Saturday, January 14, 2017

Raiders Relocation Announcement Imminent

The Oakland Raiders are set to file relocation paperwork officially announcing their intention to move to Las Vegas according to a report by Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

The move would need to be approved by a vote of 24/32 league owners which would take place in March. It's not clear how the owners would react to a move to Las Vegas, but it seems like previous concerns of gambling might be lessened now that casinos are present in many of the leagues cities.

Financing of a new stadium appears to still be up in the air. Original plans would call for a new room tax in combination with funds from Sheldon Adelson, but the Raiders have been looking to secure alternate financing as well. With the decision to file relocation papers it looks like they're confident financing for the stadium will come through someway, somehow.

In addition to the Raiders playing in the new stadium, being in Las Vegas opens it up to entertainment like music festivals and concerts. I could also see large conventions taking place on the domed stadium floor. Other sporting events like UNLV football, Soccer, and the Final Four could be possibilities as well.

With Las Vegas looking to expand and diversify their entertainment portfolio, having pro sports teams and the accompanying stadiums would seem to fit into those plans perfectly.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Sleepless - Las Vegas Movie - The Luxus

I'm always on the lookout for Las Vegas movies and TV shows, so when I heard one was opening this weekend I thought I'd check it out.

Sleepless stars Jamie Foxx as a Las Vegas cop with a connection to the criminal underground that puts his son's life in danger. It also features Michelle Monaghan, Dermot Mulroney, Scoot McNairy, and Gabrielle Union.

The movie is under the radar with a modest 1800 theater release. I just happened to see a commercial for it which had a throwaway line about Foxx being "one of Nevada's finest" which led me to do some research revealing the Las Vegas setting.

Sleepless opens with a wide shot of the Las Vegas valley and several high quality aerial photography establishing shots of the Las Vegas Strip are seen throughout the movie. Other scenes feature cars driving on the Strip and Downtown (or "Old Downtown" as one of the cops calls it).

Much of the movie takes place at a fictional Las Vegas hotel resort - The Luxus.

The fake hotel is located in the middle of CityCenter crammed in-between Aria and Mandarin Oriental. Seeing a completely fictional resort reminded me of the 2015 TV show The Player which featured a few fake Las Vegas hotels.

Made-up hotels in Las Vegas movies and TV shows tend to move around though. When the characters are inside The Luxus overlooking the Strip the location looks to be closer to The Mirage with views of The Palazzo across the street.

The Las Vegas scenery continuity in Sleepless isn't terrible though. There weren't many obvious gaffes of a character being at one end of the Strip only to be at another end of the strip seconds later. The 2010 movie Get Him To The Greek and last year's Jason Bourne both suffered from these types of mistakes.

Sleepless
isn't a great (or even good) movie, but if you're someone like me who likes to watch anything Las Vegas related you might want to check it out sometime.


Tuesday, January 03, 2017

2016 Las Vegas Stock Recap

With the calendar now showing January 2017, let's take a look back and see how Las Vegas stocks did in 2016.

The big three Las Vegas stocks - MGM Resorts International, Wynn Resorts, and Las Vegas Sands all had good years increasing by more than 20% each. The companies rode the wave of a recovering Macau market combined with strong non-gaming Las Vegas metrics.

In Macau Wynn Palace opened on the Cotai Strip in August. Sands opened The Parisian a few weeks later in in September. Meanwhile in the United States MGM National Harbor near Washington DC was opened in December to capacity crowds.

Caesars Entertainment stock finished the year up just over 7%. Caesars is still involved in seemingly never-ending bankruptcy litigation, but the stock could have some speculation value if they are able to escape bankruptcy with most of the company still in-tact.

Regional operators Boyd Gaming and Penn National didn't fare as well as their international counterparts. Boyd was up a slight 1.5% as they integrated their new Aliante and Cannery acquisitions. Penn was down 13.9% perhaps negatively affected by the anticipated opening of MGM National Harbor stealing business from their Charles Town property.

2016 Las Vegas stock results: (not including dividends)

CompanySymbolStartEndChange
MGMMGM22.7228.83+26.9%
WynnWYNN69.1986.51+25%
SandsLVS43.8453.41+21.8%
CaesarsCZR7.898.50+7.7%
BoydBYD19.8720.17+1.5%
PennPENN16.0213.79-13.9%

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Debbie Reynolds Las Vegas History

The sad news of Carrie Fisher passing away a few days ago was compounded by the news that her mother Debbie Reynolds had also passed away the next day.

Debbie Reynolds was a Hollywood mainstay appearing in countless films highlighted by Singin' in the Rain and her Academy Award nominated performance in The Unsinkable Molly Brown.

Reynolds also had an extensive history in Las Vegas. During the 1960's and early 70's she was a constant headliner at the Riviera performing a lounge act which included singing and comedy. She was famous for doing impressions of other female celebrities during her shows.

Debbie Reynolds was also a Las Vegas hotel owner in the 1990's. She purchased the closed Paddlewheel Hotel and Casino at auction in 1992. It was reopened in 1993 as Debbie Reynolds Hotel and Casino. The property was highlighted by a Hollywood Movie Museum and Debbie's Star Theater.

Unfortunately the property was never financially successful under Reynolds. The casino was closed in 1996 and the hotel was put up for auction again a year later. It was eventually re-branded as the Greek Isles in the early 2000's - ultimately becoming a Clarion before being imploded in 2015.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Crown Resorts Abandons Alon

Crown Resorts has indicated they are pulling out of the Alon Las Vegas development. The proposed resort was going to be located on the North Strip across the street from Wynn.

Alon's management team has contented they are still working to find funding. In a press release earlier today they touted the benefit of a turn-key project for a company with deep pockets:

Having invested two years in the program planning, design, development, pre-construction and entitlement process, the Alon resort project has been thoroughly vetted and is considered "shovel-ready."

All they need is $2 billion or so to make it happen.

As much as we would like to see new mega-resorts on the Strip, the math just doesn't add up for some of these new projects.

Existing Las Vegas companies already have enough casinos and hotel rooms.  They are increasingly choosing to renovate rather than rebuild.

New companies looking to enter the Las Vegas market can often do so more economically by purchasing existing properties. Penn National did just that by purchasing the Tropicana and M Resort.