hotel Casino, Fremonth Hotel & Casino and Main Street Station Casino Brewery Hotel.
That presence stands to benefit from events including the Formula 1 event scheduled on the the Strip in 2023, and other anticipated openings including the MSG Sphere. Spillover and higher rates will help Boyd Group’s bottom line.
Smith talked about the changes at the Fremont, including:
- expanded casino floorspace
- debut of Nevada’s first FanDuel sportsbook
- selection of enhanced quick-serve dining options
But Smith and CFO Josh Hirsberg brushed off questions about the competition. They said they don’t expect “significant impact” when Durango Station opens in the southwest Las Vegas valley in about 18 months. Station Casinos also intends to build a new hotel-casino that won’t be far from the Aliante and Cannery properties operated by Boyd. Stations sold Aliante to the Boyd Group in 2016.
Boyd Group hotels have been focused on rebuilding staffing at “appropriate levels” and establishing a hold in the online gaming world. Smith described that effort as building a strong presence, but not an effort to be at the top of the heap.
The company acquired Pala Interactive for $170 million as a major part of that effort.
“We believe we have the foundation to successfully build a profitable regional online casino operation that leverages our industrywide experience, our existing geographic presence and our proven customer database. Pala will provide us the technology, products and management expertise to execute this strategy,” Smith said.
Boyd Group properties have seen a gradual return of older gamblers, who haven’t paraded back to casinos after the pandemic. But there isn’t any kind of campaign to win them back. Boyd’s best customers are spending about 5% more than they did last year, and that’s fueling the positive numbers for now.