USA Today has a cover story on the evolution of Las Vegas into a large, Western city with appeal far beyond gaming.
Blogging live from a Wynn Las Vegas parlor suite, here's the links to Wynn's earnings, released today:
Yes, they are still posting losses but looking at the recurring vs. non-recurring items, things look pretty good for Wynn Las Vegas.
I listened to the conference call while sitting on the tarmac waiting to take off. Steve talked mostly about Macau. They said they will have three sites on Cotai that they will operate. He sounded really excited about China.
Wynn Macau opens September 5th - he made the call today.
Profit was up 31% on increased revenue for fourth quarter. Earnings were at $97.8 million and revenue to $1.75 billion. Annual profits were $444.3 million on revenues of $6.48 billion.
Since this includes the acquisition of Mandalay Resort Group, MGM MIRAGE breaks out same store numbers for more accurate comparison.
More information here:
Update: A few things from the conference call:
Thanks to reader Karl who has sent some new Macau photos.
I posted them on my photo site:
So, I go away for the weekend and don't take my computer along and guess what happens? Podcaster Steve Friess interviews Steve Wynn and their conversation ranges from the closing of 'Avenue Q' to the ultimate development of the Wynn Golf Course.
If you're interested, the best thing to do is to listen to the entire podcast. Still, some brief highlights:
The podcast is located here: http://www.thestrippodcast.com.
Also, for more on Encore, the RJ had an article recently:
According to this article, MGM MIRAGE may develop up to three sites in Macau. The first site, the MGM Grand Macau, is under construction now. Who knows, we may see a 'Mirage Macau' or 'Bellagio Macau'.
A Detroit News column discusses G2E's new "G2E Institute" which will hold its first conference May 9-11 at the new Red Rock Station. Casino design, Racino, Technology and Tribal will all be the focus at this workshop style conference.
To read more:
Global Gaming Expo Creates G2E Institute
The Review Journal reports 'Avenue Q' will end its run in May. The theater will be used for the "Spamalot' production. This will eliminate the need to construct another theater at this time.
Read the article at:
Avenue Q To End Run
Las Vegas Sands, operators of the Venetian in Las Vegas and the Sands in Macao, reported a 59% rise in profits for their fourth quarter in results released today. Details in the article below. The company is also building The Palazzo in Las Vegas and a version of their Venetian resort in Macau.
First off, the Sahara. In a LV Sun article, the guys running the joint made it clear that they aren't going anywhere right away. While the place could be bought, they want to sell the hotel and two adjoining parcels in one deal that would reach up to $700MM and so far no one is biting.
We've discussed the Golden Nugget's changes as they've been announced. Here's a good article in the Business Press discussing a few more of the details of their plans - they also drop the little gem that they've looked at potentially buying the Horseshoe. Interesting.
And finally, as you may have seen here, we launched a new site in our family, VegasLists.com. I'm happy to say that the first 24 hours has been a big success so far - traffic ramped up much more quickly than any site we've ever done before. If you haven't checked it out already, take a look now.
Remember to get your Butler interview questions in by Wednesday!
Interview Completed: Posted here.
Update: I picked the questions and they are being sent to Wynn Resorts to be answered. I tried to pick questions that represented a range of topics. In some places I was able to combine questions and still retain what I believed was the questions true intent. Hopefully I maintained that for you guys. Anyway, as soon as we have a response, it will of course be posted on the blog as a new article.
We're starting a new semi-regular feature on the blog - an interview series. This series is different than other interviews for an important reason - you, the readers, submit the questions! It works like this: you add potential questions as comments on this story. In about a week, I will then pick the ten best/most interesting questions and send them to the interview subject. The responses will be printed in a follow-up story. Feel free to submit more than once but please make sure one comment = one question.
I've started to line up some interesting gaming industry heavyweights to participate. I'm personally very excited about the person we're kicking off with. DeRuyter Butler has been involved in designing some of the Strip's most iconic casinos. Working with Steve Wynn since 1982 he was involved with projects at the Golden Nugget, The Mirage and Treasure Island and was the primary design architect for Beau Rivage, Bellagio and Wynn Las Vegas. Recently, Mr. Butler has been overseeing the finalization of Wynn Macau and the development of Encore, Wynn Las Vegas' sister resort. Butler's creations are one of the major inspirations that inspired this site in the first place, we are honored to have him. Please submit your questions, one per comment, below.
After a whirlwind development period, we're happy to be launching a new site, VegasLists.com, in a beta form.
