Friday, August 13, 2010

Rumjungle is Closed

Rumjungle nightclub at Mandalay Bay closed earlier this week after a two year long battle with Mandalay over terms of their lease.

Mandalay claimed that Rumjungle was short on rent payments, while Runjungle claimed that Mandalay's opening of their "eyecandy sound lounge" violated the original terms of the lease which stated that Rumjungle was to be the exclusive nightclub in the property.

Finally the court sided with MGM / Mandalay Bay and the club was evicted earlier this week. It is likely that Mandalay will fill the space with a restaurant or lounge.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

June 2010 Visitation Up - Gaming Down

The numbers are in for June and once again it's a mixed bag with more visitors but less gaming revenue for Las Vegas.

3.1 million people visited the city in June - a 4.3% increase from last June. Despite more people, gaming revenue was down 7.62% on the Strip and a whopping 11.67% downtown.

The obvious thing is that people are coming to Vegas and not gambling. The rock bottom hotel rates could be attracting more frugal people who gamble less or not at all. More and more people are coming to Vegas for the clubs, drinking, shopping, restaurants and pool scene with gaming on the back burner.

Gambling is also available in a lot more places around the country now. Since it's not necessary to go to Las Vegas to gamble anymore I'm guessing a lot more players are deciding to cut back on their Vegas trips and are playing closer to home.

The biggest factor might still be the economy. You need money to gamble, and if people have less money (especially high rollers) that's going to hurt the bottom line.

Sources: Business Week and Nevada Gaming Control Board.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Improvements planned for Plaza Downtown

The Sun is reporting that some renovations are being planned for the downtown casinos owned by the Tamares Group.

The biggest changes will come at the Plaza, where a $20 million loan is being negotiated to makeover the hotel rooms. The hotel name will also be changed to Union Plaza, which was the original name of the hotel when it opened 1971 in reference to the Union Pacific railroad station that originally stood at the site.

Lesser changes will be seen at Las Vegas Club, which will see "theme changes". The infamous Western casino on East Fremont will also get some new slots if things go according to plan.

Any investment to improve hotel rooms is a winner in my book, especially downtown. The only question is whether the planned renovations will make a difference. The $20 million being spent on the Plaza is a fraction of the $165 million being spent on the Tropicana, or the $90 million outlay by Wynn to remodel their 5 year old rooms. Obviously the Plaza is smaller than those two, and being downtown they can probably spend less and get away with it, so we'll see how it goes.