Tuesday, August 20, 2019

“Time To Stop The Un-American Treatment Of MGM In The Constitution State - PlayUSA” plus 1 more

“Time To Stop The Un-American Treatment Of MGM In The Constitution State - PlayUSA” plus 1 more


Time To Stop The Un-American Treatment Of MGM In The Constitution State - PlayUSA

Posted: 19 Aug 2019 01:56 AM PDT

It was no surprise to hear the news last week that MGM International has filed another lawsuit against someone regarding its efforts to compete in the Connecticut casino business.

After all, the way the Constitution State is treating MGM is unfair and bordering on un-American. At the very least it has run afoul of the free market traditions this country holds so dear.

It may come as some surprise that MGM is suing the federal Department of the Interior this time, rather than the Native Tribes they're really fighting with. Or, a Connecticut government so fearful of losing tribal casino money they'll give up just about anything. The least of which is a leg up in the tribes' battle with MGM.

Time to hold someone accountable for the treatment of MGM

However, it's about time someone is held accountable for giving the tribes an unfair edge in the local gaming business. The last federal government agency to make a bad decision in this regard seems like a good start.

The drama began when MGM jumped through all the regulatory hoops required to build Massachusetts' first real casino resort. MGM Springfield opened about a year ago, on August 24, with 2,550 slots, 120 table games, and a 20-plus table poker room.

MGM and the state obviously designed the project to keep Massachusets gamblers from flocking to the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribes' Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods casinos in nearby Connecticut. Gamblers from Massachusets have been helping keep these two properties afloat for years without a dime going back to their state government.

The battle between the tribes begins

Of course, it was also no surprise to hear that even before MGM Springfield opened, the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribes developed their own plan to compete with the new casino.

What the tribes proposed was the construction of a jointly-owned $300 million satellite casino in East Windsor, just 12 miles south of Springfield, but in Connecticut.

Despite the fact the plan included building on non-tribal land, the project quickly got the thumbs from Connecticut lawmakers. The federal approval it required came from the Department of the Interior this March.

MGM didn't just cry foul about the tribes' effort to compete with its Massachusets project. It decided to try to compete with the tribes in Connecticut too.

MGM Bridgeport

MGM proposed the construction of a $675 million casino resort in Bridgeport. Plans included a casino with 2,000 slot machines and 160 table games. Plus, amenities including a 300-room hotel, 700-seat theater, and various retail stores and restaurants.

They took these plans to Connecticut lawmakers but had to fight first for the right to even propose new commercial casino plans in the state.

They got as far the Connecticut House approving legislation allowing for the submission of new commercial casino proposals. However, the effort ended there.

The rest of the state legislature was obviously fearful that even listening to commercial gambling pitches might cost them the tribal compacts they signed. These compacts give the tribes gambling exclusivity in the state in return for hundreds of millions in annual revenue-sharing payments.

Giving up Bridgeport, too?

But refusing to give MGM the chance to compete in Connecticut apparently wasn't enough.

Word came out last week that state lawmakers are actually considering handing the tribes even more. Things like the right to build their own casino in Bridgeport. Plus, exclusive rights to run online gambling and sports betting operations in the state.

It's a bill that has yet to get off the ground, and may never. But if it does, it would give the tribes the chance to build a $300 million Bridgeport casino. And that's even before Connecticut lawmakers have agreed to listen to MGM's full competing pitch.

It's easy to see that the Connecticut legislature has bent over backward to allow the tribes to compete with MGM across the state line in Massachusets. But when it comes to allowing MGM to do the same inside Connecticut, lawmakers are so fearful of upsetting the tribes they won't even really hear what MGM has to say.

That's completely unfair.

Free market?

America's free-market system is founded on the idea that competing ventures have the right to build whatever they want. As long as it's within the law of the land and reason, then it's up to the people to vote on which one they like with their dollars.

Tribal compacts that offer exclusivity run contrary to the ideals this American free-market system is built on.

Ultimately, you'd have to think a federal court will agree with that. So, don't be surprised to see changes coming that'll give anyone that wants it the ability to compete in the Connecticut casino business.

Resort fees on Las Vegas Strip are on the rise. Here's why they're likely here to stay - Reno Gazette Journal

Posted: 19 Aug 2019 06:00 AM PDT

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The Fremont Street Experience draws more than 23 million people a year. Reno Gazette Journal

LAS VEGAS – Here's an unpalatable dish in the world of Sin City tourism: Resort fees.

Along the Strip, nobody likes paying them. But hotel companies have come to depend on those concealed nightly charges that run as high as $45 and inflate hotel bills – often to the surprise of the family that booked the trip.

Hitting revenue numbers that appease shareholders is a big business money problem that has analysts certain resort fees will remain a permanent fixture. 

And they're rising.

Since May, two major casino companies have raised resort fees on the Strip to the highest they've ever been – ballooning vacation costs and raising a tough question about the future of tourism in Southern Nevada: How much is too much?

'We are constantly evaluating prices'

On Aug. 1, MGM Resorts International raised resort fees $6 at three high-end properties along the Strip. That means a stay at ARIA, Vdara or Bellagio with now run an extra $45 per night – on top of the base room rate.

The increase at the MGM properties came three months after Wynn Resorts raised resorts fees at Wynn and Encore from $39 to $45.

"We are constantly evaluating prices," said MGM spokesman Brian Ahern in a statement, "to ensure they properly reflect the business landscape and the services and amenities they support."

What are resort fees for?

A resort fee is a mandatory charge that includes a bundle of services guests have come to expect during a hotel stay. 

That bundle could include free Wi-Fi, access to the pool and, at resorts in big travel cities like New York and San Francisco, a free drink or discounted breakfast.

"But it is mandatory," said Chad Beynon, a senior analyst at Macquarie Group Limited, "so even if you don't use those products you still have to pay a $30 to $50 fee that is not being advertised when you book your room."

Even so, these resort fees in the fine print have been a way for hotels to increase revenue on top of the money drawn from advertised rates. 

If a tourist planning a one-night stay on a Saturday in November at the MGM Grand planned the trip today, the base room rate would run about $145. Tack on taxes, resort fees and taxes on those fees, and the bill balloons to $206.

At a more expensive MGM like the Aria, a bill on the same night would run $344. Of that total, $51 is made of resort fees and taxes.

How much money can resort fees generate for a casino?

Many millions. It's a revenue flow MGM needs to keep shareholders content.

The largest employer in Nevada, MGM has laid off more than 1,000 company employees – most of them in Las Vegas – since April to cut costs and boost earnings.

Raising room fees $5 could generate an extra $50 million for the company, according to Beynon.

"MGM has company-wide goals to reach certain financial targets for 2020 that are extremely important for them to hit," Beynon said. "If you could add another $50 million per year with resort fees, that is meaningful for a company to hit their goal."

Resort fees have been a go-to solution since the recession crumbled the economy, Beynon said, but they also make Las Vegas more vulnerable during times of recession, when people have less to spend.

The cost of doing business 

Resort fees have also helped hotels offset the money spent on giving visitors what they want and have come to expect.

After all, it costs money to outfit every hotel room with a flat screen television and Wi-Fi, alarm clocks and coffee makers. In the hotel industry, it's called "amenity creep."

Aside from the costs to build a hotel room, there are other costs that come with allowing a traveler to book that hotel room with ease online.

It costs casinos money to do business with online travel agencies – or "OTAs." Resort companies pay a commission to companies like Expedia and Travelocity. But that commission is only tied to the advertised base rate for a night's stay. 

