MGM: Las Vegas trends continue strong

MGM: Las Vegas trends continue strongMGM Resorts CEO Jim Murren did not resist the temptation to do a little bragging Thursday as discussed the company’s recent performance with financial analysts and took a look at expectations for the rest of the year.

“Generally speaking,” he said, the trends in Las Vegas are very strong. They are led by very robust demand for the convention business. We’re very grateful that we expanded the Mandalay (Bay) convention business when we did because it has allowed us to maximize the high margin corporate business while still maintaining solid trade show business.”

He said this allows MGM more “flexibility to manage the largest portfolio of convention space” in Las Vegas.

All in all, he said,”the company is doing great and the outlook is strong.” Another big reason for all the satisfying smiles. back-slapping and high fives is the early success of the T-Mobile Arena that opened the first week of April.

“It’s only been a month and already we have hosted more than 100,000 guests in the arena and of course that level of activity is great for the entire town.”

The outlook for convention business is growing throughout the rest of this year and even into 2017, according to Murren.

The availability of the T-Mobile Arena is an assets that benefits the company’s efforts to increase the volume of business coming from the conventions and meeting business.

“It’s a really important asset,” Murren explained in that it frees up the Mandalay Events Center and even the MGM for more conference space. “We have more than 3 million square feet of convention space available in Las Vegas, which obviously exceeds our competitors and remember, there is more on the way with the 200,000 square feet we’re adding at ARIA.”

For companies such as MGM, conventions have become a significant source of increased “pricing power” as the local hospitality industry continues to diversify its list of offerings.

Phil Hevener has been writing about the Nevada gaming business for more than 30 years. Email: .

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