I just returned from one night at Wynn to catch the very last performance of Avenue Q. I�m not going to give a full-blown trip report as I usually do since it was solo and pretty mellow. I�ll just throw out some highlights, updates, thoughts, and a couple restaurant reviews for everyone. More after the jump...
Looks like the already excellent pool scene at The Mirage is heating up. Following the trend around town, they are adding a 'European Bathing' pool, tentatively called 'Bare' in a previously under-used area between the pool and dolphin habitat. Few additional details are available but according to MGM MIRAGE officials, it opens this Summer.
I discovered this excellent and informative KNPR interview with Wynn Design and Development Executive Vice President Roger Thomas. This interior design guru is responsible for all interiors at Treasure Island, Bellagio and Wynn Las Vegas. Listening to this interview it is clear that nothing there happened by accident. Fascinating interview.
For those that don't listen regularly, KNPR's State of Nevada is a great insight into all things Las Vegas.
Update: I had no idea that Roger Thomas is the son of E. Parry Thomas, the famous Las Vegas banker.
Some interesting hints at what is coming for the center Strip from Harrah's. The company's CEO, Gary Loveman, sat down with the LV Sun's Jeff Simpson (great writer, BTW) to share some of what is coming from the company.
Advertising Age has just completed a five part series on Las Vegas. The link will take you to Part 1. Subsequent parts may be accessed by clicking near the bottom, right side of Part 1.
>>So where does Las Vegas go with it? When does this model stumble
under its own weight? Not any time soon, if the record-breaking crowds
are any indication. But there's another trend at work on the Strip
that will drive the next evolution of Las Vegas, and that is real
estate. Last week's sale of the Tropicana Hotel at the south end of
the Strip offered a new opportunity to peg a number to what an acre is
worth here on the city's beachfront: $30 million.<<
The Las Vegas Review Journal has an interview with Sheldon Adelson on the potential for Macau, especially the Cotai Strip. He even gets in a dig about Steve Wynn's initial reaction to the Cotai Strip. Sheldon and Steve will never see eye to eye.
The article can be read here:
According to multiple sources, including the The Strip Podcast and the Las Vegas Review Journal, the next Cirque de Soleil show will be at Project CityCenter and be based on the music/imagery of Elvis.
Ok... Another CDS show on the Strip? So far we have Mystere, O, Zumanity, Ka and now Love, not to mention Cirque-esque shows such as Le Reve and even Celine Dion's show. How far will this go? Can they keep filling theaters with new shows? Personally I think that moving to shows that are more grounded in a central theme/identity such as Love and whatever this Elvis show will be is a smart(er) move. I'm not an Elvis fan (though I'm a big Beatles fan) so I'm not that excited for an Elvis based show.
What do you guys think? Are CDS impenetrable?
I didn't realize they were ready to make a decision on this already... Looks like LV Sands won the right to build the first casino in Singapore, a huge coup for the company. Shares are up sharply on the news.
They have pledged $3.6 billion for the project in the Marina Bay district of the city.
Based on this picture, it looks like Steve Wynn may be bringing his 'Fountains of Bellagio' concept to Macau.
We could also call this entry 'Why Hunter Isn't an Artist for a Living'.
Encore at Wynn Las Vegas, the 1,700+ room hotel that will sit next to WLV has broken ground. As is the standard with Wynn projects, it is somewhat shrouded in secrecy.
Other than Wynn's brief remarks about some kind of retractable roof coupled with county filings, we have little to go on.
I created a very basic site sketch with my guess as to how the buildings will be arranged on the property. Please excuse my limited Photoshop skills - I am not a graphic artist (and it shows). To see my rendering, click after the jump.
We know the tower will be similar to Wynn Las Vegas. I'm guessing it will look like the tower at Wynn Macau, with the 'swoosh' going the opposite way. From the sky, this layout position the towers in a vague 'S' layout and when viewed straight on, the two swooshes, combined with negative space, create something that could be called a 'W'.
Based on the county filing, the low-rise building will be up to ten stories, far higher than Wynn Las Vegas. It sounds like they are trying to use the available acreage by building much more dense this time around.
Columbia Sussex has won the 6 week bidding war that erupted over Aztar Corp., owners of the Tropicana properties in Las Vegas and Atlantic City, amongst other properties.
The WSJ has the story (subscription required):
From the article:
"The casino affiliate of closely held Columbia Sussex Corp. emerged victorious in a two-month bidding war by agreeing to acquire casino operator Aztar Corp. for $1.94 billion, a deal that underscores the scarcity of available development opportunities on the Las Vegas Strip.