Hotels pay no commission on the resort fees billed later, according to Curtis.

"By raising the rates using resort fees, those additional revenues are not subject to the OTA commission," said Anthony Curtis, publisher at Vegas Advisor. "It's dual purpose in Las Vegas: First to keep the rates down and second to keep more of their own revenue without having to duke it off to their online travel partners."

In a courtroom across the country, resort fees tacked onto hotel stays have taken center-stage.

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At this iconic stop along the Las Vegas Strip, there's much more to see under the surface. Reno Gazette Journal

Misleading customers?

The attorney general for the District of Columbia sued Marriott, saying the hotel company is misleading customers by advertising room rates without including mandatory resort fees.

According to the lawsuit, Marriott doesn't include mandatory resort fees in the room rates it displays online. Consumers only discover the fees after they begin to book a room. They may also be called "amenity fees" or "destination fees."

The lawsuit says at least 189 Marriott hotels worldwide charge the fees, which range from $9 to $95 per day. The attorney general is seeking a court order to require Marriott to advertise those fees up front.

Marriott says it doesn't comment on pending litigation but is continuing discussions with other state attorneys general.

Meanwhile, in Las Vegas, at least one casino executive has commented on the danger of inflating resort fees.

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Inside the Flamingo Las Vegas is a retirement community like you've never seen. Reno Gazette Journal

'The straw that breaks the camel's back'

On an Aug. 5 earnings call, Caesars Entertainment CEO Tony Rodio expressed concern about the repercussions of targeting travelers with resort fees.

"Over time, at some point there's going to be the straw that breaks the camel's back," Rodio said. "I don't think we're there yet, but I want us to be very judicious and cautious about taking those rates any further. It's certainly a revenue stream that's hard to walk away from and it's been accepted at this point, but we're getting pretty high."

A transplant who spent decades in the Atlantic City casino market, Rodio may have been "a little surprised that they're able to get away with this" in Las Vegas, according to one gaming analyst.

"He wants to make sure they're not alienating their customers or striking a nerve with their customers," Beynon said.

In an email to the USA TODAY Network after MGM raised resort fees on the Strip, a Ceasars spokesman wrote: "We have no plans to raise resort fees at this time." 

At Vegas Advisor, Curtis is hearing from customers long ago peeved. 

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'The hell with you'

Since the 1980s, Curtis, founder of LasVegasAdvisor.com, has a been tracking the feelings of tourists on the Strip.

One of the top Las Vegas peeves? Resort fees. 

"We hear it all the time from our customers, going, 'I'm not coming anymore. I will not come to Vegas anymore," Curtis said. "I will go to a regional place. I will go to Laughlin, I will go to Reno.'"

In Reno, resort fees are cheaper. At the Atlantis Casino Resort: $30 per night. At Grand Sierra: $29.95. At Circus Circus: $28. 

On the Strip, resort fees are likely here to stay – and grow. But tourists pining for the Las Vegas of old, Curtis said, still have some options left.

"The old Vegas model is still here downtown, it's still here at the locals casinos, but it's not in most places on the Strip, and I don't think you're going to see a return," he said. "There's going to come a point where the customer's going to revolt all the way, and say, 'The hell with you.'" 

How to figure out resort fees before booking

There are several ways tourists can learn about the resort fees they'll be paying before booking a trip, according to Curtis. 

• Check a website that tracks resort fees – like Vegas Advisor

• In the footer of each property website there's often a FAQ link. There, you can usually find the resort fees with what they cover.

•  After choosing your date of stay on travel booking websites, you're often asked to choose a room type. Under each room type there's a button with the average night total, and under that is information about the resort fees. 

• Pay attention to your reservation summary: Taxes and resort fees are listed there.

• Ask a reservations clerk to quote a complete price including resort fees, taxes and any other fees.

Vegas hotels that don't charge resort fees

• Four Queens, 202 Fremont St. 

• Candlewood Suites, 4034 Paradise Rd. 

• Best Western Plus Casino Royale, 3411 S Las Vegas Blvd.

• Jockey Club, 3700 S Las Vegas Blvd. 

Contributing: The Associated Press. 

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Ed Komenda writes about Las Vegas for the Reno Gazette Journal and USA Today Network. Do you care about democracy? Then support local journalism by subscribing to the Reno Gazette Journal right here

Read or Share this story: https://www.rgj.com/story/news/2019/08/19/resort-fee-las-vegas-strip/1969021001/

A GI Rebellion: When Soldiers Said No to War - Beyond Chron

A GI Rebellion: When Soldiers Said No to War - Beyond Chron


A GI Rebellion: When Soldiers Said No to War - Beyond Chron

Posted: 20 Aug 2019 04:02 AM PDT

Fifty years ago this fall, a campus upsurge turned opposition to the Vietnam War into a genuine mass movement.

On October 15, 1969, several million students, along with community-based activists, participated in anti-war events under the banner of the "Vietnam Moratorium." A month later, 500,000 people came to a Washington, D.C. demonstration of then-unprecedented size, organized by the "New Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam."

As we approach the 50th anniversary of both the Moratorium and Mobilization, it's worth recalling one critical anti-war constituency whose role was less visible then and remains little acknowledged today.

While student demonstrators and draft resisters drew more mass media attention at the time, many military draftees, reservists and recently returned veterans also protested the Vietnam war—with equal fervor and often greater impact.

Fortunately, three Vietnam-era activists have just published Waging Peace in Vietnam (New Village Press, 2019), which gives long overdue credit to anti-war organizing by men and women in uniform, and their civilian allies and funders.

Labor organizer Ron Carver, Notre Dame  professor David Cortright, and writer/editor Barbara Doherty have crafted a beautifully-illustrated 240-page tribute to the GI anti-war movement. Waging Peace includes fifty first-person accounts by grassroots builders of that movement, plus photo documentation of their work by William Short, a Vietnam combat veteran.

As Cortright notes in the book's introduction, social science researchers hired by the military (and later academic experts) concluded that one-quarter of all "low-ranking service members participated in Vietnam-era antiwar activity."

This percentage is "roughly equivalent to the proportion of activists among students at the peak of the anti-war movement." In the rural and conservative communities which surround most military bases, then and now, "the proportion of anti-war activists among soldiers was actually higher than in the local youth population."

The Anti-Warriors Today

Now in their late 60s and 70s, many anti-warriors profiled in Waging Peace are long-distance runners in the field. Some remain active in Veterans for Peace (VFP), which held its national convention last weekend in Spokane. One highlight of that annual gathering was the unveiling of archival material and photos which appear in Waging Peace.

This hotel ballroom exhibit included many striking examples of underground press work–mimeographed newspapers for GIs with names like Last Harass, Up Against the Bulkhead, Attitude Check, or Fun, Travel and Adventure (whose acronymic double message was "Fuck the Army!"

Among those viewing younger portraits of themselves in Spokane—along with documentation of their own anti-war activity –were ex-Marine Paul Cox, Army veteran Skip Delano, and former Navy nurse Susan Schnall. In Waging Peace, each one shares a memorable tale of personal transformation, due to their war-time experiences at home or abroad.

A native of Oklahoma, Cox served as a platoon leader in Vietnam's Quang Nam Province in 1969.  There, he witnessed a massacre of civilians, "smaller scale but no less barbaric" than the mass killings at My Lai which occurred a year earlier.

After completing his combat tour, Cox was assigned to Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. He and several Maine buddies decided it was "our duty to put out a newspaper and print the truth about Nam."

