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Big Changes In Store For Cosmopolitan Of Las Vegas

Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas At Dusk

Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas At Dusk

I’ve been looking forward to this day for a while now. The sale of Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas is finally a done deal. Now it’s time for Blackstone to get to work. Balckstone has three items on the agenda:

(Jonathan) Gray (Global Head of Real Estate) said Blackstone has a “very simple” business model of “buy it, fix it, sell it.

Buy it – CheckNow it’s time for the “fix it” stage.

Plans are sparse but here’s what I can put together right now. Blackstone will make some changes you can see and some that you can’t see.

  • Casino – Blackstone is “acutely focused” on fixing the casino although no specific plans have been revealed besides that they want to “reinvigorate” the ground floor. Maybe this means expanding the concept of the popular Bond Bar area to other parts of the casino. (see details on Bond Bar pit at Vegas Chatter)
  • LeadershipJohn Unwin is out and William McBeath, a former MGM Resorts International executive is in. He will start as soon as today. Read more about him here.
  • New Rooms – 46 new hotel rooms will be added in the west tower. This is smart since they control all of the revenue, unlike clubs and restaurants. The Cosmo also has the highest ADR (Average Daily Room) prices in Vegas. This could generate about $10,000 a week. Not much in the overall budget but it can’t hurt.
  • Expect Something New At The Top Of The East Tower – Blackstone says to expect “something creative with unused space at the top of the east tower”. Another club or restaurant with amazing views of Vegas sounds like a good fit here.

The Cosmopolitan is one of my favorite casinos in Vegas. I love hanging out here and am really looking forward to seeing what kind of changes Blackstone has in mind. We can discuss potential buyers next holiday season.

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There’s No Gambling In The New Las Vegas

Transformation Guy. The New Las Vegas Guy.

Transformation Guy. The guy you want to be in Vegas?

Remember Las Vegas when you were a kid? The glitz, the glamour, the gambling? Well, unfortunately, that’s not Las Vegas today.

The new commercial from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCA) has shows absolutely no gambling or casino at all. This is the New Las Vegas. (This is not the New America, thankfully.)

This kind of ad should come with little surprise. Gambling has been less of a revenue source for casinos every year for the past 20 years or so. There hasn’t been much, if any, gambling shown in recent ads for MGM Resorts or Cosmopolitan, for example.

The LVCA tells CalvinAyre.com that the exclusion wasn’t planned but that’s probably not true. Casinos have been marketing themselves as all-purpose hotels (that may or may not have gambling) for the past few years. After all that’s what has been generating increased revenue from younger customers.

This commercial doesn’t make me want to visit Vegas. That being said I’m not the person they’re targeting with this ad and it’s probably not an awful commercial . What do you think?

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Nightclub Revenue In Vegas Will Shock You

Steve Aoki At Hakkasan Las Vegas

Steve Aoki At Hakkasan

I know casinos and Vegas but I’m not an investor. Sometimes when I see Motley Fool or other investing websites break out revenue in certain ways I can be surprised.

We all know that nightclub revenue is big for Las Vegas casino operators. What is surprising in this chart is seeing how much of the overall revenue nightclubs are for some of the casino operators.

Las Vegas Casino Nightclub Revenue

Oontz, Loot, Oontz, Loot

Hakkasan (MGM Grand, XS (Wynn) and Marquee (Cosmopolitan) are the Big 3 of nightclubs in Vegas. It comes as no surprise that their revenue last year was about the same (see full article for specifics).

Hakkasan revenue seems to be ahead of the pack this year. This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise as Hakkasan is the largest nightclub with the most famous DJ’s and a marketing arm that will use landmarks like the Bellagio fountains to promote you (See Tiesto show).

Besides the percentage of overall revenue for nightclubs there isn’t much in the chart that’s a surprise. That said, it’s always interesting to see casino revenue examined in different ways.

Photo: Hakkasan 

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Vegas Is Getting Younger Quickly, You’re Not Aging That Fast

Vegas Is Getting Younger

Say Goodbye To These Folks

John Unwin, CEO of Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, did a sort of strange interview with Bloomberg last week. He was lobbed some softball questions about Las Vegas before being asked about Atlantic City, a market he’s never worked in. Since the Cosmo or any of his previous jobs have no connection to Atlantic City he seemed very lost. That part of the interview was a bad look for Unwin and Bloomberg.

