Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog

Las Vegas Sands - Net Income: -$113.9 million (loss) Revenue: $1.28 billion LV Sun

MGM Mirage - Net Income: -$434 million (loss) Revenue: $1.45 billion LV Sun

Harrah's Entertainment - Net Income: $295.6 million Revenue: $2.09 billion LV Sun

Wynn Resorts - Net Income: -$5.2 million (loss) Revenue: $809.3 million More Info

Boyd Gaming - Net Income: -$1.0 million (loss) Revenue: $384.9 million More Info

This thread will be updated as other companies report.


Read archived comments (51 so far)
February 18, 2010 9:04 AM Posted by Brian Fey

I hate the way some of this reporting works. The MGM number is a little misleading, as much of that loss was just a write down, rather than an actually cash loss.

February 18, 2010 9:55 AM Posted by jay

Wait till MGM has a full quarter of City Center on their books. This will be the death of them. They are a great company, just way too much debt and CC will drain their balance sheet. Chapter 11 sometime this year, mark my words.

February 18, 2010 11:09 AM Posted by Brian Fey

Wrong Jay. Mark my words. City Center made 7 Million. They only owe 1.8 Billion on City Center, that's not much. The will also get revenue from sales of condos. Business in improving, and things are looking up. Would you care to place a little wager on MGM's standings, a year from now? Do you want to put your money where you mouth is? I do.

February 18, 2010 1:57 PM Posted by socalduck

I'm with Brian on this one. 2010 will be a tough year, but both MGM and LVS noted that group bookings are slowly returning, and casino revenue seems to reviving, particularly at the high end. I just wish MGM had more Macau exposure.

February 18, 2010 2:37 PM Posted by mike_ch

It's hard to tell what is really meant in a blanket statement like Brian's, "Business in improving, and things are looking up."

Are we talking simply about MGM here? Because I'd agree, simply through a combination of lowering prices and cutting jobs to find that magic balance.

I think locals tend to have a different perspective on this since when someone in the investor circle says "things are going to be good," they mean on Wall Street, not that the city is going to become bountiful with opportunity again.

February 18, 2010 6:36 PM Posted by atdleft

Brian & socalduck-

Agreed. The earnings report was better than I had expected. 2010 so far looks to be a year for recovery in Vegas. As long as the visitor numbers and casino winnings keep ticking upward, MGM Mirage should survive.

Mike C-

Well yes, there's still anger here over the high unemployment. We'll probably have to see at least a couple more quarters of growth and all the casinos' bottom lines turning black again before they all start hiring like crazy again. In the mean time, it will probably take as many Nevada projects that Harry Reid can insert into the jobs bill as possible (for all the talk about Nevada being "libertarian", we do like our government money coming here!) and some renewable energy projects to pump some new jobs into the state for now.

February 18, 2010 8:18 PM Posted by Brian Fey

Mike, I'm simply saying, compared to a year ago, MGM is sailing smoothly. If they were going to fold, there was 100 more reasons to fold a year ago. I think even you would admit, Vegas has bottomed, and we should see improvement from here. I'm not saying we're off to the races, but to say that MGM will go bankrupt this year, due to City Center, is just to accurate IMO. I don't think people that make comments like that really know the facts, and have studied the financials. Aria/CC is not the end all be all. Which is exactly what I expected. But, I don't think people really realize the facts of City Center either. Most people just hear that $8.5 Billion dollar figure, and assume that's all new debt for MGM. That is hugely incorrect. First of all, they only own half of that project. So now we got $4.25B, that value included land, which MGM already owned. That value also included 2500 condo's which will be sold, for a profit. And lastly MGM funded much of CC, as the project progressed. MGM only added $1.8 Billion in new debt for the entire CC project. That isn't much in todays market. CC should easily provide enough cash flow to cover the payments on the additional debt. So all I'm saying is, MGM is in MUCH better shape today, than it was a year ago, I believe 100%, if MGM was going to fold, that day would have already happened. They've already passed the roughest part of the road. That's my point.

February 18, 2010 9:11 PM Posted by atdleft


Mike was talking about how many of our neighbors feel. If you were to drive away from The Strip and ask the locals how they feel about the state of Nevada's economy, most of them would still say we're in the sh*tter. Remember that outside the gated compounds of Red Rock Country Club and MacDonald Highlands, people here are still worried about their jobs... Or lack of jobs.

