|By Arnold M. Knightly, Las Vegas
Review-JournalMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
May 10, 2010--The Hard Rock Hotel posted a first quarter loss of $26.5 million largely due to higher operational expenses and interest payments on the money used to pay for the large expansion finished in March.
The loss is a slight increase from the $24.3 million loss posted the same time in 2009, a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission shows.
The property had an operational loss of $9.1 million and paid $19 million in interest expense in the quarter ended March 31.
The $770 million expansion, largely completed in December except for the pool, added 74,000 square feet of additional meeting space, a larger concert venue, a larger night club and additional amenities such as new restaurants, a spa and new poker lounge, two hotel towers totally 865 rooms and 30,000 square feet of new casino space.
The property now has 1,500 hotel rooms and 60,000 square feet of casino floor.
Expenses to operate the larger property increased 71.1 percent while revenue jumped 80.6 percent to $54.2 million in the quarter, an increase from $30 million posted the same time prior year.
Casino revenues increased 54.5 percent, hotel revenues increased 69.3 percent and food and beverage 78 percent.
Independent gaming analyst Frank Martin said that the property slot machine average per day was much less than half of the Strip casino average. Table revenue, which improved by 9.8 percent per table per day was also less than half the Strip average.
"Many casino properties have a comprehensive loss, after impairment charges and interest payments," Martin said this morning. "The Hard Rock Casino is still relatively unusual in that it also has an operational loss which has been increasing for the last three years. In upcoming quarters gaming revenue must match the improvements in revenue from food and beverage."
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