The softball questions surrounded why Las Vegas is in such good shape. One of the interesting bits of information from this interview is that the median age of the Las Vegas customer has gone from 50 To 44 in the past two years. That’s a huge drop.

The large decrease in median age makes sense when you look at all of the new properties and club openings. As the reinvention of Vegas continues it seems as though that median age will continue to fall.

After G2E it seems as though all marketing focus has switched to millennials. If  there is any success with this group of consumers the median age of the Las Vegas customer will continue to surge downward rapidly.

If you feel old when you’re in Vegas today get ready to feel really old in a couple of years.

You can see the complete 5 minute interview below for more information and context.

Photo: Lehigh Valley Live

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Scientologist Moves From Cosmopolitan To North End Of Vegas Strip

The Frontier And Encore Las Vegas

The Frontier

Almost a year ago it was rumored that James Packer would be buying the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. Like many rumors in Las Vegas that turned out not to be true in the end. Packer might have been sniffing around Cosmo but didn’t end up making the purchase. Earlier this year the Cosmopolitan was sold to Blackstone.

Last week rumor had it that James Packer wasn’t done with Las Vegas when Bloomberg reported that James Packer is seeking a return to Las Vegas. Late last night and this morning those rumors were confirmed as James Packer purchased the land across the street from Wynn and  Wynn and Encore.

Australian billionaire James Packer said he has acquired controlling interest in a nearly 35-acre Strip land parcel and will form a company to build a hotel-casino on the site with former Wynn Las Vegas President Andrew Pascal and investment firm Oaktree Capital Management.

James Packer and Crown Resorts have a pretty bad history in Las Vegas. If he was making this plan alone I wouldn’t think that this new development on the New Frontier land would actually happen. His partnership with Andrew Pascal says that development is possible. Pascal was previously President at Wynn and is very respected in the casino community.

Details on what the property haven’t been released yet but they’re looking at a potential opening as soon as 2018. With the former president of Wynn involved it’s easy to guess the property will have good and fair gaming and will target a more upscale customer than average.

I’d love to see more development on the north end of the Vegas Strip but, like SLS Las Vegas, I’ll believe it when I see it. I look forward to seeing what comes from this. The more casinos on the Vegas Strip the merrier!

Like I said last time I wrote about him, I don’t care that James Packer is a scientologist it just makes for a fun headline and makes me giggle.

Photo: Vegas Chatter

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Top Dollar: My Favorite Slot Machine

Top Dollar Slot Machine Bonus

Top Dollar Bonus

Over the years I’ve written about the original Top Dollar reel slot machines a lot. They’re by far my favorite slot machine and probably the game that got me into playing slot machines. Most 3 coin reel slot slot machines are boring but the loud and obnoxious bonus round totally fits what I like in a slot machine. Check it out.

If you search Top Dollar slot wins on YouTube you’ll notice that many of the people playing Top Dollar are loud and kind of obnoxious – just like the game. And like the Top Dollar slot machines everyone is having fun. When I get a bonus (see photo above) I’ll usually throw my hands in the air and dance a little.

When I was at Flamingo a few weeks ago I played this quarter game to start off my day of gambling. I like to ease into a day of gambling with a lower limits machine even though I prefer the $1 or $5 version of this game. I’m usually just not ready for human interaction and don’t like to risk much the first thing in the morning or afternoon.

These Top Dollar reel slot machines are slowly disappearing from casinos. New casinos opening don’t want the older machines and older casinos don’t want to seem old. There are new versions of Top Dollar but they aren’t as fun.

You won’t find this Top Dollar slot machine in the regular casino at Cosmopolitan or Downtown Grand and probably won’t find it when SLS Las Vegas opens. You may find Top Dollar in some of their high limits rooms though. You’ll also be able to find Top Dollar in larger casinos with sections of older machines like Flamingo or Mandalay Bay. Get em while you can!

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Johhny Manziel Living The Dream In Vegas. And Rolling Bills In The Restroom

Johnny Football Being Johnny Football

Johnny Football Being Johnny Football

Johnny Football is living the dream. Fresh out of college the 1st round NFL draft pick by the Cleveland Browns is visiting anywhere that will offer him a good time. Johnny Football’s destination on July 4th weekend was Las Vegas. HOLLA.

You might remember that Johnny Manziel visited Las Vegas when he turned 21.