Over a two-year period, they and later recruits produced thousands of copies of a clandestine publication called RAGE. As Cox says today, "RAGE was definitely not an example of great journalism." But it did allow him to redirect his own anger and disillusionment into an effort "to warn others who were about to be deployed."

In Vietnam, Skip Delano was assigned to a chemical unit attached to the 101st Airborne Division. After his return to Fort McClellan in Alabama, he believed he had earned the right "to comment on the war to other people"—an opinion not shared by his base commander.

Delano helped write and edit a GI newsletter called Left Face, whose distributors faced six-months in the stockade if they were caught with bulk copies. In October of 1969 he and 30 others bravely signed a petition supporting the Mobilization scheduled for the following month in Washington, DC. This deep South expression of solidarity with civilian protestors up north triggered Military Intelligence investigations and interrogations, loss of security clearances, and threats of further discipline.

Protesting in Uniform

A year before Delano's dissent, Susan Schnall's dramatic acts of Bay Area resistance drew heavy military discipline. She was court-martialed, sentenced to six months of hard labor, and dismissed from the Navy for "conduct unbecoming an officer."

Schnall grew up in a Gold Star family; her father, who she never knew, was a Marine killed in Guam during World War II. As a Navy nurse in 1967, she toiled among "night time screams of pain and fear" that came from patients badly wounded and recently returned from Vietnam.

In October, 1968, Schnall became involved in a planned "GI and Veterans March for Peace" in San Francisco. To publicize that event, she and a pilot friend rented a single engine plane, filled it with thousands of leaflets, and dropped them over local military facilities like the Presidio, Treasure Island, the Alameda Naval Station, and her own workplace, Oak Knoll hospital in Oakland.

Then, in full dress uniform, she joined 500 other active duty service people, in a march from Market St in San Francisco to its Civic Center, where they were cheered by thousands of civilian protestors.

Fifty years after Cox, Delano and Schnall rallied their uniformed comrades against the Vietnam war, all three are still engaged in causes like defending veterans' healthcare against privatization by the Trump Administration (See https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/06/07/under-guise-of-choice-trump-launches-assault-on-veterans-care/)

Later this fall, they and other VFP members are helping to bring the Waging Peace exhibit to Amherst and New Bedford, Mass, New York City and Washington, DC. Next Spring, this book-based display will reach campus or community audiences in Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. (For schedule details, see https://wagingpeaceinvietnam.com/exhibit)

Red State Resistance

Activists today, particularly those involved in working class organizing, should buy this book or see the exhibit based on it. Local-level leaders of the GI movement displayed courage, creativity, and audacity when rallying their own "fellow workers" who had been conscripted by the hundreds of thousands.

Much rank-and-file education and agitation about Vietnam occurred on or near heavily guarded military bases located in what are now called "red states." They became unexpected incubators for homegrown (and imported) radicalism,

Some forms of GI resistance, referenced in the book, involved sabotage of equipment, small and larger scale mutinies, rioting in military stockades, and deadly assaults on unpopular officers (the grenade-assisted retribution known as "fragging.")

The national network of GI coffee houses described in Waging Peace became places where active duty military personnel could relax, socialize, listen to music, read what they wanted, and have fun with each other and their civilian supporters.  This helped break down the military vs civil society divide that is far wider today–due, in part, to the post-Vietnam creation of a "professional army" to replace the rebellious conscripts of fifty years ago.

Thanks to their low morale—and heroic Vietnamese resistance to foreign aggression—U.S. ground forces were no longer "an effective fighting force by 1970," according to Cortright. "To save the Army," he says," it became necessary to withdraw troops and end the war. Their dissent and defiance played a decisive role in limiting the ability of the U.S. to continue the war…"

In an era of "forever wars," it may be hard to imagine such impactful organizing among active duty military personnel or newly-minted veterans. Let's hope that the many examples of grassroots activism in Waging Peace prove inspirational and instructive for younger progressives today.

This valuable book might even stimulate some new thinking about how the left can better relate to the 22 million Americans who have served in the military or continue to do so–to their own detriment and that of people throughout the world.

(Steve Early was a campus-based recruiter for both the October Moratorium and November Mobilization in 1969. He later served as a full-time anti-war organizer for the American Friends Service Committee in New England. He is collaborating on a book about veterans' affairs and can be reached at Lsupport@aol.com)

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Steve Early

Steve Early is a longtime labor journalist and author of Save Our Unions: Dispatches from a Movement in Distress (Monthly Review Press, 2013), The Civil Wars in U.S. Labor (Haymarket Books, 2011) and Embedded With Organized Labor (MRP, 2009)

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“Sunset Sessions Las Vegas sure to bring the heat - Dance Music Northwest” plus 2 more

“Sunset Sessions Las Vegas sure to bring the heat - Dance Music Northwest” plus 2 more


Sunset Sessions Las Vegas sure to bring the heat - Dance Music Northwest

Posted: 19 Aug 2019 01:51 PM PDT

Sadly, summer may be coming to an end soon, but that doesn't mean we can't close it out with a bang. With tons already going on in the Northwest, we've decided to take a peek at what's going down in Sin City this coming Labor Day.

Despite its scorching temperatures, this Las Vegas event will surely cool you down. For any of you Anjunadeep fans out there, Elation, Elements, and The North American Trance Alliance are bringing you an amazing evening pool party called Sunset Sessions on Sunday, September 1 at the Downtown Grand Hotel and Casino.

If the sound of slot machines and deep house tickles your fancy, you may want to jaunt on down to the neon desert and get your fix. Plus, who doesn't love a good pool party! With the likes of Jody Wisternoff, Matt Lange, and 16BL, it's certainly going to be one heck of an event you'll not want to miss.

As you may expect, with a solid lineup like this, tickets are going fast and at only $25 it's a win, win. Also, if you feel like getting a touch bougie, tables and cabanas are available for an added fee with reservation. Interested in taking a dip? Grab your flip flops and swimsuit, because this one is going to bring the heat.

Citrus Pool at Downtown Grand Hotel & Casino
206 N 3rd St, Las Vegas, NV 89101

Tickets to the event 

Time: 6:00pm – 12:00am

Lineup: Jody Wisternoff (Anjunadeep) // 16BL (Anjunadeep) // Matt Lange (Anjunadeep / Anjunabeats / Mau5trap)

18+ enter / 21+ to drink

Interested in a table or cabana at Sunset Sessions? Contact citruscabanas@downtowngrand.com

Will you be heading to Las Vegas with us this Labor Day? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter!

Resort fees on Las Vegas Strip are on the rise. Here's why they're likely here to stay - Reno Gazette Journal

Posted: 19 Aug 2019 06:00 AM PDT

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The Fremont Street Experience draws more than 23 million people a year. Reno Gazette Journal

LAS VEGAS – Here's an unpalatable dish in the world of Sin City tourism: Resort fees.

Along the Strip, nobody likes paying them. But hotel companies have come to depend on those concealed nightly charges that run as high as $45 and inflate hotel bills – often to the surprise of the family that booked the trip.

Hitting revenue numbers that appease shareholders is a big business money problem that has analysts certain resort fees will remain a permanent fixture. 

And they're rising.

Since May, two major casino companies have raised resort fees on the Strip to the highest they've ever been – ballooning vacation costs and raising a tough question about the future of tourism in Southern Nevada: How much is too much?

'We are constantly evaluating prices'

On Aug. 1, MGM Resorts International raised resort fees $6 at three high-end properties along the Strip. That means a stay at ARIA, Vdara or Bellagio with now run an extra $45 per night – on top of the base room rate.

