Hilton chain seeks to end license agreement with Las Vegas Hilton

Sun File Photo

A view of the Las Vegas Hilton at night.

The Hilton hotel chain has put the Las Vegas Hilton on notice that it intends to terminate its license agreement with the casino Jan. 1, which would force the property to give up the name it has held since the 1970s.

The 2009 agreement licenses the right to use the Hilton brand and links the property to Hilton's "Hhonors" loyalty program. It can be terminated by either party at any time and for any reason. Neither party offered a reason.

Las Vegas Hilton spokesman Owen Blicksilver said the property is in discussions with other major hotel brands and expects to announce a new affiliation before the end of the year. There's still an outside possibility the hotel will negotiate a new license agreement with Hilton, he added.

Built by Kirk Kerkorian in 1969, the former International Hotel went through multiple owners, including Hilton Hotels Corp., until private equity firm Colony Capital bought the property in 2004.

The Las Vegas Hilton is among several older casinos that are struggling in the downturn. First quarter losses widened for owner Colony Resorts LVH Acquisitions LLC as business fell. The property blamed "fixed labor and benefits costs" - or, difficulties trimming labor costs as revenue declined. Like some of its Strip competitors, the property reported increases in room rates and convention business in the first quarter, reflecting slightly improved business trends nationwide.

Lenders agreed to extend a loan worth about $250 million through 2012 after the Las Vegas Hilton stopped making interest payments on the loan last year. The agreement with lenders allows the Hilton to defer payments on the loan in exchange for a higher interest rate and capital contributions by Colony of up to $20 million.

"The notification by Hilton does not impact the management, ownership, operations, employees, vendors or guest services at our hotel," Blicksilver said. "This is a great property, an integral part of the Las Vegas experience and a key destination resort for both business and pleasure travelers. That will not change."

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  1. About time. Maybe they can snag the Days Inn brand. This place is (in my Constitutionally-protected opinion) a dump. The last three times I stayed there it was horrible. Hilton did the right thing cutting ties.

  2. Even having a monorail stop didn't help. hehe.

  3. The Hilton has some of the best Rock Shows in the Showroom. Knight of Guitars was Incredible. The Jimmy Hendrix tribute show was amazing. I hope they make it. This property is older, however as with the Tropicana, its a great structure and the monorail is not an asset to anyone in its present configuration.

  4. Maybe, MAYBE, 30 years ago, the Vegas Hilton used to be a No 1 spot in Vegas. It was before the area of Mirage, MGM, Venetian and all the other super destination resorts on the Strip. Location is everything in this business, and as we see, just from the conventions solely a casino can't be profitable. It takes regular tourists as well, and not all of them are willing to pay the de-touring taxi-taps on their way back to the hotel every day, and not all of them want to rent a car just to get back to their hotel after a night of heavy action on the Strip.

    I stayed there in 2009 when I found an absolutely unresistible offer online. 45 dollars per night, 2 nights minimum, plus, i received a 25 dollar free play coupon, plus, a 5 dollar dining credit if I wave the linen service. I booked a room that had 2 beds so 1 night I slept in 1 bed and the other night I used the other bed. That way I had 2x fresh linen and still received my 5 dollar dining comp. And, by the way, the 25 dollar free play coupon won. Right on the first roll of dice, I won by 7 :)

    It certanly used to be classy place, with Elvis Presley appearing, and super high rollers playing there baccarat. The especially installed wheelchair elevator to the today rather small looking high limit slot area where there used to be the high limit baccarat pit reminds of the good old days with Larry Flint giving action in there....

    Everything is nice about this place, even the working girls lining up at the sports bar every given night look sexy (but are WAY TOO EXPENSIVE!!!!) but the days are over. If they keep on losing money, perhaps it's better to shut its doors and take it down. Nothing lasts forever in Las Vegas, as we know.

    From Switzerland