John Football stayed at a suite at the Hard Rock (where he may have played 6:5 blackjack again), dined at STK at the Cosmopolitan and partied at XS at Wynn according to Norm Clarke.

There’s nothing wrong with any of that. The only questionable thing he did was get caught on camera in a public men’s room somewhere rolling a dollar bill. There are a lot of things Johnny Football could have been doing with a rolled dollar bill and none of them should be for public consumption.

As a public figure and possible NFL starting quarterback you’d think Johnny Manziel would be smarter than be caught in public doing questionable activity. We all do (or did) questionable things in Las Vegas when we were 21. Johnny Football, you do you. Viva Las Vegas!

PS: Go Jets!

Photo: Busted Coverage and the whole internet

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The Cosmopolitan Offering Gamblers $1 Million!

Identity Players Club Booth At Cosmopolitan

Identity Players Club Booth At Cosmopolitan

The Cosmopolitan has been trying a lot of tactics to draw both local and tourist gamblers into their casino. On the surface it doesn’t look like it’s working but their casino revenue has been increasing just about each quarter for the past year.

This $1 million tournament for Identity players club members is their latest tactic to draw playing into the casino a couple of times in the next year. I guess you should consider yourself lucky if you’re invited. Here are the details.

[Read more…]

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Rumor: LVH Sold To Westgate For Only $150 Million

LVH Las Vegas Hotel And Casino

Sweet pic of LVH

Update: Looks like the deal is done and only one tower will become timeshares.

LVH has been on the market for a while now with rumblings on who will buy it. Over the past few weeks the rumblings have gotten louder that Westgate, the timeshare company, would be purchasing LVH.

Since the only people reporting this are gossip columnists like Johnny Kats, Norm Clarke and Robin Leach I wouldn’t consider this a done deal just yet. These aren’t traditional reporters as much as they’re gossip gatherers and rumor mongers. This sale could be true but their job is to share rumors, not report facts.

The rumor that the LVH was sold for $150 million is a bit of a surprise on the low side. For reference, the beautiful Cosmopolitan was sold to Blackstone for 10x that amount, $1.7 billion. The comparison isn’t apples to apples just a point of reference. Since these are just rumors there isn’t any real information about the sale.

Westgate is a timeshare company and not a casino operator. Westgate currently operates the timeshare behind the Flamingo. They took a big swing at opening the 2nd tower at Planet Hollywood but the recession killed that after a short run. It’s now called Elara.

Timeshare’s are typically livable apartments with kitchens, dining rooms and living rooms. They’re not outdated hotel rooms with minimal amenities and a casino with a few restaurants. If the idea is to make LVH into 100% timeshare units Westgate might have to close the hotel and combine two hotel rooms to make one giant suite. That’s a lot of work and a lot of money.

This is an interesting move for Westgate. Will they close the casino and hotel and renovate all of the rooms and casino floor? Will they find a partner to operate the casino and a hotel tower? With the connection to the Las Vegas Convention Center will they operate LVH as a traditional hotel only property?

There really are a lot of options for Westgate if this rumor is true.

Photo: Wikipedia

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You’ll Never Believe How Much Money Hard Rock Made On 3 Guns N Roses Shows

Axl Rose and Guns N Roses at the Hard Rock Casino Hotel Las Vegas

Axl Rose and Guns N Roses at the Hard Rock

The second Guns N Roses residency at the Hard Rock has done amazing business. Check this out from Billboard.

Venue: Las Vegas, NV – The Joint
Date: Jun. 04th, 06th & 07th, 2014
Gross Sales: $853,785
Attendance: 9,221
Capacity: 10,130
Ticket Prices: $195, $129.50, $85, $69.50

I don’t think it’s a surprise that a lot of people went to the GnR shows at the Hard Rock but selling more than 92% of the tickets for the 3 shows is great.

Def Leppard and Motley Crue have done well at the Hard Rock before and Bruno Mars is selling out his limited “residency” shows at the Cosmopolitan. These short blast residency events are working for casinos.

Expect to see more short-term residencies than long-term residencies in the future. This includes KISS who are rumored to be coming to the Hard Rock later this year (see details at Vegas Chatter).

If you’re curious about how other heavy metal bands are selling show tickets check out the full post at Metal Sucks.

Photo: VegasNews.com

Copyright © 2017 Marc Meltzer & EDGe Vegas