Wednesday, April 01, 2015

2015 Revenues Down in Vegas and Macau

Gaming revenues are down both on the Las Vegas strip, and in the once red-hot but now struggling Macau.

On the Vegas strip February 2015 revenue came in at 531.3 million compared to 555.7 million last year, according to the gaming control board.

In Macau the news was even worse, although not unexpected, with March 2015 revenues dropping almost 40%. Tighter government regulations have put a lid on Macau's explosive growth.

Soft numbers like these won't provide much relief for the biggest Las Vegas gaming companies. Macau focused Wynn Resorts has taken the biggest hit with their stock down about 40% in the past year. Las Vegas Sands has fallen 30% in the same period, while Vegas focused MGM is down 16%.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Lawsuit against Resort Fees

A California man has filed a lawsuit against The Venetian and The Palazzo alleging that the $28 a night resort fee was not disclosed at the time of booking.

While I don't think this particular lawsuit will go very far in eliminating resort fees, it's nice to see some mainstream media attention pointing out what loyal Las Vegas fans have known for a while - that resort fees are a nuisance with the potential to put a serious damper on a vacation.

Many people compare resort fees to airline baggage fees - but at least with the airlines you could theoretically choose to avoid the fee by not checking (or even carrying) a bag. With the hotel fees you are pretty much stuck with the fee no matter what.

Since resort fees are very profitable for hotels, they are probably here to stay. I just hope that actions like this lawsuit will at least make the public aware of the fees so they aren't totally blindsided when they check in to their hotel stay.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Resorts World Breaking Ground May 5, 2015

Construction on Resorts World Las Vegas will break ground on May 5, 2015 as first reported by the Review Journal.

The groundbreaking will take place approximately one year later than most people expected. The transaction selling Echelon by Boyd to Genting took place in March 2013. It was widely reported that construction would take place a year later in the spring of 2014 but that didn't happen.

Genting has been taking a conservative approach to this project. It seems like they wanted to be completely sure about the economy before they start building, which is smart. They are also opening the resort in phases - seemingly a prudent approach compared to the all or nothing approach that CityCenter used. There is also no official timetable for completion which allows for extra flexibility.

The May 5th start date is an interesting one, as it comes one day after the closing of the historic Riviera hotel right across the street. Coincidence or not, it's certainly symbolic in a "circle of life" kind of way.