The big news in Las Vegas this week seems to be the grasshopper invasion! I live about 20 minutes west of the Vegas Strip towards Red Rock Casino and I’ve only seen one grasshopper.
He or she was outside of my apartment four times I went in and out on Friday. I named my new grasshopper gatekeeper Hoppy. Sadly, Hoppy hopped away on Saturday and hasn’t been seen again.
I hope that Hoppy wasn’t on a recon mission to scout new locations for the grasshoppers to invade. I’m keeping my fingers crossed. Onward and upward. Let’s dive into the news in and around Las Vegas.
Free Entertainment At Caesars Casinos
Caesars Entertainment’s blog is the epitome of a corporate blog. They share press releases and articles to promote their business. The content is fairly straight forward but can be useful if you visit their Las Vegas properties.
This week they offered a blog post highlighting the free entertainment you can find at Bally’s, The Cromwell, The Linq, and Paris. They may have missed the lounge on the casino floor at Paris but the info is useful if you’re looking for a place to grab and drink and relax. You can see the blog post for specifics.
MGM Resorts Earnings
MGM Reported its second-quarter earnings this week. They didn’t release all that much interesting information. The one big tease is that we should expect some big news in the next few months. You can see the earnings press release here. If you prefer pictures and big fonts like I do, you can see the earnings presentation here.
Financial documents are boring. Here are some highlights from the earnings call:
MGM Real Estate Activity
As you’ve heard, MGM Resorts is planning to make some real estate purchases and/or sales. This was referenced repeatedly during the earnings call. MGM Resorts’ CEO, Jim Murren, says that they’ll have more information on their real estate activity sometime in the next few months.
Not A Lot Of Specifics
Murren didn’t go into many specifics but said they’ve never been interested in Caesars Entertainment’s assets and won’t consider any potentially available casinos.
He says that MGM is not looking at other properties just to be in a new market. They want to find regional properties where they can bring entertainment and add value. He also mentioned repeatedly how important sports betting is for the future of MGM Resorts, so assume they’ll look at properties where sports betting is or will become legal.
In Las Vegas, he mentioned that Bellagio is undervalued a couple of times. This has been one of the properties that they’re rumored to be selling. Don’t be surprised to see MGM Growth Partners (MGP) step up and overpay for the land under Bellagio.
Tailgating at Mandalay Bay, Luxor, and Excalibur
MGM Resorts is ready to embrace Las Vegas Raiders home games at the stadium being built across the I 15 from Mandalay Bay.
Mandalay Bay, Luxor, and Excalibur are a short walk from the stadium that’s under construction. After saying their parking garages won’t be open for tailgating (you can’t have open fires in parking garages anyway), Murren says they will embrace tailgating before and after Raiders games. You don’t tailgate after a game but you can certainly keep the party going.
MGM Resorts could set up a large tailgating party at the Mandalay Bay convention center or outside on the surface parking area. They could choose to open ballrooms at any of the properties before and after the games to have “tailgate” parties.
If they decide to have Raiders viewing parties they could bring a large screen to the Michael Jackson One Theater next to the sportsbook if they don’t already have one. They can add a few kiosks and have another room for sports fans and bettors to watch the games.
They could also choose to have Raiders gameday specials at all of the bars and restaurants at the three properties. There are plenty of non-traditional tailgate/party options to choose from.
Including football games, Murren said they’re expecting 45 events each year at the stadium. Maybe they’ll prepare for 60,000 people a little better than they prepared for 20,000 people leaving T-Mobile Arena events…
Park MGM Off To A Slow Start
The “ramp-up period” for Park MGM is expected to continue into 2021. They don’t expect to see the property running on all cylinders for another year. Murren said that Eataly and NoMad are performing well. He didn’t highlight any other feature of the property and didn’t mention anything about the sports book that’s currently closed.
Although T-Mobile Arena is driving lots of traffic to the casino they haven’t figured out how to maximize revenue. How did they not realize this would be a high traffic area? Sold out concerts and Vegas Golden Knights games have 18,000-20,000 people. That’s quite a significant amount of people to not account for.
Renovating the sports book is probably just the first of the changes we’ll see at Park MGM.
MGM Resorts Earnings Quick Hits
The earnings call didn’t have blockbuster news but as usual, there’s always interesting information.
- The financials weren’t bad. Evidently, MGM 2020 is working already. The finances bore me. You can read about it here.
- The regional casinos in Illinois, Mississippi, and New York are doing very well.
- Sports betting is bringing people to the Mississippi casino. He didn’t say it’s helping in New Jersey or Pennsylvania. On a related note, Bally’s Atlantic City is charging for seats in the sports book.
- Convention bookings for the second half of the year in Las Vegas are ahead of expectations. Expect fewer midweek deals.
- Reminder: Circus Circus is not part of M Life.
- The Day N Vegas festival ant the MGM Festival Grounds sold 60,000 tickets in a day and a half. Murren expects AEG will book similarly exciting events at Las Vegas Stadium.
- Murren says that MGM 2020 is “Creating efficiencies, not just cutting expenses.” He mentioned that 60% of those efficiencies will affect Las Vegas.
Comedy Coming To The Plaza
The Plaza is bringing more entertainment to downtown Las Vegas. The Comedy Works at The Plaza will feature live stand-up comedy on Thursday, Friday & Saturday nights. The new comedy series will bring many familiar names to the Plaza:
- September 12 – 14: Jim Florentine
- September 26 – 28: Nick Di Paolo
- October 10 – 12: Tom Green
- October 24 – 26: Fat Chance: An Evening of Conversation and Story with Lisa Lampanelli
- November 14 – 16: Jamie Kennedy
- January 9 – 11: Tim Meadows
Tickets for most of the shows at the Plaza Showroom start at just $20. You can visit the Plaza’s website for tickets and more information.
Quick Hits – Vegas News
Not all of the Vegas News needs extra insight or analysis. Here are a bunch of quick hits to fill your Vegas News needs.
- Treasure Island will become a Radisson Hotel later this year. Guests will be able to book a stay at Treasure Island through their website by late 2019. Next year, Radisson Rewards members will be able to earn and redeem points in 2020. Read more here.
- There are more new things opening at The Strat. The fun news is that you can now book the SkyPod (floors 108 and 109). Read more here.
- Despite not having a team in Las Vegas, the Pac 12 football championship will be played at the Las Vegas (Raiders) Stadium next year and the year after. Read more here.
- Moulin Rouge is now just a part of a $1.6 billion mixed-use project that probably won’t happen. Read about it here.
- Las Vegas Sands (The Venetian/The Palazzo) earnings are boring because Las Vegas accounts for less than 15% of their business. You can see their earnings presentation here if you’re curious about the company.
- EVO 2019 will be at Mandalay Bay on August 2-4. Read all about the video game comp here. The Linq will have a cosplay event. See more here.
- The Sphere behind The Venetian is making progress. See pics and read more here.
- The architect that built Aria, César Pelli, has passed away. Read more here.
- Binion’s Hotel Apache opens tomorrow. If you forgot what that is, you can read more here.
- Former Las Vegas mayor, Oscar Goodman is 80! Read more here.
- Las Ragous is now selling single-day ticket for the metal festival outside of The D. Read more here.
- Doug Stanhope is banned from Caesars properties. It’s not because of his online review but you can read about it here.
- The Venetian has a new pool deck. Read more here.
- The new Hyatt near the Silverton is open. Read more here.
- Nebraska hates resort fees too. Read more here.
- The soon to be Las Vegas Raiders may not practice at their new facility in Las Vegas next year. Read more here.
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