Columbia Entertainment will pay Aztar $54 a share and assume roughly $676 million in Aztar's debt, giving it control of Aztar's Tropicana flagships in Las Vegas and Atlantic City, N.J., as well as other gambling properties. Columbia Entertainment has also deposited $313 million in a bank account, which it will use to pay Aztar should the deal fall apart if Columbia Entertainment fails to meet certain criteria, including obtaining a casino license in New Jersey."
The other serious bidder, Pinnacle Entertainment, dropped out of the race as the price reached levels that made less and less sense financially. It has been rumored that Pinnacle is looking at the site of the Sahara on the North Strip as another option for a new resort in Las Vegas.
More Details from Various Papers:
An article in the Las Vegas Sun talks about how some bartenders and cocktail waitresses are peeved that as new food and beverage outlets open, they are being 'passed over' for younger recruits.
Personally, while it might be an ugly part of the business, I see this as just that - part of the business. As the article states, the clubs and bars are just as much looking for models/entertainers as servers.
Elaine Wynn, wife of casino developer Steve Wynn, doesn't get the kind of media coverage that her husband does (and I doubt that keeps her up at night). As the article states, the most common phrases I hear when Mrs. Wynn is discussed are 'elegant' and 'graceful'. While she might not be the public face of Wynn Resorts, she is a director and her presence is felt in every aspect of Wynn Las Vegas.
New York Times on Elaine Wynn:
According to 'Eye on Vegas', the Hard Rock has been sold for $770 million to the Morgans Hotel Group, which is hotelier Ian Schrager's former company with hotels in New York, Los Angeles and elsewhere.
More of the details are here:
Update: This is legit. Some more on Yahoo!:
The Las Vegas Review Journal reports on MGM Mirage's Annual Meeting. Terry Lanni made it sound almost certain that MGM will develop a CityCenter East in Atlantic City.
The most interesting comment was probably meant to be a joke, but if I were Steve Wynn, I'd be watching my back. Here is his quote:
"Lanni conceded Wynn has been ahead of MGM Mirage in Macau, but he said the time advantage will be short-lived.
"And who knows, next year we might even have the annual meeting at Wynn," he said."
To read the RJ's article:
The RJ also has photos of Boardwalk's implosion:
Gaming Today isn't exactly hard hitting journalism, but it was nice to read their piece on the Golden Nugget, and the improvements that Landry's is making. When I was there two weeks ago, I was very impressed with GN's appearance and cleanliness. The property was spotless. New restaurants, pool and shark tank and another hotel tower could all help the Golden Nugget revive downtown.
The final chapter of this trip report, MGM Grand and food poisoning, follows the jump.
The second stop on this longest-ever Las Vegas trip was The Mirage.
The report follows the jump.
Las Vegas, April 22-May 2, 2006
Wynn Las Vegas, The Mirage, MGM Grand, Food Poisoning
Part 1 follows the jump.
Looks like Pinnacle has raised its offer for Aztar again:
At some point this deal is not accretive and they'll have to walk away... I'm surprised they've gone this high as Pinnacle's Lee is a very balanced guy and concerned about shareholder value.
Just days after competitors MGM MIRAGE and Wynn Resorts, Las Vegas Sands, operators of the Venetian in Las Vegas and the Sands Macau in Macau, China have announced their results.
Quarterly revenue is up to $503MM, based largely on the Macau property with net income of $134MM.
For details, see this release:
I spent some time at Las Vegas' newest casino, Red Rock, this past Monday. Red Rock is owned by Station Casinos, Inc., who also operate Green Valley Ranch, Sunset Station and other properties in Las Vegas.
Click on through to read some observations and thoughts on the property and a link to my photos.
Wynn Resorts reported earnings today for their third full quarter of operations.
Net revenues for the quarter were $277.2 million and adjusted net income was $1.1 million. If you include pre-opening expenses and adjustments for 'Avenue Q', that swings to an $11 million loss.
Looks like Cirque is going to do a show on Cotai for Las Vegas Sands:
I'm sure that doesn't thrill MGM MIRAGE.
In other news, an interesting article on the W Las Vegas project going up on Harmon:
Lastly, Pinnacle, the original Aztar/Tropicana suitor, announced some great earnings:
Wynn earnings coming today... We'll see how they did this last quarter...