But as I said earlier, I think it will take some more improvement in the casinos' bottom lines before we see the gaming workforce come close to 2006 employment levels. In the mean time, Nevada will need to get serious about economic diversification and bring in new employers (like the solar and geothermal developers) to create new jobs.

Now back to the subject at hand. You're most definitely right about the debt load. MGM's may be heavy, but it's still not as much as Harrah's... And look at what Harrah's is still able to do (like buy PHo!). And of course, Steve Wynn was notorious in his Mirage Resorts hey days of taking out massive loans for massive casinos that always managed to generate enough profits to eventually pay off the debt. It's obviously worked before, so it can work again for MGM Mirage with CityCenter.

February 19, 2010 5:39 AM Posted by detroit1051

THe RJ's story on MGM's earnings reports that Aria's operating income for the 15 days in December it was open was $7 Million. This won't be accurate, but based on that, operating income for 12 months would have been $168 Million, a little more than Bellagio. However, we need to remember that MGM only owns half.
12 month operating income for the other properties:
Bellagio $157 M
MGM Grand Las Vegas $123 M
Mandalay Bay $66 M
The Mirage $75 M
Luxor $37 M
NYNY $45 M
Excalibur $48 M
Monte Carlo $16 M
Circus Circus $4 M
MGM Grand Detroit $90 M
Beau Rivage $16 M

Itt's just amazing to me how important the Detroit market is to MGM Mirage. Based on Operating Income, it's third behind Bellagio and MGM Grand Vegas, 4th if you count Aria.

Note: Couldn't use EBITDA because we don't have it for Aria.

February 19, 2010 5:55 AM Posted by detroit1051

Brian, my tweet on MGM may have been hyperbole, but I do believe MGM focused on the wrong target with CityCenter. First, it was Steve Wynn who said WYNN was more a Chinese company than an American one.
Now, Sheldon Adelson said LVS "has become “an Asian or foreign company doing business in Las Vegas,” Jon Ralston interviewed him on Face To Face:

In the meantime, MGM admits it didn't roll out its Macau presence as strongly as it should have and is now playing catch-up.

I wish Seeking Alpha would publish the transcript for MGM's Call so we could compare it with LVS's Call which I linked in our Open Topic thread.

Adelson is abrasive and arrogant, but he has said several times now that MGM Mirage is "buying" convention/meeting business, and that he, Adelson, is glad to have those bargain shoppers go to MGM because he won't give away his product.

This will be a fascinating year, starting with the tone President Obama sets in Las Vegas today. Exciting times!

February 19, 2010 6:41 AM Posted by Brian Fey

Besides NYE, the last 2 weeks of Dec, are perhaps the slowest times in Vegas of the year. And it was rumored that Aria only opened with 1000 rooms. Which later ramped up over the next month or so. Its a known fact that brand new hotels, don't run anywhere near capacity even after they are open for a while, as many people have no idea the place even exist, short of us Vegas diehards, and junkies. Getting the condo towers full of bodies, will also be helpful, as that will put another several thousand people in the City Center complex, and since those places have no gaming, common areas, and very little options when it comes to dining, those people will by nature spend the majority of their tiem in Aria, and secondly Bellagio, and MC. As we all know, with bodies comes increased revenues for the casinos, bars, and restaurants. Once again, I'll stress, I'm not blown away by Aria. And I fully expect Bellagio to do more revenue than Aria in 2010 (Chuckmonster disagrees with me on this). However, I think its foolish to think that Aria will bring MGM to its knees at this point. When you look at the business it will do, vs the amount of debt they own against it, its bound to succeed. How well it will perform is another story, but it can carry its own weight. Yes MGM has lots of debt, but they also have a TON of assets, many of which could be sold, should they get desperate, but I honestly think the days of their desperation are behind them.

The real winner from all these room rate wars in Vegas are us. I love the fact I can go stay at a 5 star hotel in Vegas for around $100 a night in the summers, that same room would cost 3-4 times that much in NY. And I think it will come sooner than we like, that we'll all be having to pay more than we want too for a nice room in Vegas.

February 19, 2010 7:17 AM Posted by detroit1051

Yes, you're right about late December being very slow. In the Call, Murren said all of Aria's rooms have been fully open for five weeks, so there's no question we didn't get a complete picture from December. We'll see how things look after the 1st Quarter of 2010.

