I think the cold temperatures slowed down the newsmakers in Las Vegas this week. That’s the only way I can explain the lack of actual news. In fact, after MGM Resorts International reported earnings it seems as though everyone in Las Vegas went out for ramen to warm up from the freezing cold temperatures. There were even a few sightings of snow around town. Brrr!
MGM Resorts News
Not all of the MGM Resorts International related news this week is related to the actual earnings. In addition to the finances, I have some updates on Monte Carlo/Park MGM, boxing, Eataly, and NoMad. I’ll break each section up so it’s easy to find certain information.
MGM Resorts Earnings
It comes as no surprise that earnings at the three MGM Resorts casinos that are most south on the Vegas Strip reported lower earnings in the fourth quarter of 2017. After the shooting on October 1, revenue at Mandalay Bay, Luxor and Excalibur fell compared to 2016. The Las Vegas Review-Journal has an easy to read and a brief overview of this and the rest of the MGM Resorts earnings call here.
You can find the complete earnings report for the fourth quarter and full year of 2017 here. I like pictures and find the slideshare of the presentation easier to read. You can see that below. I recommend expanding to full screen.
Monte Carlo Transformation Slows
The timeline for the completion of Park MGM and NoMad has been pushed back.
MGM Resorts was planning on the property to be near completion soon but is now considering 2018 to a “ramp up” year for Park MGM. I walked through the property this week and it’s more of a construction zone than ever. Here’s a timeline of certain Monte Carlo/Park MGM openings:
Sportsbook: The new sports book, bar and restaurant will be open in time for the first weekend of March Madness that begins on March 15. The current sportsbook is being used as a passage to The Park and will close. The new sportsbook at Monte Carlo sounds like it will be similar to Lagasse’s Stadium.
Eataly: Construction on the part of Monte Carlo near the Vegas Strip will continue for most of the year. There’s no specific date MGM Resorts said that Eataly isn’t expected to open until “later this year.” I believe this makes the third quarter (July, August, September) the target time frame since the next item is slated for the fourth quarter.
NoMad: The construction on the MoMad specific properties isn’t expected to be complete until the 4th quarter of 2018.
Pool Complex: This wasn’t part of the earnings report but they announced that the pools will open March 5.
More MGM Resorts Earnings Notes
As usual, my notes on the earnings call are focused on some different things than the newspaper. Here they are quick hits style.
- The year started strong for MGM Resorts. They had record revenue days at hotels during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES).
- Later 2018 will be strong. Jim Murren, CEO MGM Resorts, expects fourth-quarter RevPAR (Revenue per available room) to increase by more than 10% over 2017. This makes sense since revenue was down after the shooting. Even getting the three hotels to the south back to normal occupancy should provide a boost. He expects revenue to increase, but not as much, in the second and third quarters.
- Jim Murren is bullish on sports betting and expects it to be legalized nationally this year. This could provide a big boost in revenue for MGM Resorts. The casino operator has casinos in Michigan, New Jersey, Maryland, Mississippi, and soon in Massachusetts and has been preparing for national legalization since last year.
- During the call, Murren kept repeating that big fights still draw high-end customers to MGM Resorts properties in Las Vegas. He repeatedly alluded to a big fight coming to T-Mobile Arena on May 5. It comes as no surprise that the rematch between GGG and Canelo Alvarez was confirmed later in the week.
- MGM Resorts (can’t remember which person was speaking at the time) noted that high-end baccarat is still very healthy in Las Vegas. However, they took this statement to another level when saying that there were more domestic baccarat players by percentage in 2017 than ever before. High rolling baccarat players are often not from this country.
- The average daily room rate for MGM Resorts hotels in Las Vegas in the fourth quarter of 2017 was $158. That’s the same as 2016.
That’s enough MGM Resorts for the past week! Here’s a look back at the major news from MGM Resorts in Las Vegas from a year ago. Let’s see what else is happening in Las Vegas.
El Cortez Renovating Hotel Rooms
El Cortez has already started renovating 73 of its Tower hotel rooms. The new rooms will be available in later this summer. The updated and upgraded rooms at El Cortez will be modern but feel vintage. Highlights of the redesigned rooms include black and white floor tiles, traditional style rugs, carved wood details and modern accent furniture.
Bathtubs will be removed in the new rooms and replaced with shower only units. In addition to renovated rooms, the El Cortez is also upgrading the hallways. You can see more pictures of the rooms and hallways here.
Like I said, Vegas news for the week was slow besides MGM Resorts. Here are a few other nuggets.
- Lucky Dragon still not sold and will remain open until March 23 (for now). Read more here.
- The Stratosphere is adding a steakhouse and will renovate the sportsbook. Read more here.
- Taxi ridership continues to fall. #SadTrombone Read more here.
- Comedy Cellar opening at Rio. Hopefully, they can bring in some serious national touring comedians. Read more here.