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Vdara Gets Four-Star Award

Vdara Gets Four-Star Award


Vdara Hotel and Spa has received its first-ever four-start award from the Forbes Travel Guide.

The hotel is one of 177 hotels around the country to receive the award. The guide looks for the very best hotels, restaurants and spas. It was formerly the Mobil Travel Guide.

Vdara opened in December 2009. It is an all-suite, non-gaming hotel, which is part of the CityCenter property.

“The Four-Star distinction from the respected Forbes Travel Guide speaks to the quality and service level we are committed to providing at Vdara each and every day,” said Mary Giuliano, general manager of Vdara.  

Report: Brighter Future for Strip in 2012

Report: Brighter Future for Strip in 2012

A new report released Tuesday has some positive news for the Las Vegas Strip.

The report says Strip properties will see higher gaming revenue, more conventions and stronger occupancy levels in 2012. CBRE Global Gaming Group, which specializes in financial services for the gaming industry, put together the analysis of the resort corridor’s future. The group says after seven years of tough times change is coming.

“We are going to show some signs of recovery,” said executive vice-president with CBRE Global Gaming Group John Knott.

The report predicts gaming revenue will increase between 1.8 and 4.8 percent next year. It may not sound like a lot but will be felt by companies that have struggled through lean years. 

“The good news about a slight increase is that costs have been trimmed, so there's no fattening in any of the gaming companies budget at this point,” Knott said.

Permits Approved to Revamp Shuttered Sahara Casino

Permits Approved to Revamp Shuttered Sahara Casino


An iconic Las Vegas Strip casino that hosted the likes of Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley before closing earlier this year has a chance to reopen again.

Clark County commissioners approved use permits on Wednesday for a major renovation of the Sahara Hotel and Casino. Plans call for remodeling the casino floor and 1,622 hotel rooms, and demolishing a signature roller coaster that runs in and out of the hotel.

The proposal also seeks to add a beer garden.

The Sahara had operated for nearly 59 years before owners decided in May it was no longer economically viable to keep it open. More than 1,000 employees lost their jobs in the closure.

The proposal ends speculation that owners would implode the casino.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

Las Vegas Sands Doubles 3Q Profit to $353.6M

Las Vegas Sands Doubles 3Q Profit to $353.6M


Casino-resort developer and operator Las Vegas Sands Corp. said Thursday that its third-quarter net income doubled from a year earlier as it kept a tight rein on operating expenses.

A 26.2 percent increase in revenue also helped -- including a 63 percent jump in Singapore, the company said. Sands generates roughly 83 percent of its revenue in Asia and the rest in the United States.

The company's billionaire CEO, Sheldon Adelson, said the Marina Bay Sands casino in Singapore would have been even more profitable had it not gotten somewhat unlucky -- it won slightly less from gamblers than expected, given the amount customers wagered.

Sands' net income rose to $353.6 million, or 44 cents per share, from $168 million, or 21 cents per share, and its revenue rose to $2.41 billion from $1.9 billion.

"I like them apples," Adelson said during a conference call with analysts.

Wynn Resorts Earns $127M in 3rd Quarter

Wynn Resorts Earns $127M in 3rd Quarter


Casino operator Wynn Resorts Ltd., said Wednesday that its third-quarter net income was $127.1 million, compared with a loss of $33.5 million a year earlier.

But its adjusted results fell short of Wall Street forecasts, and Wynn's shares fell more than 5 percent after hours.

The company led by billionaire Chief Executive Steve Wynn credited a busy period in Macau, which is the world's top gambling market and was the source of three-quarters of the company's revenue. Revenue in Macau climbed 41.7 percent to $951.4 million.

"Our bottom line keeps climbing," Wynn told investors on a conference call.

Margaritaville Casino Celebrates Grand Opening


The Las Vegas Strip is celebrating the opening of a new casino. The Margaritaville Casino at Flamingo Las Vegas opened on October 1 but the grand opening is this weekend.

The resort turned 15,000-square-feet of the gaming floor into a casino dedicated to the classic song by Jimmy Buffet. The Margaritaville Casino is next to the Margaritaville Restaurant and features gaming tables, slot machines and the 5 O’Clock Somewhere Bar.

The Flamingo is offering new hotel packages to celebrate the opening. The resort is also trying to break the record for the world’s largest margarita. 

Casinos Focus on Upping Amenities, Not Gambling

Casinos Focus on Upping Amenities, Not Gambling


Casino executives say they're spending less time thinking about new card tables, slot machines and hotel rooms and instead are chasing new entertainment that's cheaper to offer and will distinguish their resorts.

Executives said Wednesday at an industry conference in Las Vegas that they are using retail, enhanced restaurants and other attractions to compete for their share of consumers' leisure spending.

With casino gambling now available in 38 states, resorts need more than fresh tables and machines to compete. CEO Virginia McDowell of Isle of Capri Casinos said she'd rather spend $200,000 to renovate a restaurant than buy 10 new slot machines because more people will go to the restaurant.

One analyst said slot machine makers are starting to cut their prices in response.

   (Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)