Dave made a great comment in the GVR thread about Aria and Bellagio. I hadn't thought about that. Dubai will keep a close eye on the synergy between Aria and Bellagio to make sure they're getting their share of the pie.

February 19, 2010 9:12 AM Posted by Brian Fey

True, but MGM can't tell their players where to play. They might try Aria, but ultimately, they will play where they feel the most comfortable, and in which casino they like the best, and I believe that will be Bellagio.

February 19, 2010 11:54 AM Posted by detroit1051

"MGM can't tell their players where to play."
No, but mid level and heavy players are greatly influenced by comps and the strokes they get from the hosts. If Bellagio bumps up a player in a 1-bedroom suite with $300 a day in f&b at Aria to a 2-bedroom Penthouse Suite at Bellagio with no limits on RFB, that could be a problem.

February 19, 2010 12:46 PM Posted by mike_ch

Brian: atd kind of hit it. UNLV projections and the like are that service and retail will continue to be bad for the next 18-24 months before beginning to recover. That doesn't mean "2006 levels", that just means it isn't going down anymore.

I'm just saying that at some point MGM's success will come as a result of income meeting expenses, and at the moment I think it's coming in terms of expenses being adjusted to meet income. Either way the company isn't a sinking ship, but obviously people who live here would prefer more jobs than less jobs.

So what I'm saying is there's a difference between your portfolio and what's actually going on around here. When I say "things are getting better in Vegas" I mean what I see when I look out my window, whereas you might mean your Vegas-related investments. So when I see you say that things are doing well regarding Vegas, at the same time as I hear that 200 people showed up for 15 jobs, pardon me while I cough and maybe gently ask you what planet you are from. :)

The same applies to all talk of returning to 2006 levels. In what respect? We overbuilt way too much and I think there's a ton of developments, especially residential, that will never be completed. They will stand, Echelon-style, like a skeleton in the middle of the desert for a while before being demolished or simply falling down.

I don't have any expectations that this city will ever grow again in the next 50 years, I don't think it can sustain to be any bigger (and I don't think the nation can take it either given that we're in the middle of nowhere and we're starting to overconsume in terms of water and sprawl.) However, it's possible that a smaller, leaner Las Vegas will pull in the kind of money it made in 2006, without all the extremely risky building and mortgaging and other boomtown tomfoolery that was raking in thousands of suckers a month.

February 19, 2010 2:10 PM Posted by atdleft

Mike C-

Well, I don't think Vegas is done growing just yet... I just think it will be different. Obviously, we'll need new sectors (like health care and renewable energy) to come in and provide the kind of economic stability that we'll never have with gaming any more. And since there isn't much land left to build in the valley, we'll probably see fewer new McMansion developments in the fringes and more urban developments in Las Vegas' core. (I can see Downtown & Strip condos becoming hot again once the real estate market settles to a balanced equilibrium.)


Bingo! MGM Mirage can easily cause trouble by luring the high-rollers away from Aria and to Bellagio... But so far, it seems they don't even need to. I guess Bellagio is turning out stronger than any of us had expected. Instead of Aria cannabalizing Bellagio business, so far it's looking like Bellagio continues to hold its own while Aria is still trying to find its footing.

February 19, 2010 3:37 PM Posted by Dave

Re: Aria and Bellagio, I really think that, if someone wants to be critical, MGM Mirage is in a no-win situation no matter what the reality is. If Bellagio pulls ahead of Aria, they can be accused of steering business away from the JV. If Aria pulls ahead, MGM shareholders can ask why management is neglecting the wholly-owned property for the JV.

If business booms at both places, problem solved, but even so, I predict that someone somewhere will be unhappy with something.

February 19, 2010 3:45 PM Posted by Dave

Mike Ch--You make a good point. I talked a little bit about where the revenues have gone in this post:
The problem is that, even if we return to 2006 levels of revenues, we're still in trouble because of inflation. When you look at the big picture of where Nevada gaming has been headed over the past ten years, it is positively scary.

Basically, revenues are higher than they were ten years ago, but lower when you factor in inflation, and the industry itself is about ten percent smaller statewide.

This isn't a problem for most of the companies we talk about here, but it is a concern for the state's overall tax base and employment picture. A few months ago, I crunched some numbers for a LVBP article and learned that, in order to return employment to "prerecession levels," the gaming industry would have to add 60,000 jobs--the equivalent of ten "regular" Strip resorts, and six CityCenters.

