Liz Benston had an interesting column on Macau in the 9/30 LV Sun:
Catching up to Las Vegas
Some quick notes on what's in the paper's today...
The RJ has an article on Aliante Station which is being built in North Las Vegas by the soon-to-be-private Station Casinos, Inc. North Las Vegas is a bit of a future growth market for them but this is set to be another nicely put together project, even if it is very 'Station-esque'.
Inside Gaming has an interesting note on 'Macau' vs 'Macao', which the eagle eyed will have noticed are both used by US operators in Macau (Wynn Resorts likes 'Macau', Las Vegas Sands uses 'Macao' - sounds like the LVS folks are clinging to the past).
I'm still looking for some sort of concrete occupancy numbers for The Venetian Macau - anyone seen anything published other than 'things are going well'? If so, post links in the comments.
Lastly, MacauTripping.com has been following up on the trip blog with great posts daily. Its quickly becoming my fave stop for Macau info and getting me excited for a trip myself. I did go out and grab RateMacau.com and there's no way I could get all the info I need without heading over there myself. We'll see I guess.
Well, you know the drill at this point. Another episode featuring MGM Grand, Wynn Las Vegas, City Center and more.
Photos are here: RateVegas Photos
This time we get a bonus video: Diablo's Cantina
"USA Today" profiles Terry Lanni:
"Throughout its history, Las Vegas has seen its share of legendary tycoons, from Howard Hughes to Steve Wynn. The low-profile Lanni flies under the public's radar, but he's one of the most-respected and influential forces in the $90 billion gaming industry.
"I've dealt with a few CEOs, and I'd have to rate Terry up there at the top," says Kirk Kerkorian, the 90-year-old owner of Tracinda, which held 56% of MGM Mirage's stock as of June. "I've always liked this company. We've got a hell of a team there."
Well, that was a great conversation... We had an in-depth talk with Chuck from VegasTripping.com who just recently has gotten back from Macau.
We went over everything from specific hotel talk on topics like Wynn Macau, Venetian Macau, Galaxy Starworld, MGM Grand Macau, Casino Lisboa and more. We also talked about the business - folks like Wynn Resorts, Las Vegas Sands, SJM, Melco and others.
Cotai, gaming industry topics, casino design and more. It was a great discussion and I'm hoping we can do another segment soon.
We'll be doing this on TalkShoe but here's how this will work - you guys submit some questions here on the site, I'll ask them in the first 30 minutes or so. The second half of the show will be open for general discussion. We'll see how that goes.
So... TONIGHT at 6pm PT
Update: Ok, the Talkshoe link is here: http://www.talkshoe.com/talkshoe/web/talkCast.jsp?masterId=44621.
If you're planning on joining us, I strongly recommend you go to the TalkShow.com Web site ahead of time to sign up for an account and download the software. Strictly speaking, the software isn't required (only a telephone is really required) but having it gives you extra features.
If you really can't download the software, you can call in using this number: 724-444-7444 with the TalkCast ID of 44621. Without the software you might not be able to ask any questions as we won't be able to identify you in the system.
This would be huge if LVS acquired Boyd especially for the Echelon site on the Strip.
"Activity was brisk, for instance, in Boyd Gaming Corp. as rumors swirled that the casino company might be in the sights of Las Vegas Sands Corp."
A couple of quick hits today:
Steve Wynn is the guest on this week's, The Strip Podcast. He talks about Macau, nightclubs, and more. According to Wynn, Tryst is the top netting nightclub in town and Tao is fiddling with their numbers a bit. The interview is interesting and features a fun example of Wynn's office at work. Steve's thesis on why spending is up is sort of interesting.
Second up, thanks to Detroit, this link to an article from Robin Leach - will the nightclub boom continue.
Liz Benston interviews Bobby Baldwin in the LV Sun. He answers some of the questions we asked during our recent call-in podcast.
"He typically shuns publicity but was keen to address rumors that he might be leaving MGM Mirage - perhaps to join his old boss - after a management reshuffle. Baldwin would have been a natural choice for operations chief at MGM Mirage, a job that went to finance chief and CityCenter's chief idea man Jim Murren. Baldwin says he is impressed by Wynn's growth in Las Vegas and Macau but he's satisfied and challenged at MGM Mirage, at least for now.
The poker whiz from Oklahoma will retain control of CityCenter and the two adjacent resorts, Bellagio and Monte Carlo, while becoming chief visionary in planning projects along the Strip and beyond."
Our second time using Talkshoe.com and it was a lot of fun. Regular readers like Detroit1051, Mike E, Brian Fey, mike_ch and BarbaryKevin were all in on the action.
We covered a broad range of issues, from Cotai, Harrah's, Wynn Resorts, Las Vegas Sands, Palazzo, Encore, IGT and a lot more.
