Thursday, October 28, 2010

Michael Jackson Cirque Show to Mandalay Bay?

It was announced this week that the Lion King will be ending its run at Mandalay Bay in late 2011.

This likely paves the way for the new Michael Jackson Cirque du Soleil show to take over the Lion King showroom in 2012. The Jackson show will be on the road touring in 2011 before settling into a permanent home in Las Vegas.

Mandalay Bay has always made the most sense as the home for this show. It is clearly the best MGM Resorts property currently without a Cirque show. The Michael Jackson show will also include a themed nightclub, which could presumably be located in the closed Rumjungle space.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

LVS is on a Roll

Las Vegas Sands (owner of the Venetian and Palazzo) reported strong third quarter results today, including a 67% year over year increase in revenue that totaled $1.91 billion. Most of the success can be attributed to the company's Macau and Singapore operations, although Las Vegas seems to be doing marginally better as well.

In March 2009 LVS stock was trading at under $2 a share. Today it closed over $41 a share, and in after hours trading it was as high as $45.

Source: Las Vegas Sands - Press Release.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

St. Regis at Palazzo Capped at 5 Floors?

A recent Reuters article announced that the Venetian and Palazzo will join the portfolio of InterContinental Hotels Group. The group is best known for their Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza brands. By joining forces with InterContinental Venetian and Palazzo will become part of the Priority Club program, which has 52 million members.

While this is a nice development for the Las Vegas Sands properties, there was another item in the article that caught my eye.

It appears that the Sands agreement to build St. Regis-branded condos in front of the Palazzo is close to expiring. Given the state of the Las Vegas condo market it's clear that LVS won't be building any condos if they don't have to. COO Michael Leven revealed that the building might be capped at the current five stories. "We might finish it off there to get rid of the eyesore."

If the building is completed at five stories I wonder what they will use that space for. There is already a Walgreens on the ground level, and five floors probably isn't enough to be a separate hotel tower. Perhaps they will just complete the outside until they figure out what they want to do, similar to the Octavius tower at Caesars.

Story: Reuters.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Boyd won't buy rest of Borgata

Boyd Gaming announced today that it will not purchase the rest of the Borgata in Atlantic City. Borgata was a 50/50 joint venture between Boyd and MGM. Recently MGM announced that they had an offer on the table to sell their share of the property. That offer was made by Leonard Green & Partners.

As the operating partner Boyd had a chance to match that offer. Today Boyd announced that they were declining to purchase the rest of the property:

"Given other opportunities and our current focus on deleveraging our balance sheet, the current offer would not provide a sufficient return on investment for our shareholders. Despite this decision, we are confident in the future of Borgata. The property represents a major investment by Boyd Gaming, and it has delivered substantial value for our shareholders. We remain comfortable with our current position as managing member and 50% owner of Borgata, the region's premier destination resort."

Source: Boyd Press Release.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Obama's Motorcade on the Las Vegas Strip

President Obama left Las Vegas yesterday. This video shows the motorcade as it made its way south on the Las Vegas Strip near the Welcome to Las Vegas sign with Mandalay Bay in the background.