Does anyone see that happening anytime soon?

February 19, 2010 5:37 PM Posted by mike_ch

There's two things you can do re: Bellagio and Aria. You can either buy DW's half, or you can sell Bellagio. The way that things are going in Dubai right now, I think Murren believes he can delay long enough for his foreign partners to want out. If the situation in Dubai improves, Bellagio will probably have more takers and a better asking price than it is going for right now.

Dave, would six CityCenters really help at this point? At first, I thought Aria was going to open a lot of positions, but they've apparently done quite a bit of laying off as hotels tend to do after opening, only after causing facilities at other locations to close down for bottoming out (Sahara, Binions) and thus eliminating even more positions over there. I have to wonder what the net effect of jobs from CityCenter really is.

One thing I know, the experience curve has almost definitely gone up on average, by which I mean Bellagio is less likely to hire someone with an unimpressive work history than, say, Sahara.

Unless a few of those ten hotels or six CityCenters included some resorts with no aspirations for top flight service or luxury clientele, then that problem is going to get worse.

February 20, 2010 8:20 AM Posted by DLO


We just returned from a four night trip to ARIA/City Center (see LV Talk for my full comments). I do believe City Center is going to be the death of MGM/MIRAGE unless some changes are made quickly. I'm so sure of it, that I'm unloading all my shares. The word of mouth is terrible; and there's plenty of reason for it. ARIA and City Center may get a lot of walk through traffic, but people are choosing to eat, drink, shop, and gamble elsewhere. The worst part is that most people that I have spoken to would not choose ARIA again after staying there over the other top choices in town; there are just too many other great options. It's also evident that ARIA has had a negative impact (for the company that is) on Bellagio's hotel rates; which now has room rates as low as $109/night.

February 21, 2010 9:59 AM Posted by atdleft


I stopped by again yesterday. And while I'm not nearly as pessimistic as you are, I do agree that changes are needed for CityCenter to work.

Most of the restaurants do seem to be working out. I was at Julian Serrano yesterday for lunch, and the food was fabulous... And as I was finishing my meal, I was noticing more people trickling in. I haven't yet tried Sage, but it's near the top of my "to eat list"... Simply because there's so much positive buzz about it all around town. At the very least, these two look to be Aria breakout hits.

Now OTOH, I don't see for the life of me how Bar Masa/Shaboo will work out as is. The size is just too big and the design too stark for its concept. I expect something a little classier when I pay top $$$$ for fine Japanese. I'd rather not eat in a warehouse (which is what the Bar Masa space reminds me of).

And from what I've been hearing, it seems Jean Georges Vongerichten is "phoning it in" yet again with Jean Georges Steakhouse. I want to give this place a fair shake, but the more I hear about friends' underwhelming dining experiences the less inclined I'm becoming to even bother blowing at least $100 a pop on mediocre grub.

February 21, 2010 1:12 PM Posted by mike_ch

I'm more with DLO than Brian on Aria, if you haven't been following Twitter, Hunter and others are STILL having cell phone trouble (although according to others it's more an AT&T problem at this point, since T-Mo supposedly works fine).

And both of us have seen some pretty bad service on display. I didn't mention it in my review, but on my NYE stay at Aria I saw through the windows into another room (something you can't really escape at CC, given that all the hotels are clustered around each other) and saw a housekeeper preening herself in the bathroom mirror for about 30 minutes.

I get the feeling that in some cases, Aria jobs are going to MGM's most senior staff, and not necessarily the most stand-out performers. May or may not be union issues involved, I don't know.

February 21, 2010 1:55 PM Posted by DLO

Mike_ch... how did I forget to comment on the cell service? Especially in my LVTalk report. The cell service at ARIA is non-existent (we have verizon); very hard to get a signal throughout most of the casino.

atdleft...Serrano looked good and was drawing a decent crowd the entire time we were there. Unfortunately, Serrano was the only restaurant with a crowd; even on a Fri and Sat night. I'm not saying ARIA and City Center can't be successful; I just think MGM/MIRAGE has a lot of work to do.