During the show we talked about Chuck's Macau diary. That link is here: http://www.macautripping.com
Harrah's is making moves on the Cotai Strip in Macau by purchasing a golf course that makes them the second largest land holder in the area after Las Vegas Sands.
Based on one Web site's analysis, they paid about $22 million an acre - not too shabby.
Harrah's is still without a concession that gives them the necessary license required to operate a facility in Macau but of course, money talks and Harrah's wants in.
Okay, our next live podcast will be on this coming Sunday, the 16th at 7pm PT / 10pm ET.
We will be doing the show live with audience participation encouraged. We did this last time and it was fun... Using a system call TalkShoe, listeners can call in and be on the 'air', just like a radio talk show.
All the details to get on will be posted here on Sunday before the show.
It's gonna be fun - there's always lots going on in Las Vegas. I'll talk about my recent one day trip and I have a special report from a friend who experienced 'VMA Weekend' first hand.
Show Completed: We had a great time with a lively discussion on a bunch of topics. The show will be posted soon. Stay tuned for the next one, probably on another Sunday evening.
These wraps are visual pollution, imo.
"They are hard to miss, but that's the point.
A 40-story-high Jim Beam bottle ad on the side of the Rio, which was finished this week, is visible to commuters and tourists traveling north on Interstate 15.
An image of an Absolut Vodka bottle appears on the east side of the Luxor towers above the Strip.
Both advertisements are also visible from planes landing and taking off at McCarran International Airport."
Hotel-draping banner ads become latest clutter cutter for enterprising merchants
Here's the latest Strip Walk, this time hitting Wynn Las Vegas, Trump Las Vegas, New Frontier, Palazzo, Treasure Island, New York New York, Excalibur, Luxor and more...
As always, the photos are here: http://www.ratevegas.com/photo/gallery/stripwalk
Commentary after the jump... Take it away Mike!
As the Wynn Las Vegas tipping fiasco was hitting fast and furious, one Web site - CasinoDealers.net was the voice of many that felt they didn't have one. The Web site is a popular gathering spot for those in the industry and it was the home of many a hot-and-heavy discussion on the topic. Some of those discussions even spilled over here as we have some of the same contributors.
Anyway, the site is profiled in today's LVRJ:
Past posts on AAA Diamond Ratings and Mobil Star Ratings generated so many comments, that we might as well start a new topic. The 9/9/07 RJ follows the AAA inspector as he checks out The Mirage on its regular review.
"Unwilling to name competitors by name, Vincent said the association is the only company sending inspectors to all the properties it rates"
You'll recall in posts last year, we talked about Mobil's erroneous comments about Wynn Las Vegas, including reference to a "5th floor swimming pool", which showed that an inspector had not actually visited Wynn. Mobil subsequently corrected its errors.
MGM Mirage management should be happy with this story.
HOTEL CONFIDENTIAL: Diamond Quest
Thanks for Chuck at VegasTripping.com for pointing out that two popular Vegas sites have been re-designed.
The Las Vegas Advisor is the sorta-ghetto looking Web site from the sorta-ghetto LVA. Tailor made for the Travel Channel, the content is pretty predictable but a a solid resource for first-timers if you don't mind getting the company line from your reviewers.
Next up is VegasRex.com, a great blog/site full of cutting edge commentary. This is a great site if you're not familiar.
Now, Chuck finishes his article by talking about his VegasTripping re-design... Chuck's got the design skills so I'm sure it will be a nice upgrade - he's got a good track record.
As far as my sites, I have a new design for this blog (not the parent site) that has been done for some time, though it is still not implemented. I'll get to that hopefully sooner rather than later. Beyond that, I sketched an updated photo quiz design, though that is a ways off. I have plans for at least one other site/application that I'm really excited about. Not sure when that will see the light of day.
My good friend Chuck at VegasTripping.com is heading to Macau next week. Despite being very jealous, I'm happy to send you guys over to his site to get the regular updates he'll be posting - I know that I'm looking forward to some very thorough reporting from the field, HST style.
Second up, their annual 'Best Of' list, the Trippies, are now open for nominations. Feel free to nominate us - the parent Web site, RateVegas.com, this blog and even our podcast, which we're bringing back into a more regular schedule with live call-in shows (next Sunday the 16th!).
I want to do another call-in podcast where you guys can dial an 800 number and be a part of the live show.
I need to find out what time or times on which days are good for enough folks to make it worthwhile.
What's good for you?
We're back with another Strip Walk! This was written almost a week ago and this time around you'll get Mike's comments but a few of my own sprinkled in - I was in Vegas for one night last week and took some of my own photos as well.
As always, the photos are here: http://www.ratevegas.com/photo/gallery/stripwalk
Commentary after the jump...