The increase at the MGM properties came three months after Wynn Resorts raised resorts fees at Wynn and Encore from $39 to $45.

"We are constantly evaluating prices," said MGM spokesman Brian Ahern in a statement, "to ensure they properly reflect the business landscape and the services and amenities they support."

What are resort fees for?

A resort fee is a mandatory charge that includes a bundle of services guests have come to expect during a hotel stay. 

That bundle could include free Wi-Fi, access to the pool and, at resorts in big travel cities like New York and San Francisco, a free drink or discounted breakfast.

"But it is mandatory," said Chad Beynon, a senior analyst at Macquarie Group Limited, "so even if you don't use those products you still have to pay a $30 to $50 fee that is not being advertised when you book your room."

Even so, these resort fees in the fine print have been a way for hotels to increase revenue on top of the money drawn from advertised rates. 

If a tourist planning a one-night stay on a Saturday in November at the MGM Grand planned the trip today, the base room rate would run about $145. Tack on taxes, resort fees and taxes on those fees, and the bill balloons to $206.

At a more expensive MGM like the Aria, a bill on the same night would run $344. Of that total, $51 is made of resort fees and taxes.

How much money can resort fees generate for a casino?

Many millions. It's a revenue flow MGM needs to keep shareholders content.

The largest employer in Nevada, MGM has laid off more than 1,000 company employees – most of them in Las Vegas – since April to cut costs and boost earnings.

Raising room fees $5 could generate an extra $50 million for the company, according to Beynon.

"MGM has company-wide goals to reach certain financial targets for 2020 that are extremely important for them to hit," Beynon said. "If you could add another $50 million per year with resort fees, that is meaningful for a company to hit their goal."

Resort fees have been a go-to solution since the recession crumbled the economy, Beynon said, but they also make Las Vegas more vulnerable during times of recession, when people have less to spend.

The cost of doing business 

Resort fees have also helped hotels offset the money spent on giving visitors what they want and have come to expect.

After all, it costs money to outfit every hotel room with a flat screen television and Wi-Fi, alarm clocks and coffee makers. In the hotel industry, it's called "amenity creep."

Aside from the costs to build a hotel room, there are other costs that come with allowing a traveler to book that hotel room with ease online.

It costs casinos money to do business with online travel agencies – or "OTAs." Resort companies pay a commission to companies like Expedia and Travelocity. But that commission is only tied to the advertised base rate for a night's stay. 

Hotels pay no commission on the resort fees billed later, according to Curtis.

"By raising the rates using resort fees, those additional revenues are not subject to the OTA commission," said Anthony Curtis, publisher at Vegas Advisor. "It's dual purpose in Las Vegas: First to keep the rates down and second to keep more of their own revenue without having to duke it off to their online travel partners."

In a courtroom across the country, resort fees tacked onto hotel stays have taken center-stage.

CLOSE

At this iconic stop along the Las Vegas Strip, there's much more to see under the surface. Reno Gazette Journal

Misleading customers?

The attorney general for the District of Columbia sued Marriott, saying the hotel company is misleading customers by advertising room rates without including mandatory resort fees.

According to the lawsuit, Marriott doesn't include mandatory resort fees in the room rates it displays online. Consumers only discover the fees after they begin to book a room. They may also be called "amenity fees" or "destination fees."

The lawsuit says at least 189 Marriott hotels worldwide charge the fees, which range from $9 to $95 per day. The attorney general is seeking a court order to require Marriott to advertise those fees up front.

Marriott says it doesn't comment on pending litigation but is continuing discussions with other state attorneys general.

Meanwhile, in Las Vegas, at least one casino executive has commented on the danger of inflating resort fees.

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Inside the Flamingo Las Vegas is a retirement community like you've never seen. Reno Gazette Journal

'The straw that breaks the camel's back'

On an Aug. 5 earnings call, Caesars Entertainment CEO Tony Rodio expressed concern about the repercussions of targeting travelers with resort fees.

"Over time, at some point there's going to be the straw that breaks the camel's back," Rodio said. "I don't think we're there yet, but I want us to be very judicious and cautious about taking those rates any further. It's certainly a revenue stream that's hard to walk away from and it's been accepted at this point, but we're getting pretty high."

A transplant who spent decades in the Atlantic City casino market, Rodio may have been "a little surprised that they're able to get away with this" in Las Vegas, according to one gaming analyst.

"He wants to make sure they're not alienating their customers or striking a nerve with their customers," Beynon said.

In an email to the USA TODAY Network after MGM raised resort fees on the Strip, a Ceasars spokesman wrote: "We have no plans to raise resort fees at this time." 

At Vegas Advisor, Curtis is hearing from customers long ago peeved. 

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'The hell with you'

Since the 1980s, Curtis, founder of LasVegasAdvisor.com, has a been tracking the feelings of tourists on the Strip.

One of the top Las Vegas peeves? Resort fees. 

"We hear it all the time from our customers, going, 'I'm not coming anymore. I will not come to Vegas anymore," Curtis said. "I will go to a regional place. I will go to Laughlin, I will go to Reno.'"

In Reno, resort fees are cheaper. At the Atlantis Casino Resort: $30 per night. At Grand Sierra: $29.95. At Circus Circus: $28. 

On the Strip, resort fees are likely here to stay – and grow. But tourists pining for the Las Vegas of old, Curtis said, still have some options left.

"The old Vegas model is still here downtown, it's still here at the locals casinos, but it's not in most places on the Strip, and I don't think you're going to see a return," he said. "There's going to come a point where the customer's going to revolt all the way, and say, 'The hell with you.'" 

How to figure out resort fees before booking

There are several ways tourists can learn about the resort fees they'll be paying before booking a trip, according to Curtis. 

• Check a website that tracks resort fees – like Vegas Advisor

• In the footer of each property website there's often a FAQ link. There, you can usually find the resort fees with what they cover.

•  After choosing your date of stay on travel booking websites, you're often asked to choose a room type. Under each room type there's a button with the average night total, and under that is information about the resort fees. 

• Pay attention to your reservation summary: Taxes and resort fees are listed there.

• Ask a reservations clerk to quote a complete price including resort fees, taxes and any other fees.

Vegas hotels that don't charge resort fees

• Four Queens, 202 Fremont St. 

• Candlewood Suites, 4034 Paradise Rd. 

• Best Western Plus Casino Royale, 3411 S Las Vegas Blvd.

• Jockey Club, 3700 S Las Vegas Blvd. 

Contributing: The Associated Press. 

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Ed Komenda writes about Las Vegas for the Reno Gazette Journal and USA Today Network. Do you care about democracy? Then support local journalism by subscribing to the Reno Gazette Journal right here

Read or Share this story: https://www.rgj.com/story/news/2019/08/19/resort-fee-las-vegas-strip/1969021001/

Hotel Apache to open Monday at Binion’s in downtown Las Vegas - Las Vegas Review-Journal

Posted: 23 Jul 2019 12:00 AM PDT

Downtown Las Vegas is adding 81 hotel rooms as the boutique Apache Hotel at Binion's opens its doors Monday.

The hotel will feature vintage-style furnishings reminiscent of the original Hotel Apache that opened in 1932, with hardwood floors and stained-glass windows.

The property, operated by TLC Casino Enterprises, will open 81 of the more than 350 rooms shuttered at Binion's in 2009 during the Great Recession.

Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman will preside over a ribbon-cutting ceremony that will include cake and champagne Monday at 2 p.m.

