Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog

All Articles Published: October 2007

Thanks to Mike for another installment of 'Strip Walk', or semi-regular feature that focuses on Las Vegas Strip construction progress.

Lots of great new info here and of course, we've got photos:

Plus, TWO new videos:

City Center


This may be the last Strip Walk for awhile, so enjoy!

October 30, 2007

Wynn Resorts Reports Q3 2007 Results

Posted by Hunter

Wynn Resorts just reported as the market closed - the conference call is about to start and I'll update this with any interesting info.

Quarterly revenue was $653.4 million, up from $318.1 million last year - all because of Macau. Adjusted property EBITDA was $186 million.

Adjusted net income: $73.4 million, compared to a $1.3 million loss last year. GAAP net income was $44 million and that figure from last year was skewed by the sale of the Macau sub-concession.

Lots of interesting details in the press release:

ADR at Wynn Las Vegas: $282, up from $271 a year ago. Occupancy was 96.6%.

ADR at Wynn Macau: $245 and occupancy was 91.9%.

October 30, 2007

MGM Mirage Blames OPERA Failure On Memory Leak

Posted by Hunter

On their earnings call today, MGM Mirage's Jim Murren discussed the recent problems with their guest reservations system, OPERA, that runs 7 properties for the company, mostly in Las Vegas.

Murren stated that the OPERA issue was due to a 'memory leak in the operating system'. He also stated that OPERA runs on an 'HP platform' and an 'Oracle database'. By 'HP platform', it's not clear if he means they are running on HP's PA-RISC UNIX operating system or HP hardware and something like Windows Server.

Murren claims the issue is resolved and they are fully operational but that they intend to have a backup system put into place for the future. He didn't break out the total cost of the problem for the company.

October 30, 2007

MGM Mirage Posts Third Quarter Results

Posted by Hunter

MGM Mirage posted their 2007 Q3 results - the company's net revenues are up 6% to $1.9 billion.

Details are here:

Some discussion on the call surrounded City Center and Dubai, Bellagio's baccarat room being closed, and the ongoing construction at former Mandalay properties.

Occupancy was up 1% to 97% and ADR hit $147, up from $140. REVPAR hit $143 from $135 a year ago.

An interesting item - gambling revenues, excluding Beau Rivage, are actually down 3% from a year ago.

October 29, 2007

Harrah's Privatization: $2.8B Problem Set to Derail?

Posted by Hunter

An interesting wire story about Harrah's dispute with a Native American tribe and a possible $2.8B judgement against the casino company. Analysts pose the possibility that it could even derail the privatization of the company, if the judgement is upheld.

October 28, 2007

Open Topic Discussion - Oct. 28, 2007

Posted by Hunter

Here's a new open topic thread for y'all. A couple of notes on this sunny Sunday:

Regarding the piece on VT&T regarding the Encore casino and a 'poker island', based on the plans I have seen and the people I have talked to, this is off the mark. Now, the plans I originally saw for the low rise stuff have substantially changed since then, as we have already discussed... My understanding is that there is no poker room planned for Encore, plus the walkway changes he talks about obliterate the retail that's planned along the WLV-Encore corridor and generally just sound like they waste space. I am very skeptical.

Second, thanks to reader MikeP for sending in a photo inside Palazzo's retail area, plus the new aquarium at The Mirage:

October 25, 2007

RateVegas for iPhone Featured on

Posted by Hunter

Well, I never thought I would ever have any content that would grace the pages of but it turns out I was wrong...

Our iPhone version of our ratings and comment database, RateVegas for iPhone is featured in Apple's Web apps directory for travel:

If you have an iPhone and are traveling to Las Vegas, give our tool a try - it's really easy to use it to find out what restaurants are near your hotel that don't suck.

October 25, 2007

The Mirage Lobby Aquarium Is Re-Born

Posted by Hunter

According to a release I got today, the aquarium that is behind the desk at The Mirage, which has been shrouded in black for months, has been revealed.

It's a whole new affair with more animals, new artifical reef and a new filtration system.

Supposedly the aquarium features 1,000 marine life forms in 20,000 gallons of water.

October 23, 2007

Open Topic Discussion: October 23, 2007

Posted by detroit1051

MGM Mirage has been plagued with Reservation System computer problems for several days according to Steve Friess in the New York Times.
Computer Glitches Plague Casinos

October 21, 2007

Palazzo - Opening on Time?

Posted by Hunter

An article over on the VegasRex blog talks about the Palazzo and if it will open on time. It's a question that a lot of people are asking - and wondering if 'opening' will be qualified with 'limited'.

