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Caitlin McGarry

Parent company of Stratosphere, Arizona Charlie's reports quarterly loss

10 August 2012

LAS VEGAS -- American Casino and Entertainment, LLC, the parent company of the Stratosphere Casino Hotel and Tower and Arizona Charlie's casinos, Thursday reported a second-quarter loss of $2.8 million.

The company's second-quarter loss in 2011 was also $2.8 million. Year-over-year revenue held steady at more than $87 million, but cash-flow fell 12.1 percent, from $19.9 million to $17.5 million.

Company officials said selling, general and administrative expenses increased 9.9 percent over the second quarter. The company spent $420,000 on a plumbing and drain repair project at the Arizona Charlie's property on Decatur Boulevard and also began collecting taxes on complimentary meals for employees and customers. The Nevada Tax Commission in June ruled that casino companies must pay taxes on comp meals from Feb. 15 through July 31.

American Casino and Entertainment Properties in the second quarter accrued $195,000 to cover those taxes.

At the Stratosphere, in the midst of a $20 million renovation, hotel revenues were up 4.1 percent. The property's overall net revenue edged up a slight 0.5 percent. The casino's tower revenue declined 5.1 percent, which company CEO Frank Riolo said is probably because of the heat. Riolo said traffic increased in July.

"We're having a very busy summer up there with the tower. July's done very well," Riolo said during a conference call.

Chief Financial Officer Edward Martin said the soft second quarter reflected overall consumer trends in May and June, echoing earlier comments from Boyd Gaming Corp. in its second-quarter earnings call.

"I think the consumer has pulled back," Martin said. "I suspect the consumer will continue to be cautious, at least until the election."