Monarch Casino looking ahead to exciting year after strong first quarter

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Reno, Nevada headquartered Monarch Casino and Resort has reported across the board growth during the first quarter of the year, despite troublesome weather and ongoing construction which was expected to impact revenue at one of its two properties.

Providing an update into ongoing construction work at Colorado’s Monarch Casino Blackhawk, the newly expanded casino, hotel tower, restaurants and retail areas are scheduled for completion by the third quarter of 2019, with further upgraded amenities to be finalised in Q4, with dates for a grand opening to be finalised in the coming weeks.

John Farahi, co-chairman and CEO of Monarch, said of the work: “Our general contractor has informed us that it is working diligently to complete the expanded casino and hotel tower, as well as the new restaurants and retail areas by the end of the third quarter of 2019.

“We expect the general contractor to provide us with the final phasing and opening dates for the expanded facilities in the second quarter of 2019. In addition, we expect to complete the upgraded amenities in the existing casino in the fourth quarter of 2019, leading to a first full year of expanded operations in 2020.

“The anticipation of our transformation of Monarch Casino Black Hawk is plainly evident to all Black Hawk visitors. We are building a first-class team which is preparing for the grand opening later this year.

“We believe our relentless focus on improving our operations along with Monarch’s industry-best balance sheet will continue to deliver attractive long-term shareholder returns.”

The company, that also owns Reno’s Atlantis Casino Resort Spa, reported a 4.4 per cent increase in net revenue to $59.7m (2018: $56.2m), EBITDA boost of 6.7 per cent as it reached $13.6m (2018: $12.8m) and net income of $7m, representing a 4.1 per cent boost from $6.7m.

Farahi added on Monarch’s performance: “Our first quarter 2019 financial results represent the start of what promises to be a very exciting year for Monarch. as we balance our focus on current operations in Reno and Black Hawk with the opening of our expanded and transformed Monarch Casino Resort Spa Black Hawk.

“First quarter net revenue and adjusted EBITDA growth of 4.4 per cent and 6.7 per cent, respectively, reflect improved top- and bottom-line financial performance in Reno and continued revenue growth in Black Hawk.

“First quarter revenue and EBITDA at Atlantis Casino Resort were up over the prior year despite inclement weather, particularly in February, which negatively impacted drive-in visitation to Reno.

“These results demonstrate our team’s ability to both grow our business and further improve the profitability of our resort’s operations. In particular, Atlantis’ exceptional food and beverage offerings and best-in-class hotel and spa are the key differentiators which continue to attract new business from local and out of town customers alike.

“Revenue at Monarch Casino Black Hawk grew in the first quarter despite heavier-than-normal snowfall and ongoing construction disruption. Profitability at the property was impacted by approximately $400,000 in pre-opening expenses related to our hotel tower and casino expansion project.”