I started writing this week’s edition of “Sunday News” with the thought that the news didn’t tie together. When it was finished I realized that most of this week’s news in Vegas actually does work together. In fact, there’s more MGM Resorts news than you might expect for a slower news week.
Last week we shared the news that MGM Resorts International was close to selling Crystals Mall at CityCenter. Well, that deal was made official this week when MGM Resorts announced that the Crystals Mall was sold to Simon Property Group for about $1.1 billion. MGM Resorts will only keep half of that money as CityCenter is 50% owned by Infinity World Development Corp (a subsidiary of Dubai World).
MGM Resorts didn’t plan to charge for parking at Crystals, which is next door to Aria. It’s unlikely at first but we’ll see if the new owners decide to charge for parking.
Coincidentally or not MGM Resorts received approval to reorganize their assets. The main purpose of this reorganization is to spin off some assets into a REIT (Real Estate Investment Trust). If reading about corporate structure isn’t interesting to you there’s a nugget at the end of the Vegas Inc. article that might be.
The article mentions a side note from Jim Murren, CEO of MGM Resorts, that a “pure social gaming environment” will be built near Hakkasan at MGM Grand. I hope this isn’t like the Stadium Gaming you’ll see at The Venetian and The Palazzo and is something a little more forward thinking. Maybe they’ll add a massive hologram version of the Sigma Derby game people love so much. That’s a purely social game.
Since we’re discussing MGM Resorts I might as well touch on a couple of new entertainment options coming soon. Criss Angel’s show “BeLIEve” will end on April 17. His new show, “Mindfreak Live,” will open at Luxor on May 11. Jewel nightclub at Aria will open on May 19th. Jewel is taking over the space formerly occupied by Haze.
Enough MGM Resorts, let’s go elsewhere on the Vegas Strip.
In a quick interview with Fox Business News Sheldon Adelson hinted that he might add rooms to The Venetian complex. Between The V and The P (Palazzo), the complex already has 7,000 hotel rooms. He mentions that there’s still room to add another 1,000 plus rooms.
If tourism keeps growing in Las Vegas look for Las Vegas Sands to turn to the space in between The V & P that was formerly earmarked to become the Saint Regis residences. If you’re not familiar with the failed project you might have seen this area as it’s sort of “Hidden In Plain Sight.”
One of my favorite ways to find news before it hits the mainstream media in Las Vegas is to read casino earnings report filings. Well, some of that fun reading might be going away. This week the Nevada Gaming Commission passed a regulation that certain privately owned casinos won’t have to report their earnings publicly. Right now this means that earnings news and forward-looking statements for the Cosmopolitan, SLS Las Vegas, Station Casinos and other privately owned casino properties won’t have to be released to the public. On the bright side, I get about 2-3 hours of reading time back in my life every quarter.
Last but not least the Metropolitan Police Department wants the Clark County Commission to consider a ban on large bags (including backpacks) and strollers on the Vegas Strip. The ordinance would only be for major events that shut down the Vegas Strip like New Year’s Eve. This inconvenience isn’t for people trying to move around the Vegas Strip quickly but for security. The ordinance still has to be drawn up and be brought to the commissioners. Expect details on this before the year is over.
Late news :
Last night I saw a tweet that the Poker Room/Area at The Plaza was closing. This was confirmed by Jonathan Jossel, CEO. The PokerPro tables weren’t attractive to experienced poker players but they made for a great low limits way for people to learn how to play poker. I haven’t heard about the future of poker at The Plaza. I’ll tweet the info if I hear anything.