Tim Lager, general manager of the property, said the company still is a few weeks away from opening a new 6,500-square-foot, full-service saloon that will have a rotating bar as its centerpiece and will be known as Whiskey Licker Up above the existing Whiskey Licker Bar on Binion's southwest corner.

The rotating bar at Whiskey Licker Up will orbit once every 15 minutes, Lager said, with one end having a view of the First Street Stage at the Fremont Street Experience. Bar and balcony seating will be behind removable glass at eye level to zipline riders along Fremont Street.

The venue will seat about 25 with standing room for about 50. It will have a dance floor as well as a mechanical bull.

TLC, which also owns and operates downtown's Four Queens, also has Binion's Gambling Hall and its attached buildings. Over the years, the property has housed hotels under the names of Hotel Apache, the Mint, the Eldorado and Binion's Horseshoe.

The company had made initial plans to expand Binion's in the mid-2000s, but those plans were dashed by the recession. Lager said with Southern Nevada's rebounding economy it was appropriate to upgrade and launch the revised expansion plan.

The cost of the investment was not disclosed.

The improvements at Binion's join several other expansion projects in downtown Las Vegas.

The Downtown Grand, in January, announced plans to build a 495-room hotel tower expected to be completed in mid-2020.

Less than a week later, Derek and Greg Stevens announced plans for its new 777-room hotel, Circa, to be completed by the end of 2020.

Downtown's convention facilities are expected to be enhanced by the summer of 2020 after February's groundbreaking for the 315,000-square-foot Expo at World Market Center Las Vegas.

Those projects will join downtown's first permanent outdoor equestrian center, the Core Arena, which opened adjacent to the Plaza in December.

In addition, over several years, Boyd Gaming Corp. has renovated hotel rooms, redesigned and modernized the casino floor and added restaurants and a sportsbook at the California Hotel.

NOTE: A previous version incorrectly reported the ownership history of the Hotel Apache building.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

Trinity Street Capital Partners announces the origination of a high leverage, construction loan on a Staybridge Suites hotel, in Grandville, MI. - Virtual-Strategy Magazine

Trinity Street Capital Partners announces the origination of a high leverage, construction loan on a Staybridge Suites hotel, in Grandville, MI. - Virtual-Strategy Magazine


Trinity Street Capital Partners announces the origination of a high leverage, construction loan on a Staybridge Suites hotel, in Grandville, MI. - Virtual-Strategy Magazine

Posted: 17 Mar 2019 12:00 AM PDT

New York, NY (1888PressRelease) March 18, 2019 – Trinity Street Capital Partners (TSCP) (www.trinitystreetcp.com), a full service real estate investment bank, announces the origination of a $10M, 75% loan-to-cost, construction facility for the development of a 109 key, Staybridge Suites, extended stay hotel, located in Grandville, MI. The construction/ mini-perm loan was for 75% of cost, had a 5 year term, with a 2 year extension option.

The Staybridge Suites is a proposed 4-story, 109-room, interior corridor, extended-stay lodging facility that is currently under development and will feature all basic services for a property of this type. It will offer amenities including complimentary breakfast, lounge, fitness facility, business center, sundries shop, meeting space, indoor pool, patio with BBQ grills, vending and ice machines. The subject is located one mile east of Interstate 196, which provides accessibility into Downtown Grand Rapids, and to Interstate 96 to the north and Interstate 94 to the south. Proximate to the hotel is a variety of retail and restaurant options, including RiverTown Crossings Shopping Mall.

Staybridge Suites is an all-suite, residential-style brand of hotels within the InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG). The brand targets extended-stay and corporate travelers. There are over 200 Staybridge Suites hotels open in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe and South America. The first Staybridge Suites opened in Alpharetta, Georgia, U.S. in 1998. When the 132-suite Staybridge Suites Liverpool hotel opened in June 2008 it became the brand's first property outside North America and the first extended stay hotel chain to debut in Europe. Over the years, Staybridge Suites was ranked highest in the extended-stay segment according to the J.D. Power and Associates Hotel Guest Satisfaction Study, named Best in Customer Satisfaction by Market Metrix, LLC for superiority in customer satisfaction among all upscale hotel brands and Business Travel News rated Staybridge Suites as the top upscale extended stay brand in their 2011 U.S. Hotel Chain Survey.

Trinity Street Capital Partners focuses on non-recourse, high leverage senior & subordinate non-recourse commercial mortgages, construction loans and real estate private equity, with investments starting at $5MM on income producing retail, office, industrial, multifamily, manufactured housing communities, self-storage and hospitality properties, located throughout the fifty states.

For more information about Trinity Street Capital Partners and the services it provides, go to www.trinitystreetcp.com.

###

“MGM Resorts International Reports Second Quarter Financial And Operating Results - PRNewswire” plus 1 more

“MGM Resorts International Reports Second Quarter Financial And Operating Results - PRNewswire” plus 1 more


MGM Resorts International Reports Second Quarter Financial And Operating Results - PRNewswire

Posted: 25 Jul 2019 12:00 AM PDT

LAS VEGAS, July 25, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM) ("MGM Resorts" or the "Company") today reported financial results for the quarter ended June 30, 2019.

Second Quarter 2019 Financial Highlights:

Consolidated Results

  • Consolidated net revenues increased 13% compared to the prior year quarter to $3.2 billion;
  • Consolidated operating income increased 2% compared to the prior year quarter to $371 million. The current quarter included $43 million in restructuring costs directly related to the operating model component of the MGM 2020 Plan;
  • Net income attributable to MGM Resorts of $43 million, compared to net income attributable to MGM Resorts of $124 million in the prior year quarter;
  • Diluted earnings per share of $0.08 in the current quarter compared to diluted earnings per share of $0.21 in the prior year quarter
  • Adjusted diluted earnings per share ("Adjusted EPS")(1) of $0.23 in the current quarter compared to Adjusted EPS of $0.26 in the prior year quarter; and
  • Consolidated Adjusted EBITDA(2) increased 9% to $756 million in the current quarter compared to $695 million in the prior year quarter.

"We are pleased with our second quarter results, which were in line with our expectations. Our consolidated net revenues increased by 13 percent and consolidated Adjusted EBITDA increased by 9 percent," said Jim Murren, Chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts International. "Our Las Vegas Strip Resorts saw an increase in revenues by 1 percent with non-gaming revenues up 5 percent thanks to a robust performance across our rooms, food and beverage and entertainment segments. This offset a 12 percent decline in gaming revenues, which was approximately two thirds driven by lower table games hold year over year and approximately one third driven by lower baccarat volumes. We continue to benefit from our diversified portfolio driven by strong growth in our Regional Operations and the continued ramp of MGM Cotai."

Mr. Murren continued, "We have the best portfolio of gaming assets in the U.S. with leading positions in most of our markets allowing us to outperform our competitors. We feel good about the remainder of 2019, given the strength in our convention bookings and entertainment calendar. In addition, we expect MGM 2020 will be an additional catalyst for second half earnings growth. Improvements to our operating model, through MGM 2020, also grant us better control over our fixed and variable costs, providing multiple levers to quickly respond to potential changes in business conditions. We are confident that we will achieve our 2020 targets of $3.6 billion to $3.9 billion in consolidated Adjusted EBITDA and significant growth in free cash flow through continued ramp up at our newer properties and further progress in executing our MGM 2020 Plan. We remain excited about our targeted growth opportunities in Japan, sports betting and interactive initiatives while maintaining a disciplined approach to capital allocation and creating long term value for shareholders. To that end, we bought back 11 million shares during the quarter."

