So, I'm a day early.
"In Business Las Vegas" has a story on a new hotel pricing website, Farecast, which sounds intereresting. I haven't spent much time on it yet, but it may be helpful for Las Vegas hotel rates.
New Web site uses science to gauge hotel pricing
The website itself is:
I'm just back from a little vacation and I'm beat but this is something I need to report - Las Vegas Sands have opened their second property in Macau, The Venetian Macau - the first hotel to open on the Cotai Strip.
Update: Read the comments for a review from reader Chris B.
Here's Harrah's press release on plans to build an arena behind Paris/Bally's. Jason and Billy alerted us to it earlier today.
"Harrah's Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: HET - News) and AEG today unveiled plans for of an approximately 20,000-seat, privately financed, state-of-the-art arena. This arena is envisioned to be Las Vegas' new home for the most popular and important sports and entertainment events. The site of the venue will be one block east of the world famous Las Vegas Strip on approximately 10 acres of land that is part of the current Harrah's land holdings."
"Dubai agreed to pay $5 billion for a 9.5 percent stake in MGM Mirage and half of the Las Vegas casino owner's biggest development, bringing billionaire shareholder Kirk Kerkorian his biggest investment in the company."
This is huge news. There is a more in-depth report in the 8/22 Wall Street Journal for subscribers. The news troubles me, but Lanni and Murren haven't disappointed yet,
MGM Mirage made a few changes in the executive suite which they announced today.
First off, the extremely capable Jim Murren has been promoted to President and COO of the company (from President, CFO, and Treasurer). Murren came from Wall Street and is probably the most responsible for MGM Mirage being a model for other gaming companies to follow, especially when talking about reporting. Murren will also oversee all properties except for those that are part of the 'City Center Campus'.
Bobby Baldwin has been moved into a new position - Chief Design and Construction Officer. He'll oversee all new construction and capital improvements in the US. He also will oversee the 'City Center Campus', which includes City Center, Monte Carlo and Bellagio.
Lastly, Dan D'Arrigo has been promoted to EVP and CFO.
All of these positions report to Terri Lanni, the company's Chairman and CEO. Additionally, John Redmond, who had been running the properties formerly in the MGM family, including MGM Grand and NYNY has resigned as planned.
Unrelated, Harrah's has scheduled an announcement for tomorrow regarding entertainment changes at their resorts in Las Vegas.
According to our friend Steve Friess of The Strip Podcast, the New Frontier is set to be imploded on November 13th, probably at some ungodly hour of the morning.
It's not public yet (well, I guess it is now) but it sounds like he checked his sources, showing off yet again that he is a real reporter. Come on, Steve - bloggers don't need to FACT CHECK. Heh.
Anyway, discuss below...
Well, early Sunday there was ANOTHER shooting on the Strip - for those keeping track, we've had three in the past few weeks and a gun scare just last week that turned out to be false.
Here's the story on Sunday's action: http://www.lvrj.com/news/9255111.html
What's going on here? One of the great things about the Las Vegas Strip is that it is considered safe - enough so that many just take it for granted.
How will this impact tourism? Will it?
Welcome to a new semi-regular feature, 'Strip Walk'. These photo updates from the Las Vegas Strip (and other parts of the Valley) have previously been presented by our man in the field, mike_ch. Well, now he's an official part of the crew and we're aiming to get these two you about every other work, time and schedule permitting.
His notes follow after the jump and the photos for this and future walks are here:
You can't pick up a newspaper these days without seeing stories about the collapse of the sub-prime mortgage market and the potential trickle into other areas of the economy, including the tightening of credit.
No doubt the availability of cheap money has helped to fuel the building boom we are seeing on the Las Vegas Strip and elsewhere. As credit markets do tighten, how will that impact building in Las Vegas? Any impact? Visitors spending less in the casinos?
Steve Friess is an award winning Las Vegas-based journalist that regularly writes for the New York Times, USA Today and other national publications... You probably know him as the co-host of one of my favorite podcasts, The Strip. Steve's a great guy and Vegas is lucky to have him.
His new Las Vegas guidebook, 'Gay Vegas' covers Sin City with an emphasis on gay and lesbian travelers, though the tips in here are applicable to anyone visiting Southern Nevada.
Keep reading after the jump for my take on the book and if you want to pick up a copy, this Amazon link is a way to say thanks to us as well:
The shareholders of Station Casinos voted overwhelmingly to approve the plan to take the company private.
The $5.4 billion offer is from a new entity that combines Colony Capital and the Fertitta's, the company's founding family.
It will move to regulators next, I would expect inside the next nine months.
Thanks to VegasTripping.com for pointing us to this interesting interview with Steve Wynn.
He talks about their upcoming Cotai property - he wants to make it the best in the world it seems... Also, some talk on Encore (the casino will look like Macau's, which is pretty much what we all expected) and Las Vegas Sands.
Great interview: http://macaubusiness.com/index.php?id=881
Update: I thought I had a photo of the Wynn Macau casino in my gallery but I looked and couldn't find one. I know I've seen it though - I remember really liking it with the columns and drapes - much more low-key than WLV. Anyone have a link?
This interesting story in the RJ caught my eye - a well known casino security expert that has trained many in the industry has been accused of colluding to fix high stakes poker games in Atlantic City.
While an integral part of internal controls and even public safety, we don't hear about much of this stuff and that's why I thought it was worth sharing and discussing.
A fresh new discussion zone for y'all.
A second construction accident in about a week at Fontainebleau, though this time no one was killed, unlike last week. It appears a major collapse in the parking garage area that is under construction has taken place.
WYNN will release its Q2 earnings shortly, so we'll start a new topic now. In the meantime, Wynn has issed a press release announcing the opening of Blush on Labor Day weekend:
"Blush offers a unique option to the Las Vegas scene as the club seamlessly transforms from elegant lounge to high-energy nightclub."
Formerly the location of Lure, the venue will undergo a complete remodel under the direction of Wynn's Executive Vice President of Design Roger Thomas. The 4,500 square-foot club will feature a lit onyx dance floor and cr�me lantern ceiling sculpture. This central art focal piece will create various hues and images that enhance the vibe and atmosphere as the display literally comes alive nightly."
Updated: The earnings are in and they are pretty impressive. Check here.
As noted in the RJ and the LVS thread, Palazzo is scheduled to open December 20th, 2007. We'll see if that's a soft opening or what - I have my doubts.
Also, according to the Movable Buffet, Tangerine at Treasure Island will be closing and will be replaced with a new nightlife venue by the end of the year. Tangerine is managed by the Pure Management Group.
MGM Mirage had a big quarter but a large portion of the ground they gained were from one time events - property sales in Primm and elsewhere.
Still, income from continuing operations was also up - the company is healthy and I still consider it to be one of the best run in gaming - a model for the industry in that regard.
Revenues hit $2.11 billion and earnings were at $360 million with those property sales factored in. Incoming from continuing operations was $182 million, up from about $140 million in the year ago quarter.
REVPar on the Strip jumped 7%. I hope to have property specific info soon.
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Las Vegas Sands reported their second quarter results today and the story is that net income is down this quarter, mostly due to higher costs.
Net income was $34.4 million from $109.3 million a year ago. Big drop... Well, they are about to open the Venetian Macau so they clearly have a reason to be spending money this quarter. Revenues were up to $612.9 million from $517 million so unless they get spend happy next time around, this is likely no huge deal.
Update: Looking at some of the numbers, at The Venetian in Las Vegas the ADR (average daily rate) was up $266, almost 10%. Other metrics like the drop were also up - fundamentals look solid.