The Stratosphere casino, hotel, and landmark in Las Vegas will have a new name come Monday: The Strat Hotel, Casino, and Skypod. Golden Entertainment Inc., which owns the Stratosphere, will air a commercial during Sunday’s Super Bowl to launch a marketing campaign for The Strat.
The rebranding is part of a $140 million, three-phase renovation of the Stratosphere that was announced in March 2018. Golden Entertainment acquired the 1,149-foot property in October 2017 when it purchased American Casino & Entertainment Properties (ACEP).
In the $850 million buyout of ACEP, Golden Entertainment also acquired three other casinos: Arizona Charlie’s Boulder, Arizona Charlie’s Decatur, and Aquarius Casino Resort.
The Stratosphere is the largest freestanding observation deck in the United States. As such, it’s a landmark in the Las Vegas area. Located just north of the Las Vegas Strip, tourists visit the observation deck, while most visitors can see the structure from their hotel rooms in the city.
Bob Stupak’s Vegas World
The renovation was needed, because the Stratosphere is considered to have outdated rooms and furnishings in its 2500-room hotel and casino. The resort began as Bob Stupak’s World Famous Million-Dollar Historic Gambling Museum and Casino in 1974, though Stupak’s casino burned down two months after it opened.
Bob Stupak reopened in 1979 as the Vegas World Hotel & Casino. Stupak first conceived the observation tower in 1989, though it took until 1990 for the developer to produce the designs which led to approval for the ambitious tower to be constructed.
At the time, Bob Stupak said he wanted the definitive landmark for Las Vegas, adding, “What I’m trying to do for Las Vegas is what the Eiffel Tower did for Paris, what the Empire State Building did for New York, what the Seattle Space Needle did for Seattle.”
Carl Icahn Buy Stratosphere
Construction began in February 1992 with an opening date tenatively set for August 1994. Fire, damaged construction equipment, high winds, and financing problems caused a series of delays, so the Stratosphere’s tower did not open until April 1996. By that time, Bob Stupak had had to sell 33% of his company to Grand Casinos.
Shortly after the tower opened, Stratosphere Corporation filed for bankruptcy. Carl Icahn gained control of the casino, hotel, and tower during the bankruptcy process, then sold the property ten years later to American Casino & Entertainment Properties for a massive profit.
Over the years, the various owners have added a second tower, along with SkyJump Las Vegas (bungie-jump) and three notable thrill rides: Big Shot, Insanity the Ride, and X-Scream. The Strat also has a variety of retail shops and 9 restaurants. The 80,000 square foot gaming space has 50 gaming tables and 1,500 slot machines. The Strat Casino also has a poker room and a sportsbooks.
Frankie Moreno and his ten-piece band have a permanent show at the Strat, while David Perrico with the orchestra Pop Evolution has been an award-winning act at the Strat in recent years. Playboy Playmate Claire Sinclair’s show “Pinup” was featured at the resort until March 2017.
Super Bowl LIII Commercial
Golden Entertainment is spending over $5 million to run its Super Bowl LIII commercial, though few details about the spot have leaked. It will be hard to stand out in the star-studded commercial lineup this year. Steve Carrell and Cardi B are starring in a Pepsi commercial where they answer the question “Is Pepsi OK?”
Tennis legend Serena Williams stars in a Bumble dating app commercial. Harrison Ford to Jeff Bridges, Sarah Jessica Parker each have Super Bowl spots for various products and services. Christina Applegate is in a M&Ms ad. Maroon 5 will perform at the Halftime Show along with Travis Scott and Big Boi.
The Super Bowl is a great way to launch a rebranding effort, if one can afford the commercial time. For one day, everyone in America (and many around the globe) seem to be paying attention to the Super Bowl. Even the controversies grab attention in the week before and the days after the Big Game. For instance, the Super Bowl Halftime Show now attracts controversy, due to the perceived treatment of activist-quarterback Colin Kaepernick by the NFL.
Super Bowl 51 received a 45% rating in the Neilsen Ratings in an era when a 7% is considered dominant. When 12 million to 23 million viewers gets a show rated in the Top 10, Super Bowl 52 last year had a 104 million viewers in what was considered a disappointing total. With over 100 million Americans expected to view the Super Bowl, The Strat Hotel, Casino, and Skypod should launch its new name to nearly a third of the nation.