Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog

All Articles Published: July 2009

July 30, 2009

Las Vegas Sands Posts Second Quarter Loss

Posted by Hunter

Las Vegas Sands, operator of The Venetian and The Palazzo in Las Vegas and several casinos in Macau, posted a loss of $171 million for the second quarter of 2009.

Looking at the details, they had two large one-time charges and without those, they'd have swung to a $22 million profit. Those charges include a non-cash impairment related to the shopping complex at The Palazzo, worth substantially less than originally thought.

LVS, which is building a new property in Singapore, believes it can realize $500 million in annualized efficiencies through cost cutting. They're not all that specific about what they want to do but that's a big number... I'm sure you intrepid readers could suggest a few things they could cut back on, no?

July 30, 2009

Wynn Resorts Posts Second Quarter Income Plunge

Posted by Hunter

Las Vegas based Wynn Resorts reported their second quarter results this morning. Net revenues were below many analysts expectations but EBITDA was stronger than expected.

The press release is here:

Occupancy in Las Vegas is off almost 10 points from the year ago quarter and ADR is down to just over $200 as many recent visitors can attest to. REVPAR in Las Vegas was off over 35% to $188, though over 2,000 additional rooms are included in the figures for this quarter.

The stock has been trading up $5/share as of this writing.

Update: Fixed the poorly worded headline.

July 28, 2009

Station Casinos Files Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Posted by Hunter

Not much detail but the troubled Las Vegas locals operator has filed for protection and reorganization under the bankruptcy code.

Station 'went private' in 2007 as part of a $9 billion deal.

July 27, 2009

Wynn's Roger Thomas Honored - Video Interview

Posted by Hunter

Thanks to Mike E over at for catching this one - a multi-part video interview set with design genius Roger Thomas, Executive VP of Design at Wynn Design and Development as he was honored this past February in Las Vegas.

Thomas was responsible for many major Wynn designs at properties including Wynn Las Vegas, Encore Las Vegas, Wynn Macau, Bellagio, Treasure Island, Beau Rivage, The Mirage, Golden Nugget and more.

Roger Thomas - Chapter 1
Roger Thomas - Chapter 2
Roger Thomas - Chapter 3
Roger Thomas - Chapter 4
Roger Thomas - Chapter 5
Roger Thomas - Chapter 6

July 21, 2009

Potential Hong Kong IPO for Wynn Resorts

Posted by Hunter

There's a story circulating that indicates Wynn Resorts may offer some shares of its Macanese operations on the Hong Kong stock market. The move could raise up to $2 billion.

The RJ has more:

A Union Gaming analysis indicates that Wynn Resorts' balance sheet is strong and that the cash is not required to meet existing obligations. If this is true, does that mean WYNN is playing it safe or about to embark on a new project?

Of course, Las Vegas Sands has floated a similar idea several times and never pulled the trigger.

The Mandarin Oriental opens December 4th in CityCenter. Its small size, 392 rooms and no casino, will likely help the hotel achieve its goal of setting a new standard for service in Las Vegas.

The Las Vegas Sun's article points out that although CityCenter (MGM Mirage and Dubai World) owns the hotel, it will be independently managed by Mandarin Oriental. CityCenter will "stay out of the way", operationally.

Bill Lerner of Union Gaming Group said, "The hotel...might also lure a few customers from the big casino hotels at the high end."

A few questions to start a conversation:
Can Las Vegas support a non-gaming property of the caliber of Mandarin Oriental?
Will MGM really maintain a hands-off approach to operations, or will ultra high rollers become an important customer base causing Mandarin to morph into another luxury casino hotel (without the casino)?
Is Mandarin Oriental in a more rarified atmosphere than Four Seasons, or do both properties compete for the same guests?

The Sun's article is here:
For CityCenter's Non Gaming Mandarin Oriental, Service Is 'Be-All, End-All'

MacauTripping got a great tip to some renderings done for Wynn Design and Development by Mike Hong and Associates. Along with renderings for Encore in Macau (SW Steakhouse?), there's also concept work for unbuilt resorts in Singapore and Monaco.

Enjoy them while you can - they may be pulled down at some point.

July 16, 2009

Sponsorship and Social Media in Gaming

Posted by Hunter

My good friend Chuck @ published a new piece, talking about how social media and 'sponsored' conversations are impacting the way the casinos get their message out.

I encouraged him to publish this because I think discussing people's expectations is important as all of us publishers set our own standards.

I believe that in these sorts of things, transparency is a good policy.

Oh, and if you want to follow us on Twitter:

@hunter (not all Las Vegas stuff)

Also, our previous list of people tweeting about Las Vegas, which is only partially up to date at this point:

There was a news story a few days ago indicating that Nevada regulators had decided to levy a fine against Planet Hollywood for incidents at the Privé nightclub including underage drinking and other offenses.

Today, an article in the Sun that compares the $500,000 fine with other agencies.

Update: The gaming commission approved the fine, as expected. In addition though, Clark County has denied the liquor license application for Privé. I'm not really sure how they can survive without booze.

The Sun weighs in:

July 13, 2009

Union Gaming Group Fires Up Engines

Posted by Hunter

Last week, we had Rich Moriarty from Union Gaming Group on the Vegas Gang show. It was great - Rich is a pro with a lot of experience in finance and gaming.

This week, Union Gaming is launching their daily coverage of gaming company financials, Heard On The Strip.

Now, the product is aimed at larger institutional investors, governments and hotel execs and is priced accordingly but Union Gaming breaking on to the scene is important for all of us that armchair quarterback the industry as well. Given how often these guys are quoted in local and national media when it comes to gaming, I expect lots of interesting insight from them as they grow their new biz.

Thanks again to Rich for coming on the show last week - really enjoyed it.

July 12, 2009

Harrah's to Build 'Street 'o Shops' Near Flamingo

Posted by Hunter

Harrah's latest plan is to take the dirty, smelly alley between The Flamingo and O'Shea's and turn it into a 'collection of about 20 restaurants and bars' with a giant ferris wheel type contraption at the end.

The LV Sun has an article and renderings:

Let's try and recall how many different plans and schemes that Harrah's has floated in the past few years. Also, hard to forget the numerous giant-ferris-wheel type projects that people have announced.

July 11, 2009

Encore and THEhotel, July 5-8

Posted by Mike E

Here's a play by play of my recent return from an Encore Salon Suite. Enjoy!

July 10, 2009

Vegas Gang #34 - July 9th, 2009

Posted by Hunter

Episode #34 of the Vegas Gang is up:

Rich Moriarty from Union Gaming is our guest.

We discuss:

* Harrah's and Station LBOs
* May 2009 Gaming Figures
* Las Vegas Sands Re-Starting in Macau
* City Center: Crystals Retail Information

and more...

Update: I mis-spoke during the show, indicating that Station filed Ch. 11. That's not the case, though they are still in negotiations with their lenders. I apologize for the mistake.

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

Yes, Strip Walk is back - July 2009 edition. This time, Mike added a little food critique as well.

The photos are here:


July 1, 2009

Open Topic Discussion - July 1, 2009

Posted by detroit1051

The Las Vegas Review Journal and Las Vegas Sun both have lead stories on Harmon's construction defects. The Sun is more informative and includes photos of the rebar in question as well as a link to the County complaints. What an appalling saga.

Harmon inspector lacked experience
At hearing, he said he read building plans in prior jobs only with help