We’re going to flip this week’s Vegas News around. The big “insidery” news from MGM Resorts will be at the end of the post. This week we’ll start with a few pics, videos, and Quick Hits.
Vegas Changes Everything: Just like your life, except better
Here’s a fun new promo from Las Vegas.
Golden Gate Sports Book Opens
The first Circa Sports sports book opened on Saturday at the Golden Gate. The next will Circa Sports sports book will open at The D in a couple of weeks and the big sports book at Circa should open in December 2020. I wrote about all that here. You can read about the Circa Sports Million contest here.
Back in the day, your bookie knew your name, your favorite team, where the steam was, wrote your ticket by hand, and paid you with a smile when you won. The Circa | Sports family is bringing that energy back, with competitive betting options for the games you love.Circa | Sports opens at the D Las Vegas on June 19
I shared lots of pics and info from the opening weekend on Twitter so I won’t get too deep into the new sports book. I’ll just touch on a few highlights. Feel free to leave a comment below or tweet me with specific questions.
The Golden Gate sports book isn’t a place to sit and watch games all day. The small sports book is more like a large ticket betting desk. You’ll probably watch games at Prohibition Bar or somewhere with more TVs like Pizza Rock or Eureka! So far Circa has solid odds, lines, and promotions. This is why you’ll visit.
The sports book does offer complimentary drink tickets with wagers. I believe it’s one ticket per $50 wagered but I’m waiting for confirmation. If you’re not given tickets, just ask. Everyone I encountered was super nice. The drink tickets can be redeemed at Golden Gate or The D.
If you don’t care about drink tickets you can place a wager at one of the kiosks outside of the sports book. You can also fund a mobile app with a minimum of $50 ($20 after the first time) to place wagers anywhere in Nevada. By the time you read this, I will have placed my first wager via mobile.
Visit Golden Gate online for more info.
First Look: Virgin Hotels Las Vegas Rooms
I stumbled on this rendering for Virgin Hotels Las Vegas while reading about another Virgin Hotel at Hospitality Net. The article doesn’t have anything else new. However, I did learn that Virgin just broke ground on a hotel in New Orleans. They also announced plans for a hotel in Washington DC.
Virgin Hotels Expansion and Loyalty
Chicago and San Francisco Virgin properties are open and they plan to open locations in New York, Nashville, Palm Springs, Silicon Valley, and Edinburgh, UK. If you’re into traveling to cities that don’t have gambling (GASP!), The Know could be a useful loyalty club.
The news doesn’t slow down but not everything needs additional commentary. Here’s what else is happening in and around Las Vegas.
- There’s a new bar at SLS Las Vegas. You can see lots of press pics here and read the press release here.
- El Cortez is renovating some more hotel rooms. Read more here.
- The club nobody ever talked about at Wynn is closed. Read more here.
- Like beer and tacos? Check out the Hopped Taco Throwdown on June 8 at Zappos HQ Downtown.
- Meek Mill wasn’t allowed into the Cosmopolitan last weekend. Read about it here.
- By the end of the week, The Cosmopolitan apologized to Meek. Read that here.
- You can hang out with the Bella Twins in Las Vegas. Read why they’re going to be in Vegas here.
- The World Series of Poker is underway. Read about it here.
- There’s a lot more poker in Las Vegas if don’t want to deal with the WSOP. Read more here.
- The next season of GLOW on Netflix will take place in “Las Vegas.” The matches originally took place at the Riviera so you’ll see some fake Vegas the next time you watch the show.
MGM Resorts is New Vegas (#NewVegas)
We view ourselves as an entertainment company, not a hotel company.MGM Resorts CEO Jim Murren
During the 35th Annual Strategic Decisions Conference, MGM Resorts CEO Jim Murren reiterated that he does not operate a casino company during an analyst meeting this week. He said the familiar phrase “We view ourselves as an entertainment company, not a hotel company.”
New Vegas – Much More Than Casinos?
This isn’t new. MGM Resorts has been positioning itself this way for a couple of years. Entertainment and sports draw visitors to their “integrated resorts” in Las Vegas. They no longer just build casinos with hotels and convention centers. In their eyes properties offer much more than other casinos.
The hotels, entertainment, and dining are what draw the most interest from their guests. In fact, Murren said that MGM Resorts would be the number two independent restaurant company in the US with all of the restaurants they own and operate around the country. Further, he mentioned that MGM Resorts sold 9 million tickets To theatrical events in Las Vegas last year.
Bottom line from MGM Resorts is that non-gaming is “more fertile” for revenue growth. (New Vegas) They build Integrated Resorts so they can offer guests a different experience than casino hotels that might have conventions.
Remember this when you question why MGM Resorts does the things they do.
MGM 2020 Update
The layoff phase for MGM 2020 is complete. During Murren’s discussion, he said the layoffs didn’t touch customer service. That’s all well and good but fewer employees could still have an effect on the experience.
Investors say the layoffs and consolidating casino operations with Centers of Excellence will help profitability. You can read about how Bain & Company are advising MGM Resorts with MGM 2020 here.
MGM Resorts Growth Opportunities
Murren mentioned that they see two growth opportunities in the future. The first is opening an Integrated Resort in Japan. The one that will affect Las Vegas is growth from digital and sports. They see the two working hand in hand across the US and Las Vegas is already seeing the effects.
In Las Vegas, MGM Resorts looks at sports as more than just gambling. It’s having teams playing in the city that help draw visitors to the city. NHL, WNBA, and NFL teams are just the beginning. Murren expects to see an MLS team in Las Vegas in the next couple of years. You can read about the latest on that here.
The future of sports and sports betting around the country is digital and that’s why MGM Resorts is coupling the two together.
MGM Springfield + Encore Boston Harbor
Murren confirmed that MGM Resorts was discussing the purchase of Encore Boston Harbor. During the discussion, he lamented that MGM Springfield hardly sees guests from Boston. In fact, few people even visit from Worcester, MA which is less than an hour away.
The lack of large market high rollers is a big deal for the company. This helps explain the slow ramp-up period for MGM Springfield and why they considered purchasing Encore Boston Harbor.
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