Vegas News May 9, 2021
Plexiglass In Vegas Comes Down!
The Great Vegas Reopening (TM) is in full swing. Capacity limits and plexiglass are gone at Wynn and Cosmopolitan. Most are quite relieved and happy with the news that plexiglass in Vegas comes down! There should be more casinos to follow. I’m hoping the worst of the coronavirus is behind us. That would mean life for everyone is getting back to normal.
Having said that, Vegas News is heading into the summer season. It’s like someone turned the lights on around the country and everyone is scattering. The destination for many is Las Vegas. That will take me out of pocket a little. The return to normalcy will also bring a bit more time to focus on the news. We’ll focus mostly on the important topics than some of the silly that are just fun to share during the summer.
Vegas Earnings Calls – Themes
Before diving into the headlines, I want to just pass on a couple of general themes from earnings calls during the past few weeks. You should know some of this from reading Vegas News over the past year.
Casino corporations found ways to streamline expenses in order to increase profits that dropped rapidly last year. For example, casinos in Las Vegas that fired thousands last year are only hiring hundreds back. The difference in service may or may not be noticeable when visitation increases and staffing is 100% but it’s something to keep an eye on.
Casinos are understaffed right now and the lines can be obnoxious. That said, I haven’t had a negative experience anywhere beyond just waiting. Hopefully, this is temporary but I have my doubts. Bean counters are always counting beans. Executive salaries are often tied to profits so the CEOs and VP’s will all be trying to find the right balance of profit and levels of service that will keep customers coming back.
Another hot topic on the earnings calls is increasing hotel room capacity during the weekends and weekdays. The current promotions to attract visitors are going to come to an end at some point when the corporations feel they have enough demand.
Some operators expect to see room rates start to increase later this year. Caesars says they’re just about booked on weekends this summer. This is one company that could raise rates sooner than later. MGM Resorts expects rates to climb to pre-Covid levels early next year.
I’m not sure exactly what to expect but there are changes happening now that will affect Las Vegas visits in the future
Las Vegas Quick Hits
- Palms was finally sold. The San Manuel tribe purchased the casino and adjacent condos for $650 million. Read more here.
- The Palms deal is expected to close later this year. One of the news channels here (I forget which) hinted that a New Year’s Eve grand opening could be in the planning stages.
- During its first-quarter earnings call, Red Rock Resorts (Station Casinos) teased that they will be building a new casino next year. I mentioned some details about Durango Station when writing about the Palms sale here. Expect more information next quarter.
- Durango Station will not have a buffet. While I don’t expect all, or most, buffets to return in Las Vegas, Caesars Palace Las Vegas will open its buffet on May 20. Read more here.
- Caesars reported earnings this week. You can see the highlights here. The company mentioned one thing during the call that isn’t in the report. CEO Tom Reeg says he’s hearing rumors about a casino being sold this year. He reiterated that the company is still waiting until next year to sell a property. Fun fact, a sale could be announced this year but not happen until 2022. Dun Dun Dunnnn!
- Vital Vegas shared some pics that could mean Planet Hollywood and the Miracle Mile Shops are going to start changing for self-parking. Nobody should be surprised.
- Scott also took a break from eating fried rice at Circa to hint that entertainment will return to the Fremont Street Experience on June 1. This works as the large Memorial Day Weekend crowds will have gone.
- Resorts World Las Vegas signed a deal to work with a cryptocurrency exchange. The two parties are working on how crypto can be used at the property. Read more here.
- The trick of holding tickets to call a concert a sellout isn’t exactly new. MGM Resorts held back tickets to sell as part of special Bruno Mars hotel/concert packages. If these sell well, expect to see more of this in the future. Check the three packages here.
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