Murren sees bright future for MGM

Murren sees bright future for MGMMGM CEO Jim Murren has become fluent in the curious art form known as developer-speak.

It could be that he was intrigued by the pounding rhythm of those periodic statements from Steve Wynn and Sheldon Adelson. Wynn is unsurpassed at drawing pretty pictures of things that might some day be. Then he goes out and creates them. Adelson prefers to hit listeners over the head with impressive numbers that he usually delivers.

They are both masters at persuading audiences to conclude they want some of whatever these guys are selling.

Murren may have joined the club.

MGM has recently been on a winning streak what with big projects on the way to being finished in Macau, Maryland and Massachusetts and the recent opening here of the T-Mobile Arena (to mostly rave reviews.)

But wait till we get a look at what is on the books for next year.

The best is still to come, Murren appeared to imply during a recent discussion of the outlook for this year and next. Much of the confidence Murren projected has to do with the company’s expanding presence in the convention business where it has become a giant.

“We fully expect to have a better year in 2017 on the convention business than we do this year.”

MGM now has more than three million square feet of convention space in Las Vegas. “We obviously exceed our competitors and we have more on the way. Remember ARIA is adding 200,000 square feet.”

But Murren wasn’t satisfied to just discuss the ins and outs of the convention business. The company has been doing a decent job with everything it has touched over the last year or two.

The dark days associated with the Great Recession when the weight of its CityCenter development threatened to pull the company into bankruptcy have faded in the company’s response to opportunity.

“We have become the preferred developer in new markets. We win when we go in. We won in Maryland. We won in Massachusetts.”

About Maryland, he said, “It’s going to be the most spectacular integrated resort outside of Las Vegas that exists and, I think, probably the most profitable one outside of Las Vegas when it opens at the end of the year.”

How’s that for being assertive? Donald Trump might have cast an admiring glance at that last sentence.

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

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