Las Vegas Strip Resorts

  • Net revenues increased 1% compared to the prior year quarter to $1.5 billion; and
  • Adjusted Property EBITDA of $418 million, a 4% decrease compared to $436 million in the prior year quarter, due primarily to a decrease in table games revenue primarily attributable to lower table games hold, which had a $26 million negative impact to Adjusted Property EBITDA on a year over year basis. Adjusted Property EBITDA margin of 28.5%, a 145 basis point decrease compared to the prior year quarter.

Regional Operations

  • Net revenues increased $202 million or 29% compared to the prior year quarter to $911 million including $76 million in net revenues from MGM Springfield, which opened on August 24, 2018, $55 million in net revenues from Empire City Casino, which was acquired on January 29, 2019, and $68 million in net revenues from MGM Northfield Park's operations, which was acquired from MGP on April 1, 2019; and
  • Adjusted Property EBITDA of $255 million, a 34% increase compared the prior year quarter and Adjusted Property EBITDA margin of 28.0% in the current quarter, a 122 basis point increase compared to the prior year quarter.

MGM China

  • Net revenues increased 26% to $706 million primarily as a result of the continued ramp up of operations at MGM Cotai following its opening in February 2018 and an increase in main floor table games hold percentage; and
  • Adjusted Property EBITDA of $171 million, a 43% increase compared to the prior year quarter.

"During the quarter, we made significant progress on phase 1 of MGM 2020 with reductions in labor and sourcing savings," said Corey Sanders, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of MGM Resorts. "We are transforming the company's operating model to maximize both efficiencies and guest satisfaction. We are also empowering our leaders to make faster decisions. We feel increasingly confident that we will achieve our phase 1 Adjusted EBITDA uplift target of $200 million in 2020, compared to when we started the Plan. In fact, we now expect to realize roughly $100 million in 2019 compared to our previous guidance of around $70 million."

Adjusted Diluted Earnings Per Share

The following table reconciles diluted earnings per share ("EPS") to Adjusted EPS (approximate EPS impact shown, per share; positive adjustments represent charges to income):

Three Months Ended June 30,


2019


2018

Diluted earnings per share


$

0.08


$

0.21

Preopening and start-up expenses





0.03

Property transactions, net



0.01



0.03

Restructuring



0.08



Non-operating expense:







Loss on retirement of long-term debt



0.09



Currency translation gain on MGM China senior notes



(0.01)



Non-operating items from unconsolidated affiliates:







Change in fair value of CityCenter swaps



0.02



Income tax impact on net income adjustments (1)



(0.04)



(0.01)

Adjusted diluted earnings per share


$

0.23


$

0.26



(1)

The income tax impact includes current and deferred income tax expense based upon the nature of the adjustment and the jurisdiction in which it occurs.

Las Vegas Strip Resorts

Casino revenue for the second quarter of 2019 decreased 12% compared to the prior year quarter at the Company's Las Vegas Strip Resorts, due primarily to a 22% decrease in table games win resulting from a 413 basis point decrease in table games hold percentage and a 7% decrease in table games drop, driven by baccarat.

The following table shows key gaming statistics for the Company's Las Vegas Strip Resorts:

Three Months Ended June 30,


2019



2018


%
change




(Dollars in millions)





Table Games Drop


$

851



$

911



(7)

%

Table Games Win %



21.1

%



25.2

%




Slots Handle


$

3,127



$

3,098



1

%

Slots Hold %



9.4

%



9.1

%




Rooms revenue increased 4% compared to the prior year quarter at the Company's Las Vegas Strip Resorts. Las Vegas Strip Resorts REVPAR(3) increased 2.3% compared to the prior year quarter.

The following table shows key hotel statistics for the Company's Las Vegas Strip Resorts:

Three Months Ended June 30,


2019


2018

%
change

Occupancy %


95%


93%


Average Daily Rate (ADR)


$163


$161

0.7%

Revenue per Available Room (REVPAR)


$154


$150

2.3%

Food and beverage revenue increased 8% at the Company's Las Vegas Strip Resorts compared to the prior year quarter due primarily to the opening of new outlets at Park MGM and NoMad Las Vegas.

Regional Operations

Casino revenue increased 35% compared to the prior year quarter at the Company's Regional Operations, due primarily to the opening of MGM Springfield, the acquisition of Empire City Casino, and the acquisition of MGM Northfield Park's operations from MGP.

The following table shows key gaming statistics for the Company's Regional Operations:

Three Months Ended June 30,


2019



2018


%
change




(Dollars in millions)





Table Games Drop


$

1,023



$

969



6

%

Table Games Win %



19.9

%



18.9

%




Slots Handle


$

6,423



$

5,274



22

%

Slots Hold %



9.5

%



9.0

%




Food and beverage revenue increased 18% compared to the prior year quarter at the Company's Regional Operations due primarily to the opening of MGM Springfield, the acquisition of Empire City Casino, and the acquisition of MGM Northfield Park's operations from MGP, partially offset by a decrease at Borgata.

MGM China

Key second quarter results for MGM China Holdings Limited ("MGM China") include:

  • Net revenues of $706 million, a 26% increase compared to the prior year quarter. The current quarter included $316 million of net revenues at MGM Cotai;
  • Main floor table games win increased 36% compared to the prior year quarter due to the addition of new-to-market tables at MGM Cotai in 2019 and a 508 basis point increase in win percentage;
  • VIP table games win increased 22% compared to the prior year quarter due to the opening of VIP gaming areas in the second half of 2018 at MGM Cotai;
  • Adjusted Property EBITDA increased 43% to $171 million compared to $120 million in the prior year quarter. The current quarter included $12 million of license fee expense compared to $10 million in the prior year quarter; and
  • Adjusted Property EBITDA margin was 24.2% in the current quarter compared to 21.4% in the prior year quarter, increasing primarily as a result of the continued ramp up of operations at MGM Cotai and improved casino margins at MGM Macau.

The following table shows key gaming statistics for MGM China:

Three Months Ended June 30,


2019


2018

%
change



(Dollars in millions)


VIP Table Games Turnover


$10,962


$10,296

6%

VIP Table Games Win %


2.6%


2.3%


Main Floor Table Games Drop


$2,037


$1,931

5%

Main Floor Table Games Win %


22.5%


17.4%


MGM China paid the previously announced final dividend for 2018 of $16 million in June 2019, of which MGM Resorts received $9 million, representing its 56% share of the dividend.

Corporate Expense

Corporate expense, including normal share-based compensation for corporate employees, was $108 million in the second quarter of 2019, an increase of $5 million compared to the prior year quarter. The current quarter included $9 million in costs incurred to implement the MGM 2020 Plan and $3 million in finance modernization initiative costs. The prior year quarter included $12 million of corporate brand campaign expenses.

Unconsolidated Affiliates

The following table summarizes information related to the Company's share of income from unconsolidated affiliates:

Three Months Ended June 30,


2019



2018




(In thousands)


CityCenter


$

31,506



$

46,070


Other



(4,502)




1,870




$

27,004



$

47,940


Key second quarter results for CityCenter Holdings, LLC ("CityCenter") include the following (see schedule accompanying this release for further detail on CityCenter's second quarter results):

  • Net revenues were $329 million, a 4% decrease compared to the prior year quarter, due to a decrease in casino revenue partially offset by increases in rooms and food and beverage revenues;
  • Casino revenues at Aria decreased 23% compared to the prior year quarter, due primarily to a 27% decrease in table games win resulting from a 431 basis point decrease in table games hold percentage and a 15% decrease in table games drop;
  • REVPAR at Aria increased 6% compared to the prior year quarter to $252;
  • REVPAR at Vdara increased 2% compared to the prior year quarter to $196; and
  • Adjusted EBITDA from resort operations was $112 million, a 14% decrease compared to the prior year quarter.

