Travel Business News - North America.

New York (AirGuideBusiness - Travel Business News North America) May 6, 2012

American Casino American Casino reports increase in Q1 net revenue. American Casino & Entertainment Properties said its net revenue increased to $87.1 million from $86.4 million for the first quarter. American's Stratosphere property in Las Vegas saw its net revenue increase 1.6%, to $38.4 million, while the Aquarius increased its net revenue 3.9%, to $24 million. May 2, 2012

American Express Business travel drives positive airline-revenue outlook. Despite the fragility of the economic recovery, strong demand from corporate business travelers has helped drive better-than-expected revenues for U.S. airlines battered by high fuel costs. The American Express global travel forecast for 2012 predicts jumps in business-class fares as companies seek to secure new accounts. "People want to make sure that they're out there talking to their clients," said Megan Costello, managing director at Association of Corporate Travel Executives. May 1, 2012

AMResorts AMResorts Launches May Madness Agent Incentive Program . AMResorts, provider of sales, marketing and brand management services for Zotry Wellness & Spa Resorts and Secrets, Dreams, Now and Sunscape Resorts & Spas, is rewarding its most loyal agents with cash as part of the companyOs largest agent-focused incentive program of the year, May Madness. This year, AMResorts is introducing Drop & Win, a fun and interactive game that can be automatically entered by all certified Master Agents who book three nights (minimum) between May 1 and May 31 for travel through Dec. 23, 2012, at any of AMResortsO 28 properties and register their bookings at AMRAgents.com. Each qualifying booking registered on AMRAgents.com earns the agent a coin to drop and win $25, $50 or $100 cash. EEEEEEEEEEE Coinciding with the May Madness incentive program, AMResorts is offering all Master Agents special rates to travel to participating resorts during the months of May and June. Master Agents who travel May 1 through June 30, can receive the following special rates (per person, based on double occupancy) when booking on AMRAgents.com with a designated promotional code: Sunscape Resorts & Spas, $49; Dreams and Now Resorts & Spas (excluding Dreams Los Cabos), $69; Secrets Huatulco, Secrets Silversands, Secrets Capri, Secrets Vallarta Bay and Secrets Royal Beach, $79; Secrets Marquis, Secrets Wild Orchid and Secrets St. James, $89; Zotry Wellness & Spa Resorts, $109. Apr 30, 2012

Anacaona Boutique Hotel Anacaona Boutique Hotel Features ORun of HouseO Upgrades . AnguillaOs Anacaona Boutique Hotel is offering a ORun of HouseO program featuring upgrades from standard to superior rooms, with confirmation at the time of booking. Upon check-in, the reception staff will review the hotelOs inventory for vacant suites. The guest will be booked into a junior suite or higher category if one is available. The offer is valid for travel through Dec. 21, 2012, and applies exclusively to new bookings. May 1, 2012

Atlantic CityOs Tropicana Atlantic CityOs Tropicana Announces Multi-Phase Renovations. Tropicana Casino & Resort Atlantic City, which recently opened the newEBoogie Nights night club, announced a series of significant renovation projects that will include major improvements to its guest rooms, restaurants and casino floor, as well as considerable changes to its nightlife offerings. Construction will begin in the fall of 2012 and will be completed by the end of the year. Included in the plans are renovations to 16 floors of the North Tower, which includes 437 standard rooms and junior suites. Overseeing the design and aesthetics are Bergman Walls and Associates, Atlantic City-based SOSH Architects and Steelman Partners. The new rooms will feature sleek, contemporary furnishings, bold graphic carpeting, textured wall coverings and modernized bathrooms. In addition, a new Italian fine dining restaurant will be introduced. Boogie Nights dance club will be expanded to include TangoOs Lounge, with more than 30 additional seats, a new dance area, and a relocated stage adjacent to Boogie Nights. Additionally, the casino floor will be further enhanced with close to a $4 million investment in over 150 state-of-the-art slot games. May 2, 2012

