“Showstoppers” gets it done; Soul-searching at Cirque

By David McKee ~ December 22nd, 2014 @ 4:13 pm No Comments »

Basking in the afterglow of the opening night of ShowStoppers. (Or properly, Steve Wynn’s Showtoppers) Wynn Resorts CEO Steve Wynn called it the most satisfying creative ShowStoppers Chorus-Line-RGB_1experience he’d had to date. When he finishes a hotel, he said, all he sees are the things that could have been done better. Here he could just sit back and enjoy the ride. Few critical verdicts are in on the show yet. But if Wynn’s goal was to “exhaust” audiences, I’m happy to say he failed. When the show climaxes with a stunning (and upsized) recreation of Michael Bennett‘s choreography for “One” from A Chorus Line, one feels satisfied but not glutted, thanks in part to the show’s trim, disciplined, 72-minute running time.

The bigger question is whether a show that leans heavily on musicals like Continued >>

Hello, Yellow Brick Road; Packer’s big plan

By David McKee ~ December 22nd, 2014 @ 2:55 pm No Comments »

New York‘s Oneida Indian Nation was quick to counterpunch at last week’s private-sector casino expansion. They plan to open 436-slot, 250-job Yellow Brick Road Casino in L. Frank Baum‘s hometown of Chittenango, N.Y. Thanks to the terms of their compact Yellow Brick Roadwith the state, the Oneidas are at liberty to open as many casinos as commonsense dictates. The Chittenango site is on tribal land, so no local or federal approvals are needed. Besides, the union-built project already has the support of Chittenango Mayor Ronny Goeler, who says, “It will create jobs, and may even get people to move here.” The tribe has agreed, however, to share 25% of slot revenues with the state, an amount it calculates will come to $50 million.

The casino will fill out the part-empty Tops retail plaza and will include Continued >>

Big and Little Caesars strike again; Atlantic City’s monopoly in danger

By David McKee ~ December 22nd, 2014 @ 1:23 pm No Comments »

Last weekend, Caesars Entertainment confirmed what we already expected: It will file bankruptcy for Caesars Entertainment Operating Co. next month, in what the New gary_loveman-copy_compYork Times called “an ignominious milestone for what was one of the biggest buyouts of the private equity boom that preceded the financial crisis.” The move is intended to whittle $18.4 billion in debt into a mere $8.6 billion, according to Fortune. This will be followed by a REIT spinoff whose goals include reducing annual interest payments to $450 million. This move, said CEO Gary Loveman, would “significantly reduce [CEOC’s] leverage by creating two better capitalized companies with vastly improved cash flow generation.” Caesars’ $1.7 billion cash reserve will be all but drained into CEOC. All members of the first-lien steering committee are on board with the move, which also had a positive effect on Caesars’ stock price.

Meanwhile, in another of Caesars’ sleight-of-hand moves, Continued >>

Macao: Pressure for change; Stanley Ho into South Korea?

By David McKee ~ December 22nd, 2014 @ 11:13 am No Comments »

Despite having only one-tenth as many hotel rooms as Las Vegas, the enclave of Macao is feeling the pressure to develop a more tourism-oriented business model. China’s president, Venetian MacaoXi Jinping visited Macao last weekend and dropped a few strong hints. His desire: “to focus on building a global tourism and leisure centre and to promote appropriately diversified and sustainable development.” He warned that “while Macao has enjoyed rapid economic development in the past years, certain deep-seated problems have surfaced and development risks have also built up.”

Prior to President Xi’s speech, Central People’s Government Liaison Office Director Li Gang was less roundabout, Continued >>

Further Reading

“Showstoppers” gets it done; Soul-searching at Cirque

Hello, Yellow Brick Road; Packer’s big plan

Big and Little Caesars strike again; Atlantic City’s monopoly in danger

Macao: Pressure for change; Stanley Ho into South Korea?

The genius of Wynn; Wilmot charges ahead

Blast from the past

Nazarian’s luck, Caesars’ hoard

Icahn saves Taj, kinda sorta

Many called, few chosen for New York casinos

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