Making the News


Originally Published:Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Uneven recovery underway in Las Vegas
High end thrives, while the middle of the market is still suffering

By William Spain

"There are signs that, by some measurements, Las Vegas could be on the upswing," said Joe Weinert, senior vice president of Spectrum Gaming Group, an industry consultancy. "What I think the operators are looking for is the return of higher-quality patrons, ones that are less price-sensitive and are coming for the experience regardless of how much it costs."

There was a time not long ago "when money was seemingly no object for the core patrons here, but, as we have seen, as the room rates have declined significantly, it has brought in a more value-oriented customer," Weinert added. "While obviously welcome, they are simply not going to spend the same amounts, and on the same things, upon which most of the Strip has been predicated."

In the meantime, Spectrum's Weinert said he sees the strongest operators - that is, the ones most likely to weather the downturn in the United States and grow fastest if and when it ends - are those with operations in Macau and Singapore.

"Macau is just like a press to print money," he said. "As my teenage children would say, the revenue growth there is just sick." 



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