Boyd Gaming executives upbeat after strong quarterly results

A view of the hotel tower at the Aliante Casino Hotel and Spa. The North Las Vegas resort is owned by Boyd Gaming.

If its first quarter earnings were any indication, Boyd Gaming Corp. is well on its way back from the economic downturn seen in the casino industry due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In a news release detailing the Las Vegas-based company’s financial results for the 90 days from the beginning of the year through March 31, Boyd showed earnings of $753.3 million, an 11% increase from the same period in 2020. 

More important, the earning were just 9% lower from 2019 — when business was up-and-running at full capacity a year before the outset of the pandemic.

“As vaccinations continue to roll out, customers are clearly becoming more comfortable resuming their pre-pandemic activities, including regular visits to our properties,” said Keith Smith, Boyd’s CEO during an earnings call on Tuesday.

Smith said the strong spring showing for the company — which owns 28 gaming properties in 10 states, including 10 in the Las Vegas Valley — helped lead to a first quarter posting of $292.6 million in EBITDAR (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and restructuring or rent costs), a new company record.

EBITDAR figures are sometimes used by companies as an alternative to measure financial performance.  

Smith said daily rated play — a measure of gamblers with a company loyalty account on the company’s BConnected system — at Boyd casinos increased 18% from February to March. That included a 25% increase in the company’s 65-and-up rated customer segment, Smith said.

A Boyd spokesman said there is no timeframe available yet on when the company might open its two Las Vegas properties — Eastside Cannery and Main Street Station, a favorite for visitors from Hawaii — that remain closed.

The spokesman said the timeframe to open Main Street, located in downtown Las Vegas, will hinge on travel patterns between Las Vegas and Hawaii.