Now, some of what Rex talks about are probably less of an issue than he makes them out to be - when these high-rises are built, the lower floors are finished, fixtures are installed and furnished while the upper floors are still being framed and curtained.

We know that the retail shops will be open in January and the 'Jersey Boys' show will be later in the Spring. Also, I'm pretty sure that some of the convention space expansion will probably not be open on 12/20 either.

Anyway, any inside info in this thread would be fascinating - what do you guys think?

October 21, 2007

The RJ Goes to Macau

Posted by Hunter

Looks like the RJ has a front page piece on Macau gaming, specifically US based operators there. It's an interesting piece and it comes with a fairly cheesy map and some photos. Worth checking out - even some photos of the analysts that get quoted in every gaming article in the paper.

October 20, 2007

Palazzo Construction Detailed

Posted by Hunter

An interesting article in the LVBP goes over the Palazzo project - I didn't realize it was the largest steel project in North America - and it explains doing the framing that way vs. the more typical cement pours you see all over town.

Not so sure about that comment about LVS' 'typical attention to detail' though.

October 18, 2007

Macau Quarterly Gaming Revenues Rise Again

Posted by Hunter

Sorry I'm only getting to post this now... Looks like Macau quarterlies are once again blowing through estimates:

A 46% increase? Nice. This quarter had a little bit of Venetian Macau action but we'll really get a feel for that next time around, plus of course in the LVS and WYNN quarterlies.

October 18, 2007

Rat Pack Buried - Joey Bishop Dead at 89

Posted by Hunter

Well, the end of the era may have been a long time ago but the last member of the infamous Rat Pack has died - Joey Bishop at 89.

October 13, 2007

RateVegas for iPhone Updated With New Features

Posted by Hunter

Howdy all, just a friendly note to let you know that I have updated the iPhone version of to include a new feature that I hope will be useful.

When visiting Las Vegas, I find that often people want to know what restaurants are nearby (not just in) the hotel they are currently hanging out in. Well, we added a new feature to handle exactly this - the system asks where you are and gives the top rated restaurants in all nearby hotels - pretty neat!

Thanks to Mike for another installment of 'Strip Walk', or semi-regular feature that focuses on Las Vegas Strip construction progress.

Lots of great new info here and of course, we've got photos:

October 11, 2007

Open Topic Discussion: October 11, 2007

Posted by detroit1051

Can Le Reve be salvaged? I haven't seen it, but Wynn has been tinkering with it for two years now: Is it a first class show?
Le Reve Continues To Evolve

October 10, 2007

Inside The MGM MIRAGE Brain Trust: Jim Murren

Posted by Hunter

In Business Las Vegas did a fascinating interview with MGM Mirage President and COO Jim Murren last week. It is a highly recommended read that gives great perspective into the thinking that has driven recent deals with Kerzner, Dubai World and others.

It's clear that Terry Lanni and Jim Murren 'get it' when it comes to the biz side of the gaming industry - they are re-defining the standard practices that have been common knowledge in the industry. Business as usual? Not anymore.

From partnering with interesting companies to big ambitious projects like City Center in Las Vegas, they are bringing techniques that have worked well in the general hospitality industry to gaming and it seems to be paying off in spades.

Personally, I'd love to do an interview with Murren but MGM MIRAGE sometimes looks down on Internet media, even those of us with larger numbers than some print publications. I'm hoping one of these days these companies will wake up to that. They're not as bad as some companies but they could do better in this department.

My good friend Dave Schwartz over at has some new stuff on MGM Mirage's plans for 'City Center East' over in Atlantic City, NJ. From his posting it sounds like maybe things are starting to heat up again on that front.

With all of the expansion of gaming in nearby areas, Atlantic City has pressure like never before.

Update: Looks like the project is 'MGM Grand Atlantic City' and will be up to a $5 billion, 3,000 room project on 60 of their 72 acres -

Rendering: Duh, I totally missed the rendering that was in the press release. Here it is:

October 4, 2007

Harrah's Cut Corners With Rio Renovation? Unsafe?

Posted by Hunter

Wow, another crazy story, this time involving Harrah's and the Rio.

Did officials cut corners during a recent renovation? It seems some contractors have come forward and alleged this may be the case.

Clark County is on the case.

October 4, 2007

Las Vegas Sands Macau Concession Payola?

Posted by Hunter

Very interesting article in the RJ about a case involving Las Vegas Sands, sealed documents and their Macau sub-concession.

Was anyone aware of these allegations? This could prove to be very bad for Sands.

October 2, 2007

MacauTripping Launches

Posted by Hunter

My good friend Chuck from has launched his new Macau site,

This is a great addition to the Macau Web scene and a place I'll use for info constantly - at least until goes live.

Good work Chuck!