February 22, 2010 1:03 PM Posted by David McKee

Just a quick add-on: MGM Mirage's Macao problem isn't insufficient exposure (Wynn has been creaming them with only one casino) but flawed strategy, as evinced by the recent sacking of the executive team. The decision to spurn junketeers was a big miscalculation & stuck MGM in last place. Also, J.T. Lanni spent too much ($1.2 billion) and took way too long getting into the market, so that everyone else -- except perhaps Melco -- was entrenched by the point MGM opened its doors. A less-expensive, more expeditiously built casino would have served MGM's agenda much better, IMO.

February 22, 2010 4:48 PM Posted by Brianfey

Murren also revealed for the first time that CityCenter needs to generate revenue of $2.5 million a day to make a profit.

"I don't think it's a problem," he said.

The above is from the LVRJ. It's a from a Jim Murren interview by Norm Clark. I that number seems much lover than I would have guessed, since Wyncore's number is in the 4 Billion range, but I have no reason to think that Murren would lie, then I agree with Murren.

February 22, 2010 5:46 PM Posted by DLOfromDC


Seems to me you've changed from a Wynn fan to an MGM/MIRAGE fan. When did that happen? Wynn runs a much sounder shop...more cash on hand, etc. That City Center # sounds very low to me; and that Wynn/Encore # sounds very high.

February 22, 2010 8:26 PM Posted by atdleft

Brian F-

Yeah, $2.5 million doesn't seem too daunting these days. Back in 1989, everyone thought Steve Wynn was doomed when he had to make $1 million a day on The Mirage to cover all the expenses and debt payments. Considering all the inflation since 1989, it just makes the $2.5 million for CityCenter seem that much easier to achieve.

If this is true, then things really are looking up for MGM Mirage these days.

February 22, 2010 9:10 PM Posted by Brian Fey

No, my daughter is named Ashlyn Wynn for a reason. I'm still the biggest Wynn fanboy in the world. Wynn easily designs the best resorts in the world, and then runs them as some of the best as well (as well as you can run a 3000 room hotel). But MGM-Mirage is a good company, with good leadership. And when I see someone get on this site, or others, and clearly state how horrible MGM is, and that they will be bankrupt within a year, I have to speak up. MGM knows how to make money, in most times, they are capable of making much more money than Wynn in fact. The fact of the matter is, MGM stock is a much better buy than Wynn's currently. Yes Wynn has a better balance sheet, more cash, and lower debt. But MGM is loaded with literally dozens of fine assets. So I am just saying if you look at the value of MGM as a company, you'd be hard pressed, if you were a investor in gaming stocks, not to buy it at these levels. I just simply think Murren has done a pretty good job navigating this company through these times, considering all the obstacles he encountered. If MGM was going to go away, it would have already happened by now. They aren't out of the woods completely, but they are well on their way. And if that $2.5 million number on Aria, makes me even more convinced.

As for the $4 million number on Wyncore, Steve has stated, and I don't have the exact number right in front of me, that Wynn LV took around $2.2 or $2.3 daily to operate, and that was before Encore, so I'm just guessing that number has to be somewhere around $4 now, but could be as low as mid $3's I suppose.

February 22, 2010 9:12 PM Posted by Hunter

People may have been confused because you wrote $4 BILLION instead of MILLION.

February 22, 2010 9:20 PM Posted by mike_ch

I think the magic number for Aria is probably close to twice the number that Murren quoted, since MGM only owns half the project.

At the end of the day, the market will tell Murren what it is willing to pay for a night at his hotel. He can not just set prices where he wants because it will sit empty. I'm not sure how this concept has managed to escape Steve Wynn but it probably has to do with WLV having a very low number of rooms compared to the street's average. Only with Encore did he begin to overexpose himself and start grumbling that his customers aren't nearly as elite as he expected.

February 23, 2010 2:17 AM Posted by ooo000

Keep in mind Aria will be the newest major thing on the strip for some time now, at very least 5 years, maybe even 10. Yea Cosmo and Fbleau might come on line, but in a much more subdued fashion. So while it certainly has its shortcomings, and there's no doubt some fixing to be done, the "new" factor will always be on its side. I know many service minded people on this forum would have no issue ignoring the place, but keep in mind the average vegas visitor planning a trip on expedia, or walking down the strip isn't going to be analyzing to the level many on here do. With that said, there needs to be some rethinking of Aria, and if its going to be a purely high end joint as it was envisioned, or a more widely ranged resort as room rates would suggest.

