Hope Hunter doesn't mind a new Open Topic Discussion. Our last one is up to 100 comments. We'll start this June one a few days early.
I belatedly learned that Larry Forgione's "An American Place" will not replace Tableau at Wynn Las Vegas. The new chef, David Spero, will continue operating the room as Tableau.
Steve and Forgione must have had a disagreement to part ways after all the original hype. Has anyone been to Tableau since Spero arrived?
Chef Spero at Tableau
I heard rumblings about the LVS Club Grazie policy a few days ago but completely spaced on it.
Chuck Mike E. @ VegasTripping did not and wrote it up: http://www.vegastripping.com/news/news.php?news_id=2715
This one is near and dear to my heart. I love playing the casino but I'm *sure* that over the years I've spent way more on hotel suites and fancy meals. I know I would personally benefit from this *cough* Wynn Resorts *cough*.
Hopefully this trend spreads as fast as the ultralounge.
Former Mandalay Resort Group executive Glenn Schaeffer is out as the top dog at Fontainebleau Resorts. This is another *major* blow for the company that is already struggling with financing problems related to its Strip resort.
The WSJ has an article about City of Dreams, set to open Monday on Macau's Cotai Strip.
At $2.4 billion, it's a very ambitious project and I know a lot of Macau-o-philes that are eagerly awaiting the doors being thrown open. Other than The Venetian, it's the second *major* project to open on Cotai.
Happy to be back after a little bit of a break. Lots to talk about, as always.
* MGM Mirage Pulls a Rabbit Out of its Hat
* Fontainebleau May Not Be Totally Screwed (we'll see)
* UNLV Center for Gaming Research Trends
* 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
The results of the long-running New Jersey investigation into the suitability of Pansy Ho as a business partner for MGM Mirage has resulted in the department of enforcement recommending against.
MGM Mirage partnered with Ho on MGM Grand Macau and owns a 50% interest of one New Jersey property, the Borgata.
What happens next is unclear - maybe nothing. The Sun has more:
We sent Mr. Mike_Ch over to Mandalay Bay to see the new production of Disney's The Lion King.
He came back with a mighty helpful and dare I say insightful review.
Enjoy after the jump!
Despite the fact the LVRJ has misspelled the name of the resort (as of this writing it says 'Corporate layoffs begin at Fountainebleau, more cuts likely'), they do have an interesting story about layoffs at the under-construction Strip resort.
The private equity takeover plan that includes former MGM Grand exec Alex Yemenidjian seems to be moving forward.
MGM Mirage has proposed issuing some new debt and equity to raise up to $2.5 billion. Proceeds would be used to pay off other debts.
Part of the package would includes liens against Bellagio and The Mirage which translates into MGM not selling those places anytime soon.
Las Vegas based free-lancer Steve Friess has written an excellent piece on Wynn Design and Development Executive Vice President Roger Thomas, who we learned last week will be staying on with Wynn D&D.
If there's one person responsible for the colors, textures and look inside Wynn's creations, it's Thomas.
Here we are with another Mike_Ch Strip Walk for late April / early May 2009.
You'll visit Luxor, Excalibur, Monte Carlo, Bellagio, Caesars Palace and more.
Everything is after the jump. The full photo gallery is here.
As per an email marketing campaign, Monte Carlo will be introducing 'Hotel 32' in the coming weeks or months.
Details are sparse and MGM Mirage says they're not ready to divulge more yet but the images in the email seem to show a heavily upgraded 32nd floor, the top level damaged by the January 2008 fire. There may also be a special lounge on this floor for suite guests, though that's not confirmed.
Hotel 32 is expected to start accepting guests sometime in August of 2009.
Las Vegas Sands reported their first quarter results and as many could have guessed, they lost a little money this time around - looks like $87 million.
At the annual Wynn Resorts Shareholder's Meeting today, Steve Wynn announced that interior design guru Roger Thomas has decided in fact not to retire.
Originally the plan was for Thomas to end his long career with Wynn and for new hire Jerry Beale to take over that part of the department. Well, it seems Thomas wasn't as suited to retirement as he thought and he's decided to stay.
Beale and Thomas will be working together at Wynn D&D.
Wynn Resorts posted their first quarter numbers today:
Looks like Macau, sometimes the lifeboat for earnings, wasn't able to pull it off this time.
A very tough quarter for the Las Vegas based operator - 20% reduction in net revenue. To their credit, they don't sugar coat it - things are tough in gaming and these results reflect that.
If they hadn't had some of the TI sale figures in this quarter, things would have looked even worse.
REVPAR took a big hit - looks like they had to significantly drop rates to stabilize occupancy.
CSM at VegasTripping.com has posted some still images of Fontainebleau Las Vegas interiors that were captured from a video rendering. Chuck's post and stills are here:
The original video is here:
Chuck mentions in his post that it amps up his interest in the property a good margin. While I think some of it looks interesting, that overhead casino shot reminds me of a nicer version of Planet Hollywood. Of course, I may change my mind when I see it in person.
Still, very interesting. Hopefully this place is completed sooner rather than later.
Sad news this morning - long time Las Vegas headliner Danny Gans, who recently opened a new show at Encore Las Vegas, has apparently died in his sleep. He was 52 years old.
Gans previous show at The Mirage had a long successful run, as did his previous off-Strip engagement at The Rio.
While perhaps not known outside of Las Vegas, Danny Gans' show was one of the town's most popular.
I know Gans was married and had children. Very sad.
Update: Richard Abowitz has the Wynn statement: http://vegasblog.latimes.com/vegas/2009/05/breaking-vegas-headliner-dead-at-52.html
Update: Steve Friess spoke with Gans manager Chip Lightman: http://thestrippodcast.blogspot.com/2009/05/danny-gans-dead-at-52.html