Saturday, October 23, 2010

Golden Nugget Power Outage

There was a power outage at the Golden Nugget on Thursday afternoon. The power went out at around 2:00 and was restored around 4:00. Customers were asked to leave the casino as the power outage shut down operations.

It's pretty rare that an casino would be entirely closed by a power outage. We hear about outages from time to time, but usually generators kick in which allow the casinos to remain functional. I wonder how much revenue was lost by the Nugget during the dark period. Probably not a lot but every bit helps (or hurts) especially downtown.

Source: AP via Washington Post.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Big Weekend in Las Vegas

A few big events caught my eye that are going on in Vegas this weekend.

President Obama coming to Las Vegas, making a quick visit staying over Friday night. Obama is campaigning for Harry Reid.

Jimmy Buffett is having a concert at MGM Grand, and Margaritaville is having a "Street Party" before the concert.

Justin Timberlake is hosting his golf tournament and will also be performing at Planet Hollywood on Saturday night along with a few special guests including P. Diddy.

Speaking of Diddy, he will be at Pure later on Saturday night:

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Cosmopolitan gets Gaming License

It was pretty much a formality, but Cosmopolitan officially got approval for their gaming license.

The commission had some questions about the hotel's revenue projections, given that CityCenter's projections have come up short. I actually think that Cosmo is shaping up to have a more successful opening than CityCenter because of the better location and the prospects of an improving economy.

Source: Las Vegas Sun.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Cosmopolitan Retail Lineup

Cosmopolitan today announced the retail stores that will be in the hotel.

The offerings include:

- Beckley Boutique
- Allsaints Spitalfields
- CRSVR Sneaker Boutique
- DNA250
- Molly Brown's Swimwear
- RetroSpecs & Co.
- Skins 62 Cosmetics
- Stitched Men's Apparel

I'm not really familiar with any of these, which is probably a good thing for the Cosmopolitan because I don't know a thing about high end fashion. I'm sure these are exciting names people who are more informed though. Cosmo CEO John Unwin was quoted as saying that these shops were each "specifically curated" for the Cosmopolitan brand.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Harrah's will finish Octavius Tower - Build Project LINQ

Harrah's will be issuing an IPO that could raise up to $575 million. The cash will then be used to finish the mothballed Octavius Tower at Caesars Palace and to build the LINQ retail and entertainment area between Flamingo and O'Sheas.

Both of these projects are long overdue and it's nice to see that they will be completed. Octavius Tower was scheduled to open in the summer of 2009 before it was put on hold in January of that year. Project LINQ was first envisioned in 2006. Since then there have been a few different ideas for the properties between Harrah's and Bill's. With the economy crashing, the more extravagant plans were scratched and LINQ was brought back to life.

Along with the two Vegas projects, Harrah's will also use some of the IPO money to invest in and run some Ohio casinos with Dan Gilbert.

Source: Bloomberg.

UPDATE: August 3, 2011.
Although the IPO fell though, Caesars Entertainment (formerly Harrah's Entertainment) was able to secure financing and Project Linq will be built. Clark County has approved the project and new renderings have been revealed. See them here.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Cosmopolitan Commercial - Just the Right Amount of Wrong

The Cosmopolitan produced a 60-second TV commercial, which premiered on October 17th during the Mad Men finale. The ad is definitely strange. I'm guessing most of the TV audience was pretty confused as to what they just saw. That being said the ad is pretty unique and Ithink I like it.

The commercial features:

- A girl licking a plate.
- Tightening a corset using a high heel as leverage.
- An old woman dancing with a young man.
- Some kind of photoshoot in a guest room.
- A waiter walking through water to serve someone in a pool.
- Various animals frolicking about the hotel.

The songs are "Spread Your Love" by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and "Doop-Doo-De-Doop (A Doodlin' Song)" by Blossom Dearie.

"Just the Right Amount of Wrong" is the tag line at the end of the commercial, which reminded me of the Aria commercial with the "Words Will Fail You" tag line.

The Aria ad was widely criticized for taking itself too seriously. I think Cosmo might have taken note of that and went in a somewhat different direction with the quirkiness of their commercial. Despite the differences both ads portray their hotels as ultra high-end with no mention of a casino to be found.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

MGM Sells Borgata

MGM Resorts International is close to selling their 50% stake of the Borgata in Atlantic City. The company announced it had received an offer from an unnamed source, and is now waiting on approval from the other half of the Borgata ownership, Boyd Gaming.

MGM will receive about $250 million cash in the deal, which calls for the buyer to take over half of the Borgata's $875 million debt load. So essentially the deal is worth $687.5 million which would value the whole Borgata property at $1.375 billion.

Selling the Borgata allows MGM to chip away at their massive debt. It also means they will be out of New Jersey completely which will give them more freedom to operate in Macau. While the Borgata is a great property and the best thing in Atlantic City, MGM is probably happy to sell given the circumstances.

Source: MGM Press Release.