Dreamscape’s acquisition of Rio from Caesars in 2019 will be a blessing for the iconic hotel. They’ve already renovated several hotel rooms and have launched their own casino loyalty program. The neglected exterior is getting a needed refurbish and a pool renovation is expected to be completed in 2024. Much work needs to be done for Rio to be a draw for locals and tourists, but there are a few bright spots that may just do the job.
Details are still light on how Hyatt brands will fold into Dreamscape’s plans. Hyatt and Dreamscape entered into a franchise agreement. One of the towers is supposed to be a Hyatt Regency with an average room size of 580 square feet, making them some of the biggest standard rooms in town. That leaves one other tower to become a full-service Hyatt brand unless they borrow a page out of Resorts World’s book and do a hotel-within-a-hotel.
Hyatt is a favorite among points and miles enthusiasts and with good reason. Points are easy to earn and there are valuable redemptions, especially suites at certain brands. Rio is known for its unique rooms and suites, so there should be some interesting points redemptions for those who dabble in Hyatt’s ecosystem. And this launch can’t come soon enough since the Hyatt and MGM partnership ended this year.
Rio Rewards has four statuses, the base level status, Rogue, then Azul, Gold, and Platinum Status. As it stands, it looks like Rio Rewards has one type of earning currency they’re simply calling “points”. This breaks from major programs like MGM and Caesars which have both reward credits, which are used for resort and casino redemptions, and tier credits, which determine your status. Tier status with Rio Rewards is based on the points you earn in a calendar year, but your points don’t expire as long as you’ve earned points during the previous 12 months.
Azul status can be had for 10,000 points, which is doable in a couple of long weekends for those with a modest budget. Here are some compelling Azul benefits:
- 1 comp room per year
- $50 tier celebration points
- 1 comp drink per day at casino bars
- $15 monthly dining voucher
- 2 comp show tickets per year
- comp resort fees
These benefits level up as you rise through tiers. A notable “airport transportation” perk is available for Platinum members, which requires 250,000 points. Of course, you can earn marketing offers on top of these plays too. It’s encouraging to see daily and monthly perks; it’s rare to see with rewards programs. This is a smart way to entice regular visits from locals.
Rio Rewards claims slot players will earn exponentially higher points than competitors, with 1 point earned per $1.25 wagered. Table game players will earn 1 point per $5 on roulette, 1 point per $30 on 3:2 blackjack, and 1 point per $10 on all other table games. You can learn more about earning rates on the Rio Reward page.
Even with these positive changes, Rio still has a long way to go to compete for your dollar. The casino still needs considerable TLC and the rest of the rooms need their makeup. Proceed with caution with penthouse and villa reservations until they’ve been renovated. They’re massive, but design-wise, stuck in a bygone era.
Despite current flaws and the daunting work to come, Rio isn’t worthy of being demolished or forgotten. The Dreamscape team seems eager and up to the task of bringing a former Vegas bright spot back to life.