According to the Las Vegas Journal, at least 20,000 people were in attendance for the Grand Opening of the $4.3B Resorts World Las Vegas. This is the first Las Vegas strip resort grand opening in over a decade. The Cosmopolitan was the most recent grand opening, and prior to that, Aria Resort and Casino, both, which I attended, opened in 2010 and 2009. Ironically, both Aria and Vdara announced their sale to Blackstone the same month as the grand opening of Resorts World.
MGM or Resorts World, which investment direction is correct?
MGM International announced the sale of both Aria Resort and Casino and Vdara to the media simultaneously with the grand opening festivities of Resorts World, which shows two opposite investment directions on the Las Vegas strip. MGM believes the money earned from the sale, and lease back agreement, of their properties will be better spent on investing either on gaming developments overseas, especially Japan, or the fast-growing sports betting industry. MGM has been selling properties on the Las Vegas strip to Blackstone over the past two years to gradually reduce the risk of being the last man standing on an oversaturated Las Vegas strip. While some companies are buying in to the aura electricity of the Las Vegas strip, the largest property holder is “selling out”.
Resorts World, on the other hand, has just opened the largest and most extravagant hotel-resort in over a decade. The new mega-property plans to employ approximately 6,000 employees and go “all-in” on Las Vegas. The property has almost every amenity you can think of when thinking of Las Vegas. From Celine Dion to Tiesto, it’s attracted some of the top Las Vegas entertainers. Resorts World also has 40 food and beverage outlets, and a shopping center for all of your extravagant needs.
But, is it too late? Can Resorts World generate enough business to stand out from the pack, or is the property going to be competing for the same customers? We’ll see, but the future of Las Vegas is amongst us, and some are in, and some are out.