Las Vegas, Wranglers both grounded

By David McKee ~ April 16th, 2014 @ 1:57 pm No Comments »

fremont-street-experienceReports of Las Vegas‘ rebirth have been greatly exaggerated … or so the Brookings Institute‘s Mountain Monitor tells us. True, job growth was second only to Phoenix‘s, at almost 1% and double the regional average. Most of that growth, however, seems to have been in low-productivity jobs (casino industry to the white courtesy phone, please). “Putting those together, you get a view of a region focused on relatively less productive jobs. You have decent job growth, but it’s not yielding the kinds of output gains that growth is yielding in other places,” report author Mark Muro told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

He added that, while higher employment is Job One, economic diversification is ultimately necessary to improve the region’s sluggish economic recovery. We still lead major U.S. cities in Continued >>

Self-delusion in Illinois; Grave-robbing at Penn project

By David McKee ~ April 16th, 2014 @ 1:33 pm No Comments »

Robert RitaThat’s a nice pair of rose-colored glasses that state Rep. Robert Rita (D) must be wearing. He says a 10,000-position Chicago megaresort will “capture the revenue in the Chicago market without creating the cannibalization and oversaturation.” In case he hasn’t noticed, there’s already cannibalization and oversaturation happening in the Illinois market, with Rivers Casino the main beneficiary. Downstate lawmakers are, understandably, less than enchanted with Rita’s bill draft. “I would suggest that downstate taking the leftover crumbs from Chicago is a laughable assertion that no downstater would bite on,” was the rejoinder of state Rep. Chad Hays (R).

The horsey set, meanwhile, bridles at an alternative Rita bill which would allow an unspecified number of racinos but curb their slot machine inventory (outside of Cook County) to 450 each. Rita’s Plan B also calls for a 4,000-position Chicago casino, plus one in an undetermined suburb, one in Rockford, one in Danville and one in Lake County, each with 1,200 gaming positions. One shudders to Continued >>

Wynn Boston: Solution or overreach?

By David McKee ~ April 16th, 2014 @ 11:07 am 1 Comment »

Wynn EverettSteve Wynn‘s attempts to buy a former Monsanto chemical plant in Everett have been stymied by the antics of the sleazy characters who own the land. First, there was convicted felon Charles Lightbody, whose hidden ownership had to vacated (saving Wynn a lot of money, as the parcel’s price dropped to $35 million). Then co-owner Anthony Gattineri lawyered up, raising questions of whether Lightbody was still involved, especially when Gattineri refused to sign a pledge disavowing any secret partnerships. (The guy, frankly, stinks to high heaven.) “We only know what we hear, and what we hear we don’t trust,” said City Council President Michael Marchese.

Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria now proposes to cut this Gordian Knot by using the city’s eminent domain powers to buy the land and seven adjacent parcels — 55 acres — for $41 million, then re-sell it to Wynn at Continued >>

Cosmo: The right amount of money; MGM learns Arabic

By David McKee ~ April 16th, 2014 @ 9:55 am No Comments »

Cosmo 1978A camel is a horse designed by a committee, the saying goes, and The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas resembles nothing so much as a camel — and Deutsche Bank executives are accused of dabbling in its design. If Bloomberg News‘ sources are correct, Deutsche Bank has tired of The Cosmo and is taking its dromedary to the bazaar. The bank would endure a severe haircut on the resale, marking The Cosmo down to $2 billion or maybe even $1.5 billion. That will only begin to cover a $3.5 billion loan that Deutsche Bank made to its own, Cosmo-owning subsidiary, Nevada Property 1. (The structure of deals within the casino industry sometimes veers into surrealism.)

But who will buy, especially as the Cosmo continues to bleed red ink? MGM Resorts International has often been mooted as a potential acquirer, especially Continued >>

Further Reading

Las Vegas, Wranglers both grounded

Self-delusion in Illinois; Grave-robbing at Penn project

Wynn Boston: Solution or overreach?

Cosmo: The right amount of money; MGM learns Arabic

Meet Geoff Freeman

NIMBY in Massachusetts; Hard Rock goes local

Ivey, cheater or genius?

Quote of the Day

Soft landing in Atlantic City; Sweating the slots

Big names flock to New York; Reno rebounds

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