MGM Growth Properties

During the second quarter of 2019, the Company made rent payments to MGM Growth Properties Operating Partnership LP ("MGP Operating Partnership") in the amount of $237 million and received distributions of $97 million from the MGP Operating Partnership. In June 2019, the Board of Directors of MGM Growth Properties LLC ("MGP") approved a quarterly dividend of $0.4675 per Class A share (an increase of $0.01 per share based on a $1.87 dividend on an annualized basis) totaling $43 million, which was paid on July 15, 2019 to holders of record on June 28, 2019. The Company concurrently received a $93 million distribution attributable to its ownership of MGP Operating Partnership units.

MGM Resorts Dividend

On July 25, 2019, the Company's Board of Directors approved a quarterly dividend of $0.13 per share totaling approximately $68 million. The dividend will be payable on September 16, 2019 to holders of record on September 10, 2019.

During the current quarter, MGM Resorts repurchased approximately 11 million shares of its common stock at an average price of $25.61 per share for an aggregate amount of $282 million. Approximately $1.1 billion remained available under the $2.0 billion share repurchase program as of June 30, 2019. All shares repurchased under the Company's program have been retired.

Financial Position

The Company's cash balance at June 30, 2019 was $1.2 billion, which included $437 million at MGM China and $54 million at the MGP Operating Partnership. At June 30, 2019, the Company had $14.8 billion of principal amount of indebtedness outstanding, including $1.1 billion outstanding under its $2.3 billion senior secured credit facility, $2.3 billion outstanding under the $3.6 billion MGP Operating Partnership senior secured credit facility and $701 million outstanding under the $1.6 billion MGM China credit facility.

In May 2019, MGM China issued $750 million in aggregate principal amount of 5.375% senior notes due 2024 and $750 million in aggregate principal amount of 5.875% senior notes due 2026 and used the proceeds to permanently repay approximately $1.0 billion on its term loan facility with the remainder used to pay down its revolving credit facility.

Conference Call Details

MGM Resorts will host a conference call at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time today which will include a brief discussion of the results followed by a question and answer period. The call will be accessible via the Internet through http://investors.mgmresorts.com/investors/events-and-presentations/ or by calling 1-888-317-6003 for domestic callers and 1-412-317-6061 for international callers. The conference call access code is 5931413. A replay of the call will be available through Thursday August 1, 2019. The replay may be accessed by dialing 1-877-344-7529 or 1-412-317-0088. The replay access code is 10133186. The call will be archived at http://investors.mgmresorts.com. In addition, MGM Resorts will post supplemental slides today on its website at http://investors.mgmresorts.com for reference during the earnings call.

1.             "Adjusted EPS" is diluted earnings per share adjusted to exclude preopening and start-up expenses, property transactions, net, restructuring costs (which represents costs related to severance, accelerated stock compensation expense, and consulting fees directly related to the operating model component of the MGM 2020 Plan), gain or loss on retirement of long-term debt, currency translation gain or loss related to MGM China's U.S. dollar-denominated debt and the Company's share of mark-to-market adjustments related to CityCenter's interest rate swaps recorded within non-operating items from unconsolidated affiliates.

Adjusted EPS is a non-GAAP measure and is presented solely as a supplemental disclosure to reported GAAP measures because management believes this measure is useful in providing period-to-period comparisons of the results of the Company's continuing operations to assist investors in reviewing the Company's operating performance over time. Management believes that while certain items excluded from Adjusted EPS may be recurring in nature and should not be disregarded in evaluating the Company's earnings performance, it is useful to exclude such items when comparing current performance to prior periods because these items can vary significantly depending on specific underlying transactions or events. Also, management believes certain excluded items, such as restructuring costs and items further discussed in footnote 2 below, may not relate specifically to current operating trends or be indicative of future results. Adjusted EPS should not be construed as an alternative to GAAP earnings per share as an indicator of the Company's performance. In addition, Adjusted EPS may not be defined in the same manner by all companies and, as a result, may not be comparable to similarly-titled non-GAAP financial measures of other companies. A reconciliation of Adjusted EPS to diluted earnings per share can be found under "Adjusted Diluted Earnings Per Share" included in the earnings release.

2.             "Adjusted EBITDA" is earnings before interest and other non-operating income (expense), taxes, depreciation and amortization, preopening and start-up expenses, restructuring costs (which represents costs related to severance, accelerated stock compensation expense, and consulting fees directly related to the operating model component of the MGM 2020 Plan), and property transactions, net. Management utilizes "Adjusted Property EBITDA" as the primary profit measures for its reportable segments and underlying operating segments. Adjusted Property EBITDA is a measure defined as Adjusted EBITDA before corporate expense and stock compensation expense, which are not allocated to each operating segment, and before rent expense related to the master lease with MGM Growth Properties that eliminates in consolidation. "Adjusted Property EBITDA margin" is Adjusted Property EBITDA divided by related segment net revenues.

Adjusted EBITDA information is presented solely as a supplemental disclosure to reported GAAP measures because management believes these measures are 1) widely used measures of operating performance in the gaming industry, and 2) a principal basis for valuation of gaming companies. Management believes that while items excluded from Adjusted EBITDA, Adjusted Property EBITDA, and Adjusted Property EBITDA margin may be recurring in nature and should not be disregarded in evaluation of the Company's earnings performance, it is useful to exclude such items when analyzing current results and trends compared to other periods because these items can vary significantly depending on specific underlying transactions or events that may not be comparable between the periods being presented. Also, management believes excluded items may not relate specifically to current operating trends or be indicative of future results. For example, preopening and start-up expenses will be significantly different in periods when the Company is developing and constructing a major expansion project and will depend on where the current period lies within the development cycle, as well as the size and scope of the project(s). Property transactions, net includes normal recurring disposals, gains and losses on sales of assets related to specific assets within the Company's resorts, but also includes gains or losses on sales of an entire operating resort or a group of resorts and impairment charges on entire asset groups or investments in unconsolidated affiliates, which may not be comparable period over period. In addition, capital allocation, tax planning, financing and stock compensation awards are all managed at the corporate level. Therefore, management uses Adjusted Property EBITDA as the primary measure of the Company's operating resorts' performance.

Adjusted EBITDA, Adjusted Property EBITDA and Adjusted Property EBITDA margin should not be construed as alternatives to operating income or net income, as indicators of the Company's performance; or as alternatives to cash flows from operating activities, as measures of liquidity; or as any other measure determined in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. The Company has significant uses of cash flows, including capital expenditures, interest payments, taxes and debt principal repayments, which are not reflected in Adjusted EBITDA, Adjusted Property EBITDA, or Adjusted Property EBITDA margin. Also, other companies in the gaming and hospitality industries that report Adjusted EBITDA, Adjusted Property EBITDA, or Adjusted Property EBITDA margin information may calculate Adjusted EBITDA, Adjusted Property EBITDA, or Adjusted Property EBITDA margin in a different manner.

A reconciliation of GAAP net income (loss) to Adjusted EBITDA is included in the financial schedules in this release. This presentation also includes references to target financial measures and achievement goals (including targeted Adjusted EBITDA and targeted net leverage), which are not presented as forecasts or projections of expected future performance.

