Penn Entertainment Breaks Ground on M Resort Expansion

Posted on: December 11, 2023, 07:41h. 

Last updated on: December 12, 2023, 09:52h.

Penn Entertainment held a groundbreaking ceremony Monday at the M Resort Spa Casino in Henderson, Nev. to mark the start of a significant expansion of the property.

M Resort
The M Resort Spa Casino in Henderson, Nev. Operator Penn Entertainment started construction on a new hotel tower there on Monday. (Image: YouTube)

The Pennsylvania-based regional casino operator announced last October that the M, which is located about 10 miles from the Las Vegas Strip, will be part of a broader $850 million expansion effort by the company that also includes enhancements at casino hotels in Illinois and Ohio.

The project, with an estimated budget of $206 million, is expected to add 384 rooms to the Company’s property south of the Las Vegas Strip, bringing its total to 774 rooms and suites,” according to a statement issued by Penn. “Along with the rooms, there will be expanded meetings space, updated amenities and additional local partnerships that will be announced at a later date.”

Penn operates M Resort, but the real estate assets are owned by Gaming and Leisure Properties. Under such arrangements in the gaming industry, operators not landowners are responsible for enhancements and upkeep of the venues.

M Resort Expansion Important for Penn

Penn’s efforts to spruce up the M Resort Spa Casino are important on multiple levels, not the least of which is the point that the operator runs just one other Nevada gaming venue, Cactus Pete’s Resort Casino in Jackpot.

Additionally, Henderson is one of the largest incorporated suburbs of Las Vegas and, as such, the city is home to a slew of casinos, the bulk of which target Las Vegas locals. That means plenty of competition and a burden on operators in that market to keep venues attractive and fresh.

In addition to the enhancements at M, Henderson could soon see new gaming venues from Boyd Gaming and Red Rock Resorts. Both of those operators are already entrenched in Henderson.

The Las Vegas locals thesis now receives significant ballast from the region’s influx of new residents from high-tax states, including California. Many of those new Sin City residents pay cash for real estate. Combine that with their savings on income tax — Nevada doesn’t have one — and they have the resources to indulge in casino visits.

Penn Rehabbing Other Properties

Following the 2021 sale of the Tropicana’s operating rights to Bally’s, the M is the sole source of Las Vegas exposure for Penn Entertainment. That could change in the future, but for now, it’s worth it for the operator to impress with its lone Sin City-area property.

As noted above, Penn is also doling out capital to renovate some of its regional casino hotels in the Midwest, which is one of the most important regions to the company.

“The new hotel is part of a previously announced plan for four new growth projects that includes new land-based casinos in Aurora and Joliet, Illinois, and a new hotel in Columbus, Ohio. The City of Aurora will be providing $50 million in funding for the project there, and Gaming and Leisure Properties, Inc. has committed up to $575 million towards the overall $850 million budget for all four growth projects,” concluded Penn in the statement.