Paragon Gaming, which ran the Riviera until its May 4 closing, has received final approval from the Nevada Gaming Commission to run the Westgate Las Vegas. Scott Menke, Paragon CEO, said the main focus will be to improve hotel occupancy, which is currently about 60 percent. Menke is confident Paragon can improve that number to over 80 percent. He said Paragon improved Riviera occupancy from around 50 percent to nearly 80 percent in its short time there.
The Westgate has a few things going for it too, in addition to new management. With the closing of the Riviera, just a few hundred feet away, the property is a perfect fit to appeal to the Riviera patrons of the past. Renovations are abound for the property as well, as they continue to improve the outdoor pool area, build new restaurants, add shows, and are the new home to Elvis’ Graceland memorabilia. The total cost will exceed $100 million, which has already seen the remodel of over 1,000 guest rooms.
Occupancy will only increase in the future with the $2.3 billion Las Vegas Convention Center renovation. Menke feels the Westgate can serve as a “host hotel” for the conventions. Earlier last month, Menke told the Gaming Control Board that the renovation plans will allow the Westgate “to shine again.”
Attorney Jeff Silver offered a full vote of confidence in regards to Paragon, with Westgate CEO David Siegel, upon hearing about the Riviera’s closing. “I said, ‘This is a group that I would recommend without any hesitation,’” Silver said.