Riviera could be in line for a $100 million facelift

A view of the casino floor at The Riviera, May 16, 2012.

The Riviera, one of the oldest resorts in Las Vegas, is due for a substantial facelift.

An executive from the company that operates the Riviera told state regulators Wednesday that potential renovations to the property could cost upwards of $100 million. Paragon Gaming President Scott Menke offered few other details to the Gaming Control Board.

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A view of the Riviera on the Las Vegas Strip on Dec. 26, 2007. Launch slideshow »

The talk of renovations came as Menke and Diana Bennett, Paragon's CEO, appeared before the board seeking approval for Paragon to receive a percentage of the Riviera's gaming revenue.

The board approved Paragon's application, which the Gaming Commission will now consider.

Paragon has operated the property for more than a year, following the departure of several Riviera executives. Since taking over operations, Paragon has already made some changes to the property, such as replacing carpeting and remodeling the showroom.

A spokesman for Paragon said that the Riviera's ownership group, which includes Starwood Capital Group, would ultimately decide if and when renovations occur.

He declined to comment on further specifics, and a phone call to Starwood was not immediately returned.

A Riviera makeover would come amid renewed focus on the Strip's north end, which has for years has lagged behind the hustle of the southern part of the resort corridor. The Riviera is located south of Sahara Avenue across from Circus Circus and until recently, didn't have much in the way of other neighbors.

Now SLS Las Vegas is open on the southeast corner of Sahara and Las Vegas Boulevard South. And MGM Resorts International has plans to build an open-air concert venue in the same area.

The Riviera, which is more than 50 years old, has weathered some financial turbulence in recent years. Riviera Holdings Corp. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2010, shortly before Starwood was involved in a takeover of the property.

But the Riviera is in a better position than it was just a year ago.

In the first six months of 2014, Riviera Holdings increased its net revenue by 39 percent and slashed its net loss by more than half compared with the same period last year, according to its most recent quarterly filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.