We’re going to start off the Vegas News this week with a little baseball. I want to share the picture of the new Las Vegas Aviators mascots because…well, you need to see this. If it wasn’t on top, the pic would be buried beneath the drama, tourism data, and fighting news. Meet “Aviator” and “Spruce” (tha goose).
Many of you know that baseball is my favorite sport. I’m so excited that the Las Vegas 51’s moved from downtown Las Vegas to a new stadium close to where I live. The name (Aviators) and affiliation (Oakland A’s) are also different. Las Vegas Ballpark opened this week across the street from Red Rock Casino and Downtown Summerlin (that’s a mall if you’re not familiar).
You can read about the stadium here. I skipped the first homestand so the staff can work out any opening week issues that might pop up. Minor league baseball is usually a fun and affordable night out. Even if food and drink are pricey since this is Las Vegas in 2019, the games should still be a fun way to spend a few hours. I’ll share some thoughts about the stadium experience after I go catch the Las Vegas Aviators on the next homestand.
Caesars Is “Officially” Up For Sale
According to the New York Post, Caesars will be officially up for sale this week. Even though there have been rumors about a potential sale for weeks, I guess this is really real now. In reality, nothing has changed. The same parties are interested in purchasing the national casino operator. You know the drama with Carl Icahn and the casino company he now owns almost 30 percent of.
Eldorado Resorts was the first company to explore the books. Now Tilman Fertitta (Golden Nugget) is looking into financials. The only information that really stands out from the NY Post article are the details about the valuation of Caesars Entertainment: “Caesars is valued at $5.6 billion on the Nasdaq stock market, but carries a whopping $18 billion in debt — giving it a valuation of $23.6 billion.”
Why does this matter? Well, the buyer has to assume the debt which means that they’ll be paying more than the actual value of the company.
What Could This Mean?
This could mean even more tightening of expenses, consolidation, and cutbacks from the new owner. I’m not sure how this will work. I think the best thing to do might be to break up the assets. This would allow Caesars to sell certain pieces to different companies. That could provide customers the best casino experience in Las Vegas and around the country while giving Caesars maximum revenue. We’ll see how this works soon enough.
Colosseum at Caesars Palace Getting Upgrades And New Talent Booker
Despite the sale rumors, Caesars Entertainment is chugging along. They recently announced an upgrade for the Colosseum. You can see a video touting the changes here. The bigger news here is that Live Nation will be booking the Colosseum. You may remember earlier this year when we told you that AEG was no longer booking Caesars’ venues.
A slew of residencies have ended or not been renewed since the change. Live Nation should start bringing new artists to Caesars Palace. The first rumor I’ve seen is that Katy Perry has been poking around the venue. Live Nation is one of the top concert promoters in the country so expect to see big names coming to Caesars Palace Las Vegas in the future.
Wynn Resorts Drama
There was a lot of drama around Wynn Resorts – not Wynn Las Vegas – this week. I’ll be brief since this has little to do with Las Vegas and more about a Las Vegas company operating elsewhere.
Earlier this week there was the news that Wynn Resorts was in talks to buy Crown Resorts. Before the day was over Wynn announced that they were walking away from talks. It looks like Hard Rock (Seminole) and Genting (Resorts World) might be looking to purchase Crown Resorts.
Unrelated items: Wynn Resorts received confirmation that they are in good standing with the Nevada Gaming Control Board. The company is offering to ban Steve Wynn from their casinos if they have to.
Las Vegas Visitors Profile
Every year the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority releases a profile of visitors from the previous year. The sample size is small and not entirely accurate since the responses are from people that are willing to take time out of their vacation to participate.
That said, this is a good guide to see who visits Las Vegas and what they do when they’re in Sin City. Just look at the answers more as an approximation. The majority of the information tends to be closer to accurate than not. Here are some highlights of the Las Vegas Visitors Profile. I recommend reading yourself if you’re into random information about Las Vegas.
- 74% of visitors to Las Vegas gambled in 2018. That’s the same as in 2017.
- The average gambling budget for visitors to Las Vegas in 2018 was $527.05. That’s down from $541.18 in 2017 and $619.01 in 2016.
- 40% of gamblers did so in downtown Las Vegas last year. That’s an increase from 34% in 2017.
- 7% of visitors to Las Vegas in 2018 came specifically to gamble. That’s up from 2016 (4%) and 2017 (5%).
- The younger the visitor, the smaller the gambling budget. Thanks to the Las Vegas Review-Journal for that nugget.
General visitation and demographics
- In 2018, visitors stayed an average of 3.4 nights and 4.4 days in Las Vegas. That’s down from last year (3.5 nights and 4.5 days), but up from 2014 (3.2 nights and 4.2 days).
- 86% of visitors to Las Vegas in 2018 stayed in a hotel. That’s down from 90% in 2016 and 2017. Airbnb wasn’t an answer available but 10% stayed with “friends/relatives.” That’s up from 6% in 2017.
- 26% of visitors to Las Vegas in 2018 booked through the hotel website. That’s up from 21% in 2017. Similarly, 18% called the hotel to book. That’s up from 12% in 2017.
- Not coincidentally, more people in 2018 used a host or booked offers from email than 2017.
- 43% of visitors to Las Vegas in 2018 were between 21 and 39 years old. The average age of visitors to Las Vegas in 2018 was 45.1.
- 79% of visitors to Las Vegas in 2018 were married.
- 23% of visitors to Las Vegas in 2018 came from California. That’s down from 31% in 2017.
- 52% of visitors to Las Vegas in 2018 arrived by car/bus/RV. That’s a slight decrease from 54% in 2017 but a lot since 2014 when it was 58%.
- 44% of visitors to Las Vegas in 2018 used their own car to get around in Las Vegas. That’s a large decrease from 49% in 2017.
- Nobody likes parking fees. See complaints on page 73 of the profile.
Enjoy the full survey and raw data if you get bored. Here’s the entire 2018 Las Vegas Visitors Profile.
Do you want more Las Vegas news? Here ya go!
- John Cleese will be at Wynn Las Vegas for two nights in November. Read more here.
- Circa just got a bunch of concrete. There’s still a lot of work to do in order for the casino to open in time but they’re moving. Read more here.
- Derek Stevens is starting a new sports book operation for his casinos called Circa Sports. I hope to have more info next week. In the meantime, read more here.
- Hyde Lounge at Bellagio is closing. Read more here.
- This is a good read about music in Las Vegas over the past few decades. Read it here.
- Canelo vs. Jacobs takes place at T-Mobile Arena. There are still tickets available so viewing parties aren’t set. Read more here.
- Tyson Fury fights at MGM Grand on June 15. Read more here.
- The AEW is a new wrestling league. The first show is at MGM Grand and sold out in minutes. Here’s something I just read about the new league.
- Sun Country Airlines is adding nonstop flights to Las Vegas from San Antonio, St. Louis and Providence beginning Sept. 5. Read more here.
- Want to dress up like Super Mario brothers and drive go-karts? Read more here.
- Psycho Las Vegas added more bands for the festival at Mandalay Bay. See the flyer here. They also added an outdoor show called Psycho Swim. Read more here.
- There’s a new game at El Cortez. Read about it here.
- Kevin Hart told an all too familiar story about playing blackjack when he was on the Jimmy Kimmel Show in Las Vegas. Enjoy!
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