Scott Roeben


Money can’t buy you love, but it can buy you theater naming rights.

Actually, that whole “money can’t buy you love” thing doesn’t really hold up in Las Vegas, but that’s for another time.

Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood will be renamed Bakkt Theater. Which is an awesome name because it doesn’t remind anyone of a popular genre of porn at all.

It’s pronounced “backed,” weirdo.

We are not entirely sure “broheem” is still a thing.

Zappos, the shoe company, is being slowly dismantled following the sale of the company (based in downtown Las Vegas) to Amazon and the passing of e-commerce visionary Tony Hsieh.

We’ve never seen what Zappos was paying for the naming rights to the theater, but we guarantee it was a lot, and Amazon probably doesn’t see the value (nor should it, ROI is virtually impossible to measure in such branding deals). For example, there has never been a recorded case of someone flying on Allegiant Airlines because its name is on Allegiant Stadium, and never has one person signed up for T-Mobile because it’s on T-Mobile Arena. It’s a vanity thing.

Zappos Theater has been the venue’s name since 2018.

Before Zappos Theater was the Zappos Theater, it was the Axis Theater, which we’re pretty sure wasn’t a naming rights deal so much as a placeholder name, much like MSG Sphere. At a cost of $2.1 billion, MSG Sphere is really, really going to need a naming rights deal.

Prior to Axis, the theater was called PH Live at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino for a minute, and before that, the theater was the Aladdin Theatre for the Performing Arts. (Planet Hollywood was previously the Aladdin.)

This theater has had more names than Sean Combs.

Anyway, what is a “Bakkt” and why has Planet Hollywood (and its owner, Caesars Entertainment) decided to slap that name on its theater despite the fact it’s hard to remember, spell and everyone is going to mispronounce it?

You skimmed over that earlier thing about money, didn’t you? In the parlance of the entertainment industry, it’s a shit-ton of money.

Planet Hollywood
If there were really a planet called Hollywood, its major exports would: Botox, Goop candles and enabling tyrannical narcissists.

Bakkt is a cryptocurrency company, so we trust Caesars Entertainment got its money up front.

Bakkt was founded in 2018. We honestly didn’t realize it was losted. (Confirmed: We will be here all week and take care of your server.)

If you’d have been paying attention, you would have noticed 2018 was the year Zappos Theater got its name. Ah, the circularity of the universe.

In case your insomnia is flaring up, there’s more information about Bakkt Holdings and Caesars Entertainment partnership in the official news release.

You can read more about Bakkt on Wikipedia, but trust us, it’s not going to help understand what they do, at all.

As mentioned, “Bakkt” is a play on “backed,” presumably to reassure investors cryptocurrency—a befuddling form of “currency” that may or may not actually exist—isn’t befuddling at all because Bakkt “backs it” with solid financial infrastructure and a spotless track record of putting its name on theaters where Keith Urban performs.

Here’s what Bakkt, headquartered in Alpharetta, Georgia, says about itself: “We enable our partners and clients to deliver new opportunities to their customers through SaaS and API solutions that unlock crypto and drive loyalty, powering engagement and performance.”

Don’t know about you, but that sort of screams “thrilling entertainment experiences” to us!

And, no, we have no idea why were are like this.

Why can’t we just be excited for Caesars Entertainment?

Maybe Bakkt has always wanted to be a part of Las Vegas, and only now is it getting Bakkt, getting Bakkt to where it once belonged.

The official announcement of the Zappos Theater rebranding didn’t have an official start date, but the Zappos contract ended in Febuary 2023, so we’re going for “immediately, if not sooner.” Give your rideshare driver six to eight months to adjust.



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Mike McNamara

Mike McNamara

A Las Vegas Realtor since 2008. Mike has a wide range of knowledge around all things Las Vegas.

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