It will be interesting to see how well City Center ages, and if MGM can maintain it properly. With room rates down, it's doubtful we'll see much renovation on the strip in the coming years, thus helping maintain Aria's relative stature.

There's some work to be done, but I think MGM can make it work if they really want to. What remains to be seen is if they are willling to spend the money to make it work.. or if they are content to just keep the doors open and finally turn off the CityCenter money drain.

February 23, 2010 6:26 PM Posted by DLOfromDC

Glad to hear you haven't lost your love for Wynn Brian; the Philly news must have you excited. As for MGM/MIRAGE...I agree that they're a good company, but believe they've gotten in over their head. Lots of problems with ARIA and City Center from what I saw (and noted) and lots of debt. The problems were much worse at ARIA than I noticed when Wynn, Encore, and even Palazzo opened. I think MGM/MIRAGE will be fine in the long term, but in the short term I am unloading the stock . As for Wynn...another great move today (Philly). I also think the beach club at Encore will turn out to be a great decision. Wynn stock will continue to outperform other casino stocks for some time in my opinion. LVS stock has also shown signs of improvement lately.

February 25, 2010 9:53 AM Posted by atdleft

Actually, Harrah's posted a profit. OK, so there were plenty of accounting tricks involved with it... But still, there's no need for a minus sign here.

Oh, and who else is a little pleasantly surprised by this? I was really bracing for the worst, but it's starting to look like recovery is really taking shape here in Vegas. Maybe we're still off to a slow start, but I'm glad to see that the worst is over and all the red replaced with black.

February 25, 2010 9:57 AM Posted by Hunter

Yes, removing the errant minus.

February 25, 2010 10:16 AM Posted by mike_ch

All those companies that collapsed under the weight of unsustainable corporate practices (Enron, Worldcom, etc) looked pretty good for a while there too.

Given what I hear on the inside and the signs of their obvious budgeting issues, I think they're simply doing what we talked about last week in reducing costs to adjust for income. That means cutting a lot of jobs, less overtime, etc.

I know that Station has particularly pinched their employees in the last two years. We are not turning around, they're just still finding room to make money as things get worse.

February 25, 2010 10:28 AM Posted by atdleft

Mike C-

Cheese louise, you're always trying to burst my bubble! ;-)

But really, I'd possibly agree with you if tourism numbers were still dropping and Vegas was still in the tailspin of a freefall that we faced about this time last year. However, tourism numbers have steadily been increasing since last fall and casino winnings have started to rise again.

There are positive signs out here. It's sad that unemployment isn't dropping yet, but hopefully that will also change soon. (But as I said before, it's probably more likely for now that we'll see a combo of federal assistance [jobs bill/stimulus aid] and other sectors hiring before the casinos start hiring again like they did 4-7 years ago.)

February 25, 2010 10:53 AM Posted by mike_ch

atd: I'm just saying that these two companies in particular are known to be cutting costs all over. I don't even know if I have a TR card but I know enough people who do to know that the Diamond Lounge and the like aren't like they used to be.

And I know for a sure thing that Stations' rewards aren't what they used to be. I have a duffel bag, shower radio, and some other things with Stations logos on them that they sure wouldn't give away these days.

February 25, 2010 12:07 PM Posted by Dave

$2.5 million is probably on the low end of expectations, but it's in the ballpark. The average for Strip casinos is $1.5 million/day in casino & non-casino revenues.

If Aria performed at the mean level, it would generate this much in revenue per day:
Pit: $356,916.56
Slots: $442,722.28
+ another $20,000 or so in poker, sports, and race betting
Food: $442,722.28
Drinks: $128,248.12
I get a total of about $1.3 million. This isn't factoring in the considerable high-end bacc play, or revenues from the Elvis show, retail, and convention services. Typically casinos generate about the same amount of "other" revenues as food, so it would be fair to say that if Aria were performing at the industry average and no better, it would make about $1.7 million a day, give or take.

The high end play alone, of course, can equal much more than $2.5 million in a busy day. And due to volatility it can go either way, which is why these are just averages.

February 25, 2010 1:09 PM Posted by atdleft

Mike C-

Well of course, the casinos are still cutting costs. Revenue is just starting to tick upward again, and companies like Harrah's and MGM Mirage still have to deal with problems like debt payments.

