Stratosphere parent company loses $3 million in 1st quarter

A view of the main entryway at the Stratosphere on Thursday, April 5, 2012.

Stratosphere Renovations

A view of a renovated room at the Stratosphere, April 5, 2012. Launch slideshow »

Declines in occupancy and room rates broadened losses in the first quarter for American Casino & Entertainment Properties, operator of the Stratosphere, the Arizona Charlie’s locals casinos and the Aquarius in Laughlin.

The company reported a net loss of $3 million on revenue of $86.3 million for the quarter that ended March 31, compared with a loss of $1.4 million on revenue of $87.1 million for the same quarter in 2012.

The company’s showcase property, the Stratosphere, had a 3.1 percent decline in revenue, despite increases in spend per occupied room, a 2.8 percent increase in casino revenue, a 9.5 percent increase in food and beverage revenue and an 8.4 percent increase in tower attraction revenue. Those increases were offset by lower volume during the quarter.

In addition to fewer visitors in the quarter, the company had one less day of operations compared to 2012 because of leap year.

The company also invested $239,000 in its free-play interactive gaming site that eventually will be converted to revenue play.

ACEP’s two Arizona Charlie’s properties showed a 2 percent decline in revenue, attributed mostly to weak slot play and food and beverage sales. The Boulder Highway property saw a 27 percent decrease in race and sports book revenue due to a 25.1 percent decline in handle.