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Howard Stutz

Stratosphere parent trims net loss

23 March 2012

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- Officials for the company that operates the Stratosphere Casino Hotel and Tower and the two Arizona Charlie's casinos reduced their net loss in the fourth quarter that ended Dec. 31.

American Casino & Entertainment Properties, which also owns the Aquarius Casino Resort in Laughlin, on Thursday reported a fourth-quarter net loss of $7 million, compared with a net loss of $17.4 million in the same quarter a year ago.

Net revenues in the quarter grew to $81.3 million, compared with $79 million in the fourth quarter of 2010.

The Stratosphere's net revenue increased 8.1 percent on a 7.3 percent increase in casino revenue and a 22.1 percent increase in hotel revenue during the quarter.

The company said renovated hotel rooms and a new player rewards program helped the resort increase average daily room rates and occupancy, casino revenues and food and beverage revenues.

Net revenue at the Arizona Charlie's Boulder and Arizona Charlie's Decatur properties fell 24 percent in the quarter with most of the declines coming from decreased casino, and food and beverage revenues at the Boulder Highway property.

Company officials said heavy promotional activity from competitors dominates the Las Vegas local market, which continues to be affected by high unemployment and declining home values.

The Aquarius was hurt by construction along Laughlin's Casino Drive during 2011, the main road through the resort corridor. The property's net revenues were essentially flat year-over-year.