I'm just saying that their bottom lines aren't looking as frightening as they did about this time last year and we (most likely) no longer have to put them on "daily death watch". And looking at the bigger economic picture, both the microeconomic view of these big casino companies and the macroeconomic view of Clark County are looking much better today than they did one year ago.

Dr. Dave-

Thanks for the much-needed analysis of Aria inner workings. It's making me feel better about its and MGM Mirage's future. While I'm still wondering how they'll make the high-end table games work (since it seems the high-rollers are mostly sticking with Bellagio, and that isn't really bad news for MGM overall), I can at least see them getting enough high-end table play, restaurant revenue, Viva Elvis sales, and convention revenue (they do have great convention space!) to make up the extra $800k-$1M per day to make Aria profitable.

February 25, 2010 5:42 PM Posted by atdleft

Interesting. So far, no Wall Street love for Wynn. It's really all about the spin game with them. Even though Wynn's books look less fugly than MGM Mirage's or Las Vegas Sands', Wynn stock slipped a bit in after-hours trading because the EBIDTA of $0.08 per share didn't impress.


And who would have guessed that of "The Big 4", Harrah's would be the one to turn a profit in Q4??!! I'm sure Gary Loveman and Jan Jones are getting a good laugh about this tonight.

February 25, 2010 6:40 PM Posted by atdleft

And btw, everyone, how 'bout that Harrah's-Palms drama today!

So who's thinking Harrah's really wants to continue its Las Vegas shopping spree and pick up The Palms? So far, it's NOT looking like George Maloof would be a willing seller.

February 25, 2010 9:19 PM Posted by Brian Fey

Comparing MGM-Mirage to Enron or Worldcom is a freaking joke. Those companies were flat out lying, cooking the books.

Isn't Viva Elvis like 1800 seats, and at an average of $100 a seat, 2 shows a night, there is $360,000 just right there. So I think they can hit their number with a little effort.

February 26, 2010 4:39 AM Posted by detroit1051

If you didn't get enough Steve Wynn during the Call, you can now read every "delicious" word---I wish he would never use that word again. Arrggghhh.

March 2, 2010 6:15 PM Posted by Tom M

As far as MGM hitting their number, are all the rooms at Aria open yet? I am under the assumption that they are still only running about 1000 rooms.

March 2, 2010 8:16 PM Posted by Hunter

I don't have official figures but two weeks ago, looked like all elevator bays were running, in contrast to December when they only had one bay.

They may be operating all rooms at this point.

March 3, 2010 4:31 PM Posted by atdleft

Well, it looks like Boyd is still after Station...

And Station is still dealing with some bankruptcy court AND labor drama. And considering Boyd's financials aren't looking too bad, I guess they can afford some more time to try gobbling up Station.

March 4, 2010 6:42 PM Posted by Michael Lu


High end bacc can totally get the $800K-1M/day that Aria needs to be profitable. Bacc has about a 1.15% expectation (averaging the sum of potential net loss times the probability of losing and potential net gain times the probability of winning for both player and banker bets, correct me if my math is wrong). If you figure a shoe has about 80 hands and takes about 2 hours to play, the earn should come out to somewhere around $9K an hour if the average action was $20K per hand over a 24 hour period. Which means if you had 3-4 private games like this, it would be totally doable.

March 5, 2010 11:23 AM Posted by atdleft


"High end bacc can totally get the $800K-1M/day that Aria needs to be profitable."

Oh, I'm not denying that. I was just wondering if Aria could pull in enough high-end bacc players to earn that extra $800k per day. Perhaps they can. I dropped by Aria yesterday and saw the casino filled up pretty well for a Thursday. Next time I'm back, I'll have to take a closer look at the bacc area.

March 5, 2010 12:41 PM Posted by Andy

Steve Wynn said on the earnings call that there will be 414 rooms in Encore Macau. There are 4004 rooms in Aria.

I thought 4 was unlucky because it sounds like the word for death. I look at those numbers and think, "You are surrounded by death."

Anyway, are there any experts in superstitions out there? Are we supposed to add the fours to get a lucky eight?

March 5, 2010 5:03 PM Posted by mike_ch

May be 414 rooms, but I expect it'll be divvied up by rooms and suites in the marketing stuff to reach a better number.

March 10, 2010 7:10 AM Posted by Brian Fey

Tom M- Yes all room at Aria are open. The were all open 5-6 week after the property was open, according to Bobby Baldwin on the earnings conference call.