Monarch on track for big investment in Colorado hotel, casino | nnbw.com

Monarch on track for big investment in Colorado hotel, casino

Monarch Casino & Resort Inc., the Reno-based parent of Atlantis Casino Resort Spa, said last week it's on track to undertake a major expansion of its casino property in Black Hawk, Colo.

John Farahi, Monarch's chief executive officer and co-chairman, said the company expects to have construction plans finished by the end of this year.

As it finishes cost estimates, the publicly held company will begin to nail down financing.

Monarch's plans for the Riviera Black Hawk Casino in the mountains west of Denver include doubling the casino space, building a 335-foot hotel tower with 507 rooms and suites, adding restaurants and bars and constructing a 10-story parking structure.

The company bought the Colorado property in early 2012.

In its quarterly report to shareholders, Monarch said it spent about $3 million in this year's second quarter on development of plans for the Black Hawk casino and associated upgrades.

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As it prepares for major investment in Colorado, Monarch reported it paid down its existing debt by $7 million during the second quarter. Debt stood at $64.8 million on June 30.

The Atlantis generated $11.2 million in earnings during the quarter, which compares with earnings of $7.8 million in the same period a year earlier.

Revenues at the south Reno hotel and casino rose 8 percent, totaling $37.2 million during the second quarter compared with $34.5 million in the comparable quarter a year earlier.

Farahi said hotel and casino business were key to the higher revenues at Atlantis, and the property's profits were boosted by control of the cost of comps provided to casino patrons.

The Colorado property generated $4.8 million in earnings during the second quarter.

Farahi noted that 73 percent of the company's increased revenue flowed through to the bottom line.

NNBW staff

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