Friday, Dec. 5, 2008 | 5:06 p.m.
Station Casinos’ decision to replace company-owned cafes at six casinos with Denny’s restaurants is part of a money-saving trend afoot at properties owned by Station and competitor Boyd Gaming, which are facing the worst recession in a generation.
Outsourcing restaurants to third parties is cheaper for companies than operating their own. Also, big brands drive traffic, which is what casinos need most these days.
While cost-cutting played a role in the decision, it wasn’t the main driver, Station spokeswoman Lori Nelson said.
“Denny’s is a very strong brand to drive people into those properties.”
When Station bought and renovated its Wildfire-branded casinos, the company found that the cafes weren’t a big brand draw. The home of the 24-7 Grand Slam breakfast, on the other hand, was a hit when it opened at Fiesta Rancho in October, Nelson said.
Denny’s will open over the next few months at Wild Wild West, Fiesta Henderson, two Wildfire casino locations in Henderson and a third on Rancho Drive – all lower-rent properties.