The site makes it easy for users to create lists of anything Las Vegas related. Examples include 'Best Hotels For Under $50' or 'Most Annoying Thing in Vegas'. Users can comment on existing lists and create their own. Signing up takes just 1 second and you'll be making lists in no time. We hope that this will become an interesting place for Las Vegas lovers to share their collective knowledge with everyone!
We hope everyone will check it out, sign up and add some lists today!
Blog Side Note: You may notice the Wynn Las Vegas ad in the upper right. We're now official affiliates for WLV (as we are for MGM MIRAGE properties). What that means is that if you book through that link, you are booking directly with Wynn but we get a small percentage of the total, which we use to keep the site running. So, if you're booking online with Wynn, please use our link - it won't cost you any more than the normal site and it helps us out!
The Las Vegas Sun reports that Las Vegas is not included on the list of American cities most likely to be targeted by terrorists. I believe the Administration and Homeland Security have made a major error.
I'm still not convinced airliners have been made totally safe from terrorist hijackers. What other city has the major airport surrounded by so many mega-hotels?
If the air space is secure, what about conventional truck bombs or chemical? The front entrances to many Strip properties aren't secure from a Timothy McVeigh type attack. One attack on Las Vegas would, in addition to the thousands of immediate casualties, shut down tourism across the country with its associated effect on the entire economy while people wonder whether Orlando or some other destination is next.
It's ludicrous that the 40 million tourists each year weren't factored into the equation rather than using census data of permanent population. Politics as usual!
This morning brings a press release from our friends at MGM MIRAGE discussing, among other things, progress on planning for Project City Center.
Some good info in there, give it a read:
According to a press release from this AM, MGM Grand is now taking reservations for 'The Signature at MGM Grand', the condo-hotel (cotel) portion of the Residences at MGM Grand, opening in May.
The press release is included after the jump and details the accommodations' amenities.
Golden Nugget's website has a list of improvements and additions planned for the property. Since Landry's Restaurants purchased GN, it's not surprising to see some of their Houston signature restaurants opening. Other changes include an expanded showroom, renovated casino floor, new pool area, nightclub and a third hotel tower. The site shows drawings of the changes. After entering the site, go to the lower right corner of the screen and "Click Here for Construction Updates."
Golden Nugget Website
A neat article on today's RJ talking about Vegas hotel buffets including a bit about their history.
Love 'em or hate 'em, they are part of the Vegas 'experience'.
Hail2skins alerted us to a detailed review of Wynn Las Vegas which was posted by "Pisces". I happen to disagree with much of what he or she wrote, but it would be interesting to have a discussion on the points raised in the review.
Here's the link:
Detailed Wynn Review
So, looks like they decided the only way to save the monorail is to pour more money into it and make it more useful.
This story covers the potential expansion, with the airport coming first. Can't wait to ride along with the family of four and their suitcases!
This story's been making the rounds for the last couple of days - a hotel with a Rolling Stone theme... What is that theme exactly? Suck? Rolling Stone hasn't had much cultural significance for a long time, maybe since the Dr. Thompson days.
Anyway, my gut is that this project ain't gonna happen.
The Las Vegas Sun reports that MGM's CityCenter is adding more than 1,100 hotel rooms and condos to the CityCenter project on the Strip between Bellagio and Monte Carlo. The changes will add $1 Billion to the development. Estimated cost of CityCenter is now $6 Billion, up from the original estimate of $4 Biillion which was subsequently raised to $5 Billion.
The story may be read at:
CityCenter Already Expanding
I received a review copy of a new Las Vegas photo book by German photographer Andreas Schmidt. I see a lot of these types of books and most have nice photos but are very cookie cutter. This book is different - click the link to read more to find out about this book.
According to the Las Vegas Business Press, Aztar has been talking quietly with potential financiers about the fate of the Tropicana in Las Vegas and what might rise from its ashes.
BTW: These guys look like they might have stolen another one of my design ideas, a water feature on the roof or coming down off the roof... First that stupid NBC show, now a real casino... This stuff has been in my sketchbook for years. I digress.
I got a link suggestion over at RateVegas.com for a site dedicated to Macau casinos. There's also a blog on the site that features Macau news.
An interesting perspective that complements the great stuff we get from Chris in Hong Kong.
The Hooters Hotel and Casino, formerly the San Remo, will open this Thursday across from the MGM Grand on Tropicana Avenue.
Gaming Today as a nice write up of the details: