Boyd Gaming taking ‘thoughtful’ approach to restaurants amid high profits

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — With profits coming in on the heels of a “fantastic” quarter, Boyd Gaming leaders are taking a “thoughtful” approach to when more restaurants and resort amenities will reopen.

President and Chief Executive Officer Keith Smith summarized the company’s first quarter earnings, with record margins reported and a particularly strong market for Las Vegas locals returning to casinos.

Revenues of $753 million for January through March were up compared to last year, when casinos completely lost about two weeks of business when non-essential businesses closed mid-month during the COVID-19 pandemic. Boyd offered 2019 revenue figures for a truer comparison — with 2021 coming in about 9% below 2019 revenues.

That revenue produced a $102.2 million in net income, compared to $45 million in 2019. The numbers for 2020 were a reminder of how hard the pandemic hit — a $147.5 million first-quarter loss.

And Boyd welcomed the recent announcement that casinos would be allowed to expand capacity to 80% soon. Smith said that will help Boyd properties on busy weekends, and added that the psychological effect of more normal operations was very important.

“This was a great quarter,” said Boyd CFO Josh Hirsberg.

Among the best news was the return of Las Vegas locals to casinos, and Boyd’s 49.7% profit margin for those eager customers. That profit margin is likely to shrink as more parts of the resorts open. Executives want to keep loyal customers happy and turn occasional gamblers into new loyal customers, and the whole resort operation plays a part in that.

Smith called it “a business demand question,” and didn’t suggest that Boyd was going to keep amenities closed forever, even as business analysts peppered him with questions about sustaining high profit margins.

“As other parts of the business normalize, margins will dip below what we saw in Q1,” Smith said.

Boyd operates 10 properties in Las Vegas:

  • Aliante Casino + Hotel + Spa
  • The Orleans Hotel & Casino
  • Gold Coast Hotel & Casino
  • Suncoast Hotel & Casino
  • Sam’s Town Las Vegas
  • Eastside Cannery Casino & Hotel (remains closed, reopening date not announced)
  • Cannery Casino Hotel
  • California Hotel Casino
  • Fremont Hotel & Casino
  • Main Street Station Casino Brewery Hotel (remains closed, reopening date not announced)

Recovery has been lagging at The Orleans Hotel & Casino, which relies on out-of-state tourism more than other Boyd properties, and downtown Las Vegas properties that cater heavily to customers from Hawaii.

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