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Trending along the bottom, not worse but not significantly better...but that's a directional improvement.  

CONF CALL

Prepared Comments

  • Balancing act - operating efficiency while improving guest experience.
  • Top line remains challenged
  • Focused on operational efficiencies
  • Change in culture - challenges of regional gaming...
  • Creating value for customers and stakeholders
  • Margins: 4Q margins up 90 bps

Balance Sheet:

Corporate Line of Credit $64m outstanding

Leverage 6.2x for covenant purposes

Retired $90m of debt, leverage down 0.25x

Capacity $184 million

2015 Guidance

D&A:  $80-$82 million

Int Exp: $83-$85 million

Maintenance capex $47-50 million

Q & A

  • New Golden Nugget in Lake Charles - Formulated battle plan for marketing, staffing, etc.
  • Blackhawk and Monarch expansion - expect Monarch to create more foot traffic for pod 1.  Ameristar promoting/marketing new car give away, challenge to market share battle. 
  • ISLE formal plan to go land based in Bettendorf - what is incremental capex and how to fund it? Going through application process with City, still finalizing scope of project. Could fund with capacity on revolver. 
  • Additional development plans at Pompano?  Looking at Pompano, a lot of options, but until better understanding of how Florida may develop for gaming simply wait.
  • Pompano results driven by higher slot play and higher F&B. Changes to slot reconfiguration to slot floor, especially high limit.  Big focus on customer service
  • What is meant by new reality in regional gaming?  Continuous top line pressure because traditional customer is under pressure and consumer spending is not rebounding.
  • Pennsylvania Control Board having trouble reaching consensus regarding 2nd Philadelphia gaming license. 
  • Leverage target:  5x or less within a couple of years...
  • Fan Club - revenue benefits, especially for Tier 1 customers?  Fan Club 2.0 launched end of January, still have 11 properties where yet to be rolled out. 
  • Cost savings now $3 million in the quarter, so $12 million annualized vs. $10 million annual goal.  Hit the big opportunities, now in the weeds looking for next phase.  Next round will be smaller saves.
  • Web-site:  new Pompano site live today, rest of portfolio next month. 
  • May improvement - weather, pent up demand?  Delta between where were in January, February, March was different than recent.  But May did not see a huge swing in trends to the upside (but not eroding further). 
  • June any changes?  Things haven't change for quite a while for the industry.
  • Lake Charles - Sasol plans - where will property be located?  Core market should increase visitation and local employment.
  • Gaming mix - slot/table ratio, any opportunity to change/improve?  Slots still 90%+ on GGR basis.  Still seeing weakness on slot play because the <$100 theoretical customer just not playing as much. 
  • CO December ballot initiative - still polling, testing. Location needs to be determined first, then quantify negative impact/cannibalization to Blackhawk. 
  • Pennsylvania: spent $60 million but earning $4 million vs. prior expectation of closer to $8-9 million.  Operating under restrictive daily/annual access plan, customers have other options without access fee as well as new competition.  Seeking legislative/financial relief.  Surprised how resistant customers were/are to paying daily/annual access fee despite knowing ISLE would have to charge customers to visit.
  • Asset sales - interest in selling one-off or portfolio to deliver?  Always a market...when it make sense ISLE will divest of assets near end of life or mature/declining markets.  
  • Interact with Goldstein family?  Fully involved and 3 members sit on the Board of Directors.