Affinity Gaming sees improved revenue in Southern Nevada

Las Vegas-based hotel-casino operator Affinity Gaming LLC on Tuesday said revenue improved during the second quarter for its Southern Nevada properties.

The company has casinos, some with hotels, in Las Vegas, Henderson, Primm, Northern Nevada, Colorado, Iowa and Missouri.

Its biggest division is in Southern Nevada, which includes the three hotel-casinos at Primm on I-15 at the California border, Terrible’s hotel-casino in Las Vegas and Terrible’s Town Casino & Bowl in Henderson.

In the second quarter, this division generated gross revenue of $70.9 million, up 5 percent from the year-ago second quarter.

Affinity said that despite the slow local economy and economic troubles in its Southern California feeder market, it boosted casino revenue in Southern Nevada $1.3 million, or 4 percent, thanks to focused marketing and promotional programs.

“Competition for the Las Vegas local customer continues to be intense with highly competitive promotional campaigns. We have responded to this intense promotional environment by implementing targeted marketing campaigns aimed at repeat visitation,” Affinity said in its quarterly financial report.

Hotel revenue in Southern Nevada likewise improved by $1.6 million, or 27 percent, thanks to higher occupancy and room rates at the Primm properties, where Affinity has focused on marketing the newly renovated Primm Valley resort.

Southern Nevada food and beverage revenue jumped $1.2 million, or 18 percent, after Affinity took over the Primm Valley buffet that had been leased to a third party. But the outsourcing of Primm golf course operations contributed to a decline of $1.4 million, or 29 percent, in “other” Southern Nevada revenue.

Overall, Southern Nevada EBITDA increased $300,000, or 4 percent, during the quarter, Affinity said.

EBITDA means earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.

Companywide, Affinity said net revenue of $116.4 million was up from $114.2 million in 2011’s second quarter. In the most recent quarter, Affinity lost $1.8 million vs. a profit of $716,000 in last year’s quarter.

Affinity attributed the loss to $8.8 million in expenses related to debt refinancing and extinguishment activity.

EBITDA of $20.5 million improved 9.8 percent companywide thanks to $2.3 million in lease payments from Affinity’s three recently acquired casinos in Black Hawk, Colo. The prior owner, Golden Gaming, is leasing the casinos until Affinity becomes licensed and takes them over.

Despite the revenue growth in Southern Nevada, CEO David Ross said overall revenue growth slowed in the second quarter “commensurate with the general economy.”