Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog

All Articles Published: April 2009

April 29, 2009

CityCenter Funding Plan Approved

Posted by Hunter

After a very anti-climatic afternoon which saw MGM Mirage shares stop trading ahead of the closing bell, we see this news that MGM and partner Dubai World have hammered out an agreement, along with the lenders, to make sure CityCenter is completed and opens later this year.

It appears that MGM Mirage had to put Circus Circus and its land up as a lien as part of this deal, if construction costs go over.

April 27, 2009

Open Topic Discussion - April 27th, 2009

Posted by Hunter

Here's an open topic thread for y'all, primed with a report that LVS may be looking to sell Sands Macau and then operate it for for prospective buyer.

April 23, 2009

Vegas Gang #31 - April 23rd, 2009

Posted by Hunter

We're back with another episode! It can be downloaded here.

Our special guest is casino expert Bill Zender, author of Casino-ology, a collection of his writings over the past several years. Zender was also a guest on Dr. Dave's excellent UNLV podcast.

We discuss:

* Game Protection and the Future
* Casino Consolidation on The Strip
* MGM Mirage Selling Properties

Feel free to leave your comments below. If it's a question that you want asked on the show, please make that clear in your post. You can also send those to

April 23, 2009

LVSUN: Fontainebleau Funding Disaster

Posted by Hunter

According to the award winning Las Vegas Sun, Fontainebleau is suing some banks that apparently don't want to loan about $800MM that was promised to complete the project.

Funny, we were just talking about FBleau on the VegasGang today. Episode to be posted soon.

April 17, 2009

Vegas Podcast-a-palooza 2 - October 17th, 2009

Posted by Hunter

As Chuck posted earlier, we are shooting for the second annual Vegas Podcast-a-palooza to go off on the 17th of October, coinciding with both BlogWorld and Podcast Expo.

There are still a ton of details to work out, including a line up. We've got a lot of feedback after the show last year and we want to make things ever better so we're taking all of it in.

More details to come.

According to the WSJ, investor Carl Icahn and Oaktree Capital, a private equity firm, have been buying up MGM Mirage bonds and are pushing for the company to file bankruptcy.

More as it develops.

Update: WSJ link.

In 2006, before a cratering economy taught grown men how to cry, a Nevada holding company, Southern NV Rental Holdings, purchased dozens of houses around the Palace Station casino on West Sahara.

In that linked article, the Sun hypothesizes that Station Casinos was somehow involved in these purchases, perhaps for possible re-development in that area. That same holding company purchased other residential properties near other Station developments as well.

Well, it seems these houses are again for sale and whoever does ultimately own them seems willing to take a bath to get rid of them. The original article indicates a range of purchase prices, some in the $200,000 - $285,000 range. Many of the units are now listed at selling prices of $120,000 or less.

Is Station selling assets at fire sale prices to raise cash? Given the level of indirection with these holdings, we can't say for sure and the company didn't respond to my email request for a comment.

Update: Some more from the LVBP archives (thanks David!). Still not completely clear it is Station - could be a business partner that now wants to divest itself of land for a project that probably isn't happening anytime soon... or not. The delving continues.

April 12, 2009

Strip Walk - April 2009

Posted by Hunter

Here's your latest Strip Walk, for April 2009.

Photos are here, check after the jump for the details.


April 10, 2009

UPDATED: Dubai to MGM: Never-mind, Our Bad

Posted by Hunter

It seems Dubai World has floated a proposal in the drama that is CityCenter.

Hopefully you can read that (I will post a free link when/if I can) but it basically sounds like they're saying that all the parties should agree to fund the rest of the project - you know, kinda like the original plan they had when they struck their deal in the first place.

Under this plan, MGM Mirage, Dubai and the banks would remove some of the contingencies surrounding the final $3 billion (every time, this number seems different) in funding required to finish the project.

Also, a different story from the RJ about MGM Mirage about the banks letting them continue to go along alone, without DW:

April 10, 2009

Steve Wynn on Ralston / Sunday w/ Charlie Rose

Posted by Hunter

Many of you have already seen the two part interview with Steve Wynn that Jon Ralston did. If not, watch here:

Part One (LV Sun)

Part Two (LV Sun)

Now, along with giving insight into his political beliefs, one of the more interesting bits is the talk about Wynn shopping for assets on The Strip. We also discussed this on yesterday's Vegas Gang. Would Wynn buy Bellagio? I think the consensus is that he meant what he said - if the price is right, Wynn Resorts may be game. This should not surprise anyone.

Wynn says Las Vegas is better off with multiple operators duking it out. I totally agree and hope that one of the positive outcomes of this downturn is that we have better, more vibrant bare-knuckled competition on The Strip. That would certainly make my job more interesting.

Can't get enough of The Steve? He'll be on 60 Minutes this Sunday with a piece by my favorite interviewer, Charlie Rose.

April 9, 2009

Vegas Gang #30 - April 9th, 2009

Posted by Hunter

We're back with another episode! It can be downloaded here.

This time around we discuss:

* February 2009 Gaming Numbers
* Listener Questions

Feel free to leave your comments below.

April 9, 2009

Gaming Numbers Published

Posted by Hunter

We will touch on this on the next Vegas Gang show but I wanted to post this for comments.

As is typical, the gaming figures have been released. They are of course, down.

Dr. Dave thinks the RJ is downplaying the bad news.

In related news, word comes that the Gaming Control Board is forming an internal crisis team to deal with bankrupt casinos.

Harrah's was able to pull off a debt swap that looks to have improved their position a bit.

April 7, 2009

Inside Wynn Design and Development

Posted by Hunter

Steve Friess has a very interesting photo post over at Vegas Happens Here:

I'd highly encourage checking it out for any Wynn and/or design freaks.

April 1, 2009

Encore, March 29-31.

Posted by Mike E

Here's a short review from my most recent trip including tours of both the Duplex Apartments and Sky Casino at Encore. Enjoy and feel free to skip to sections that interest you.