Boyd Gaming Boyd Gaming Set to Buy Peninsula Gaming For $1.45 Billion. Boyd Gaming Corporation, which has gaming properties across the country from Las Vegas to Atlantic City, has agreed to buy Peninsula Gaming, LLC, for $1.45 billion. Boyd said the acquisition will complement its existing portfolio by adding five properties in some of the nation's strongest growth regions: Kansas Star Casino near Wichita, Kansas; Diamond Jo Casino in Dubuque, Iowa; Diamond Jo Worth in Northwood, Iowa; Evangeline Downs Racetrack & Casino in Opelousas, Louisiana; and Amelia Belle Casino in Amelia, Louisiana. The purchase price represents an EBITDA multiple of seven times based on the trailing 12-month EBITDA of $109 million for Peninsula's Iowa and Louisiana properties, an annualized run-rate for Kansas Star based on its first-quarter 2012 EBITDA of $26.8 million, and corporate expense of $10 million. "Acquiring Peninsula Gaming is a transformative transaction that fits perfectly into our growth strategy by expanding our company's scale, diversifying our platform, strengthening our financial profile, and generating meaningful value for our shareholders," said Keith Smith, BoydOs president and CEO. OThe Peninsula properties are a strong fit for us, as they are well-managed and operate in resilient markets in the Midwest and South. We anticipate this transaction will be immediately accretive to earnings and significantly increase our free cash flow." Smith said Boyd is paying an attractive multiple for high-quality, high-margin assets. The properties operate in locations with limited gaming supply and stable tax and regulatory environments, resulting in attractive EBITDA margins. OTheir management teams have considerable knowledge of their markets, and have shown they are able to operate efficiently without compromising the guest experience,O Smith said. Subject to the satisfaction of various closing conditions and receipt of required regulatory approvals, Boyd said it expects the transaction to close by the end of 2012. The company has obtained committed financing for the entire transaction, and anticipates it will be deleveraging. Boyd will fund the transaction with $200 million in cash and approximately $1.2 billion in debt at the Peninsula subsidiary. In addition, a note provided by the seller of approximately $144 million will be part of the consideration. May 2, 2012

Caesars Entertainment Caesars Entertainment Reports Boost in First Quarter Net Revenues. Caesars Entertainment reported net revenues for the first quarter of 2012 of $2.27 billion, up $92.9 million, or 4.3 percent, from the year-earlier period. The increase in net revenues was due mainly to higher revenues in the Las Vegas and Louisiana/Mississippi regions, and from the company's international and online businesses, including revenues related to Playtika, which was acquired during 2011, partially offset by a decline in net revenues in the Atlantic City region. For the first quarter of 2012, income from operations decreased $138 million, or 64.6 percent, to $75.5 million from $213.5 million in the year-ago first quarter, mainly due to a $172 million charge in the first quarter of 2012, of which $167.5 million is a non-cash impairment, related to a previously halted development project in Biloxi, Miss. This decrease was partially offset by the income impact of higher revenues, a decrease of approximately $17 million in property tax expense related to the negotiation of a favorable Atlantic City property tax settlement in the first quarter of 2012, and other cost reductions achieved as part of Project Renewal. Additionally, first-quarter 2012 results include the recovery of business interruption insurance proceeds of approximately $7 million reflecting lost profits associated with temporary closures of three properties in Tunica, Miss., in the first half of 2011, as a result of flooding. Net loss attributable to Caesars for the first quarter of 2012 was $280.6 million, up $133.1 million, or 90.2 percent, from the first quarter of 2011. Higher net losses in the first quarter of 2012 reflect the decrease in income from operations and higher interest expense, partially offset by increased gains on early extinguishments of debt. "We saw strong performance in our core business in the first quarter, driven primarily by gains in Las Vegas and in our online businesses," said Gary Loveman, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Caesars Entertainment. "We continued to make progress on expanding our distribution network both on land and online, on leveraging our scale to drive efficiency and growth and on further strengthening our financial position. In Las Vegas, business from international visitors continued to drive growth in gaming revenues, as visitation to the city increased in February for the 24th consecutive month and the macro-economic environment continued to show signs of improvement. To attract new members, we re-launched an enhanced Total Rewards with a free four-city concert tour that was followed by double-digit increases in online traffic and bookings at Caesars.com in March.O OOur domestic development efforts continued to advance, and we are looking forward to the planned opening in just two weeks of Horseshoe Cleveland, the first casino in Ohio and the first in our partnership with Rock Gaming," Loveman said. "The opening of this property is an important milestone for our efforts to expand our domestic footprint and develop new customer relationships. We continued to strengthen our financial position, completing four transactions in the first quarter that have collectively added public equity and extended debt maturities...

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