What did you think was the most interesting/biggest story of 2006 that related to Las Vegas and/or casino gambling?
Was it Harrah's being taken private? Wynn Resorts opening in Macau? The Stardust going dark? The insanity around the Tropicana bidding war? I'm interested to hear your take.
The RJ has a story on that topic today with a few examples but we don't have to limit the discussion to those options.
And, for a little bit of history, these are the posts from December 2005. Funny to think of all that has happened this year.
Thanks to my friend Chris in Hong Kong, we have a few new shots of development progress for several Macau projects.
Thanks Chris! Looks like some of these projects are really coming together and by this time next year, all of the above should be operating (and hopefully I will have reported my personal experience in at least a few of them!)
Happy New Year to all. Another great year of growth on this blog and I hope that 2007 will be even bigger.
We've now got some more detail on what new owner Columbia Sussex plans to do with the Tropicana site in Las Vegas.
The two larger towers and the showroom will remain, though be re-worked. They will join several new towers that contain a boatload of new hotel rooms It's certainly going to be a large complex.
Station Casinos plans to develop 52 acres behind (to the south of) Palace Station. CityCenter, Echelon Place, Wynn's golf course and now Palace Station. As Strip land becomes scarce, the west side of I-15 is becoming more desireable. Here's a link to the LV Business Press and the map from Vegas Today and Tomorrow.
LV Business Press on STN Development
Vegas Today and Tomorrow Map
I just came back from another trip in a Wynn Fairway Villa. It was an amazing experience--far better than the first time I stayed in the villas. I've even thrown in some photos and videos of the trips events.
(More after the jump.)
Las Vegas Sands, owners of the Venetian in Las Vegas, NV, have won the coveted concession in Bethlehem, PA. This was being sought by other operators, including Trump and Isle of Capri.
The project will be built on a 126-acre site - a former steel mill - near Philadelphia. It will be interesting to see what impact this and other Pennsylvania projects have on Atlantic City as Philly is a major feeder market for AC.
It doesn't seem like the Bethlehem project will have any major financial impact for LVS.
and the LVS press release:
I'm finally back with another podcast! This time around I'm talking about my recent trip to Bellagio (which includes meeting up with several readers/listeners and author Dave Schwartz) as well as the big news of the day - Harrah's going private! On top of that I catch up with a few news stories from the last two weeks. Enjoy!!
Here is the link to the photos mentioned in the podcast: http://www.ratevegas.com/photo/most_recent
A reminder - feel free to call in and leave us a message about anything Las Vegas or Web site related. The call in number is: 702-508-4232.
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Not a lot of detail yet but it looks like Apollo/Texas Pacific boosting the bid to $90/share did the trick:
Harrah's Board have accepted the offer:
We checked into Bellagio earlier today after an almost three year lapse since my last stay. While a full trip report and a podcast will follow, I can say right now that I have been very impressed with the personalized, attentive service that I've seen since we arrived.
Not only did I get a call from the concierge before we arrived but since then they have been able to accommodate several requests thrown their way. Everyone has been extremely pleasant and our Spa Tower room is very nicely decorated and includes a great view.
Generally, I am very, very impressed so far. Coming in, my wife was saying that she wished we were at Wynn Las Vegas but after a few hours here, she's lost all sense of regret.
We've got some friends coming in later tonight (they are at the Barbary Coast) and I've got a few meetings setup over the next few days which I am looking forward to, even if there were a few folks that weren't able to make it. This is shaping up to be a fun weekend. I'm certainly enjoying myself... Signing off from Bellagio - Hunter.
The October gaming win figures for Nevada were up again - barely - after a huge October in 2005.
Interestingly enough, the Strip was actually down a bit with holds not as high as in previous months.
Some 'locals' play saved the numbers from being down overall.
I know that I haven't posted a new podcast for over a week. I apologize for that... Things have been quite hectic over here and I just haven't had a chance.
I'm hoping I can get one in the can this weekend but it might be mid-week. Lots to talk about though, so that shouldn't be a problem.
Also, I'm back in Las Vegas next weekend which should also generate a good bit of content. Thanks for being patient!
MGM Mirage is planning a partnership with Mubadala Development, a firm headquartered in Abu Dhabi and owned by the royal family there.
There is talk of luxury hotel projects in several parts of the world including Las Vegas.
This is actually about a day old but due to some computer issues, I wasn't able to do much posting yesterday.
From the LV Biz Press, in the continuing saga of the Wynn Las Vegas tipping situation, a court dismissed the legal challenge, though the dealers still have several other potential remedies.
Thanks to reader George, we have an interesting report and photos from a recent trip to Macau. The report is after the jump.
A couple of comments on the report:
* The Sands Macau actually does have a small hotel at the moment and they are planning to expand it to over a hundred rooms in the next few years.
* While the jury is very much still out on Wynn Macau, looking only at the cash volume through that place in the first days we have reported, a lot of money is moving around in that place. Assuming that keeps up and the basic math works, they have potential to make money... Potential.
* Wynn's Tryst - I was under the impression that it was open based on photos from the club and a few reports. Given this report, I'm now not clear as to its status.
* Craps - Too bad no games in Macau. People seem to generally consider it a dying game. Personally, it is by far my favorite. I have seem quotes from Wynn that imply that he believes the same is one of the last generation. Hopefully it is not dying off.
Overall I found the specific comparisons useful for folks like me who are used to Las Vegas/US casinos and who plan to visit Macau sometime in the near future.
I am working on posting the photos that were sent with this story. They will be up soon...
Some quick hits on upcoming development projects in Las Vegas from the Sun.
* Some discussion on Caesars Palace and the Roman Forum / new tower development.
* The Harrah's Center Strip project is still under wraps, likely delayed due to the potential private equity take-over of the company. This potentially includes the re-development of Bally's, Imperial Palace, Harrah's Las Vegas and the Flamingo, with varying degrees of severity.
* Echelon Place is moving along.
* Station has plans for Durango Station some day.
Very interesting announcement from LVS today - they plan to start an online casino.
Nevada regulated companies have tried this in the past - MGM Mirage had their WagerWorks system that they shutdown in 2004.
US citizens are prohibited from gambling in online casinos and the laws surrounding that have recently gotten stronger with the government taking aim at the financial institutions used to move the money around. Despite it being illegal, online gambling in the US is widespread.
I think this is fascinating. Online gaming is such a lucrative market, I'm not surprised these guys want a piece. I hope this works well and proves that these operators can run reliable games.
Looks like the Fertitta brothers that run Station have put together financing to take the company private in a $4.7 billion deal.
It's a slow news today on this Sunday but one interesting tidbit about Lure, the ultra-lounge at Wynn Las Vegas.
Lure has never been a great performer, despite the room being very pretty with a cool outdoor area. Sounds like it will get a facelift and a new name, along with a new marketing campaign early next year:
Thanks to John for submitting this.