It appears the strip is going to evolve a bit more quickly as 2022 settles in, thanks to two new casino sales in the works, but more definite and one still in the distance but with intention announced.
Previously, the Venetian/Palazzo was sold earlier in the year after the death of owner Sheldon Adelson. Then, the Cosmopolitan’s operations were announced as being sold to MGM. Now we’ve got word of two more changes in the works.
Mirage Operations to be Sold by MGM
The Mirage has been on a bit of an island compared to the rest of MGM’s casinos in Las Vegas, so from a geographic perspective it makes sense that, like Treasure Island before it, it would be the one to be passed along to a new owner to concentrate Mlife‘s properties together.
Las Vegas Locally shared a screenshot on Facebook with the announcement internally to employees that operations for The Mirage would be sold to a new owner. The letter indicated a deal wasn’t done; whether one is imminent or just they’re announcing they’ve got a property for sale is still to be determined.
With this move and the previous announced deal around the Cosmopolitan, MGM is going to largely own a connected set of properties largely on the southern and western side of the strip, starting from Mandalay Bay and Delano at the southern end, and working all the way up to Bellagio on the northern end.
They also own MGM Grand, across the street from New York-New York, which is not unlike how Caesars owns a full row of casinos on the eastern end, with the exception of Caesars Palace across the street from Flamingo.
Caesars Firms Up Plans to Sell Strip Casino Asset
Speaking of Caesars, they were not shy to share at the time of the Eldorado acquisition of Caesars that they planned to sell a strip location when the time was right. Based on the valuation of the Cosmopolitan deal and record earnings, they think that time is right, or at least early 2022 is, according to an article on CDC Gaming Reports.
They have not announced specifically which property they may put up for sale, but they did note a center strip location, which is not the first time that language has been referenced. Many believe Bally’s, which has an unusual and struggling shop section in front of it, may be the target of an acquisition, but the Eldorado leadership now running Caesars Entertainment has also not been shy to say that anything could be up for sale for the right price.
The company plans to a good chunk of its cash to pay down debt from the merger, also not unexpected given previous announcements.
The article noted room occupancy in the 80s on weeknights and the 90s on weekends, so they’re not hurting for customers right now as it is.
Unlike Mlife, which is going to net out even in terms of the number of properties they run, as well as number of rooms available (given both properties have a similar room count), Caesars is on its way to go from nine properties to seven in Las Vegas (given the previous sale of the Rio, which they only have a management agreement for the short term).
Factor in a larger marketing database for the combined companies, and an eventual reduction of two casinos worth of hotel rooms, and it’s easy to see how they’ll be able to further cut comp rooms or make them much more competitive to secure. No doubt this will be good for their bottom line, but not necessarily good for players loyal to Caesars.
On the flip side, new ownership of both Mirage and a Caesars property will potentially bring new operators into the market, which could increase competition in the short term. Already, with Virgin Las Vegas being managed by Mohegan Sun, Tropicana on its way to being purchased by the new Bally’s, and Palms set to reopen under San Manuel ownership next year, the amount of choice is beginning to increase once again among strip and near-strip properties.