Saturday, August 08, 2015

Cosmopolitan Reports Profit

Cosmopolitan has reported their first ever profit, earning just over $15 million in the second quarter of 2015.

It looks like the strong results were fueled by two things: increased casino revenue and cost cutting in other areas.


Casino +20.94%
Hotel -0.63%
F&B -10.12%
Entertainment, retail and other -22.65%


Casino +23.73%
Hotel -2.46%
F&B -20.20%
Entertainment, retail and other -39.19%
Sales and Marketing -34.19%

Blackstone is the new owner of Cosmopolitan and it appears they are shifting the focus away from food, beverage, entertainment and retail and putting more of an emphasis on the casino, something the previous owners didn't do.

Another interesting thing in the quarterly report: the company is spending money to complete unfinished rooms. I had no idea that rooms were still unfinished, so that was kind of surprising. Given Cosmopolitan's ultra high room rates I would have thought the previous owners would have wanted to finish the rooms as quickly as possible.

Friday, August 07, 2015

MGM Arena Construction Taking Shape

I was looking at Las Vegas maps the other day and came across the new MGM-AEG Arena construction and The Park development. You can see where arena is located behind New York New York. The space between NYNY and Monte Carlo will be a pedestrian walkway back to the arena. There is also curve in the road where you can tell where the new Monte Carlo theater will be located.

Image: Google Maps.

The official MGM arena website also has some construction webcams up. The exterior camera and time-lapse video shows the progress of the arena so far. You can see how much work has been done in the 15 or so months that construction has been going on.

The interior camera gives a glimpse inside the arena. It looks like they might already be installing a hockey rink, which supports rumors of a hockey team moving or expanding to Vegas. You can see how much natural light is used, which I believe is pretty unique. The interior also has a time-lapse video.

Also, Vital Vegas posted this picture on Twitter of the interior of the arena from a different angle. It looks like the upper deck sections will have their entrances at the top of the section, instead of having tunnels at the bottom of each section.

Photo: John Kompare via Vital Vegas on Twitter.

Thursday, August 06, 2015

New Caesars CEO Mark Frissora

Caesars Entertainment reported second quarter earnings earlier this week. By all accounts it was a good quarter. The stock was up 9.7% the day after the earnings release, and another 10.6% the next day.

Revenue increased 17.4% year-over-year "mainly due to strong performance at Caesars Interactive Entertainment ("CIE"), the openings of Horseshoe Baltimore and The Cromwell, the renovation of The LINQ Hotel & Casino and continued growth in hospitality amenities in Las Vegas."

Those numbers don't include the bankrupt subsidiary CEOC - so it's hard to have a direct year over year comparison, but strong Las Vegas results seem to go along with recent trends reported by the other gaming companies.

The general fate of Caesars Entertainment seems to hinge on whether the parent company will be able to avoid bankruptcy by negotiating with creditors. Forbes had an article today breaking down those possibilities.

Mark Frissora is the new President and CEO of Caesars Entertainment. He spoke to investors for the first time on the second quarter earnings conference call. I was looking forward to hearing what Frissora had to say, but he pretty much stuck to the script and didn't provide much commentary outside of the official company statements.

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Mayweather vs Berto - September 12, 2015

Floyd Mayweather will be fighting Andre Berto at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on September 12, 2015. Mayweather posted the promo image on his instagram account to announce the fight.

Initial reactions to this boxing match aren't overwhelmingly positive. Many people feel this is a lopsided match-up. Others still have a sour taste in their mouth after what was perceived to be a boring Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fight in May.

That being said this is huge news for Las Vegas. Mayweather fights are great for the economy as high rollers from around the world will fly in for the weekend. Although this fight won't be as big as the Pacquiao match-up it will still be a huge economic hit for Las Vegas.

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

MGM Weighs Real Estate Options

MGM Resorts International reported second quarter 2015 earnings results earlier today. The theme this earnings season has been stronger Las Vegas trends offset by a softer Macau. Revenue at MGM's wholly owned domestic resorts was 1.7 billion, an increase of 4% compared to the prior year quarter. Average daily room rate and revenue per available room both increased more than 6%. MGM China revenue decreased by 33%.

During the company's earnings conference all Jim Murren hinted at the possibility of a REIT conversion. He said the company has been weighing all options when it comes to real estate and a definitive decision would be announced by the end of the year.

As for the rumors that The Mirage was being sold - Murren said "The Mirage is not on the market." Some people are seeing this as a sign that The Mirage is definitely not being sold. Others think that Murren chose his words carefully, and the property isn't on the market because it has already been sold. With MGM looking at all real estate possibilities I wouldn't be surprised at either outcome.

Murren also talked about how The Harmon is almost completely dismantled now, and MGM is trying to decide what to do with that two acre property. The leading candidate seems to be an expansion of The Shops at Crystals. I wouldn't be a huge fan of that plan, but Crystals seems to be doing quite well so it probably makes sense financially.

Monday, August 03, 2015

MGM Mlife Golf Shirt Sponsorship

Troy Merritt won the Quicken Loans National on the PGA Tour yesterday. His first career victory earned him a cool $1.2 million. Watching the final few holes on TV I couldn't help but notice the Mlife logo on his collar and the MGM National Harbor lion logo on his shirt.

Advertising on golfer's shirts is definitely a unique way to promote different MGM hotels. Having Merritt wear the MGM National Harbor logo at a tournament outside of Washington DC is smart marketing - especially since he won the tournament.

I remembered seeing another player wearing a Bellagio logo on his shirt a few weeks ago. I did some quick searching and found this press release which talks about the Mlife golf sponsorship.

LPGA star Natalie Gulbis is sponsored by Mlife - along with PGA Tour players Nick Watney, Ryan Moore, Derek Ernst, Scott Piercy, Ken Duke, Pat Perez, and Jhonattan Vegas (see what they did there?)

Troy Merritt wasn't in that press release, but after winning yesterday he's likely a rising star in the Mlife stable.

Sunday, August 02, 2015

One Night In Vegas - Time-lapse Video

Check out this cool new Las Vegas time-lapse video, and see the photographer's commentary below.

One Night In Vegas from Aaron Keigher on Vimeo.

A four hour drive, three photographers, two states and One Night in Vegas.

Time-lapse is not a speed sport. People spend months and even years working to create a film. But could you make a time-lapse film in just one night? Michael Bloom, Arlene Ziordia and I set off from Los Angeles and drove through the Mojave Desert to Las Vegas to see if we could do just that.

Once night hit, it was time. We grabbed our gear and quickly made our way up and down The Strip setting up as many shots as we could while dodging crowds, drunk tourists and even the occasional security guard. It was run-and-gun filming. By the end of the night our cameras were begging us to give them a second to catch their breath.

If you have ever visited Vegas you will understand why it was the perfect gamble for this project. The city literally never sleeps. Vegas was alive all night with its flashing signs, neon lights and colorful individuals. The streets were still buzzing with people at 4:00am and only showed signs of slowing down when the sun finally started to rise.

As dawn broke we finished up filming and headed out of Vegas to check out the Hoover Dam before the long drive back to Los Angeles and finally some sleep.

It was an awesome and incredibly exhausting night that was filled with amazing memories and great friends. So what’s next? One Night in New York? Los Angeles? Chicago? Miami? Who knows… but for now…

Viva Las Vegas!

Check out the story about the film on Mashable -

Verona Grove - Las Vegas Nights (Thank you for letting us use your awesome song!)

Aaron Keigher

Michael Bloom

Arlene Ziordia