The Company does not provide reconciliations of Adjusted EBITDA, Adjusted Property EBITDA, or Adjusted Property EBITDA margin to net income on a forward-looking basis because the Company is unable to forecast the amount or significance of certain items required to develop meaningful comparable GAAP financial measures without unreasonable efforts. These items include gains or losses on sale or consolidation transactions, accelerated depreciation, impairment charges, gains or losses on retirement of debt and variations in effective tax rate, which are difficult to predict and estimate and are primarily dependent on future events, but which are excluded from the Company's calculations of Adjusted EBITDA, Adjusted Property EBITDA, and Adjusted Property EBITDA margin.

3.             REVPAR is hotel revenue per available room.

About MGM Resorts International

MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM) is an S&P 500® global entertainment company with national and international locations featuring best-in-class hotels and casinos, state-of-the-art meetings and conference spaces, incredible live and theatrical entertainment experiences, and an extensive array of restaurant, nightlife and retail offerings. MGM Resorts creates immersive, iconic experiences through its suite of Las Vegas-inspired brands. The MGM Resorts portfolio encompasses 30 unique hotel and destination gaming offerings including some of the most recognizable resort brands in the industry. Expanding throughout the U.S. and around the world, the company recently acquired the operations of Empire City Casino in New York and Hard Rock Rocksino in Ohio, which was rebranded as MGM Northfield Park. In 2018, MGM Resorts opened MGM Springfield in Massachusetts, MGM COTAI in Macau, and the first Bellagio-branded hotel in Shanghai. The 82,000 global employees of MGM Resorts are proud of their company for being recognized as one of FORTUNE® Magazine's World's Most Admired Companies®. For more information visit us at www.mgmresorts.com.

Statements in this release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements, within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and involve risks and/or uncertainties, including those described in the Company's public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Company has based forward-looking statements on management's current expectations and assumptions and not on historical facts. Examples of these statements include, but are not limited to, the Company's expectations regarding future results and the Company's financial outlook and the Company's ability to deliver on its 2020 targets and goals (including its Adjusted EBITDA, free cash flow and leverage targets). These forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Among the important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated in such forward-looking statements include effects of economic conditions and market conditions in the markets in which the Company operates and competition with other destination travel locations throughout the United States and the world, the design, timing and costs of expansion projects, risks relating to international operations, permits, licenses, financings, approvals and other contingencies in connection with growth in new or existing jurisdictions and additional risks and uncertainties described in the Company's Form 10-K, Form 10-Q and Form 8-K reports (including all amendments to those reports). In providing forward-looking statements, the Company is not undertaking any duty or obligation to update these statements publicly as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law. If the Company updates one or more forward-looking statements, no inference should be drawn that it will make additional updates with respect to those other forward-looking statements.

MGM RESORTS CONTACTS:

Investment Community

News Media

CATHERINE PARK

BRIAN AHERN

Executive Director of Investor Relations

Director of Media Relations

(702) 693-8711 or cpark@mgmresorts.com

media@mgmresorts.com

MGM RESORTS INTERNATIONAL AND SUBSIDIARIES

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS

(In thousands, except per share data)

(Unaudited)
















Three Months Ended


Six Months Ended



June 30,


June 30,


June 30,


June 30,



2019


2018


2019


2018

Revenues:













Casino

$

1,598,312


$

1,332,214


$

3,224,658


$

2,726,530


Rooms


586,503



563,871



1,160,718



1,103,351


Food and beverage


544,552



494,808



1,064,773



950,219


Entertainment, retail and other


382,738



363,242



727,112



692,992


Reimbursed costs


111,138



104,560



222,893



207,840




3,223,243



2,858,695



6,400,154



5,680,932

Expenses:













Casino


888,392



741,531



1,791,149



1,504,180


Rooms


208,643



202,968



412,637



392,026


Food and beverage


426,664



376,985



826,903



730,374


Entertainment, retail and other


269,983



243,370



513,613



470,204


Reimbursed costs


111,138



104,560



222,893



207,840


General and administrative


524,424



438,453



1,049,536



856,343


Corporate expense


108,061



103,438



237,497



202,947


Preopening and start-up expenses 


879



19,077



4,166



85,994


Property transactions, net


5,790



16,970



14,566



22,868


Depreciation and amortization


334,788



296,208



651,202



565,030




2,878,762



2,543,560



5,724,162



5,037,806














Income from unconsolidated affiliates


27,004



47,940



65,753



79,706














Operating income


371,485



363,075



741,745



722,832














Non-operating income (expense):













Interest expense, net of amounts capitalized


(215,829)



(181,493)



(431,949)



(349,402)


Non-operating items from unconsolidated affiliates


(21,477)



(11,068)



(39,642)



(20,078)


Other, net


(46,276)



(6,381)



(44,583)



(8,297)




(283,582)



(198,942)



(516,174)



(377,777)














Income before income taxes


87,903



164,133



225,571



345,055


Benefit (provision) for income taxes


(11,734)



(23,710)



(83,245)



61,669














Net income 


76,169



140,423



142,326



406,724


Less: Net income attributable to noncontrolling interests


(32,764)



(16,646)



(67,624)



(59,503)

Net income attributable to MGM Resorts International

$

43,405


$

123,777


$

74,702


$

347,221














Earnings per share:













Basic

$

0.08


$

0.21


$

0.13


$

0.60


Diluted

$

0.08


$

0.21


$

0.13


$

0.60














Weighted average common shares outstanding:













Basic


532,365



548,433



533,286



556,586


Diluted


535,417



554,339



536,456



563,108

MGM RESORTS INTERNATIONAL AND SUBSIDIARIES

CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS

(In thousands, except share data)

(Unaudited)




















June 30,


December 31,




2019


2018









      ASSETS

Current assets:








Cash and cash equivalents

$

1,160,591


$

1,526,762


Accounts receivable, net


562,772



657,206


Inventories


106,707



110,831


Income tax receivable


20,994



28,431


Prepaid expenses and other


188,970



203,548



Total current assets


2,040,034



2,526,778









Property and equipment, net


21,054,337



20,729,888









Other assets:








Investments in and advances to unconsolidated affiliates


746,733



732,867


Goodwill 



2,080,904



1,821,392


Other intangible assets, net


3,922,684



3,944,463


Operating lease right-of-use assets, net


664,817



-


Other long-term assets, net


304,206



455,318



Total other assets


7,719,344



6,954,040




$

30,813,715


$

30,210,706

















LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY









Current liabilities:







Accounts payable

$

277,591


$

302,578


Construction payable


231,740



311,793


Current portion of long-term debt


-



43,411


Accrued interest on long-term debt


136,790



140,046


Other accrued liabilities


2,140,418



2,151,054



Total current liabilities


2,786,539



2,948,882









Deferred income taxes, net 


1,552,552



1,342,538

Long-term debt, net


14,661,695



15,088,005

Other long-term obligations


228,451



259,240

Operating lease liabilities


529,171



-

Redeemable noncontrolling interest


100,586



102,250

Stockholders' equity:







Common stock, $.01 par value: authorized 1,000,000,000 shares,







   issued and outstanding 526,333,157 and 527,479,528 shares 


5,263



5,275


Capital in excess of par value


4,181,585



4,092,085


Retained earnings


2,359,966



2,423,479


Accumulated other comprehensive loss


(26,330)



(8,556)



Total MGM Resorts International stockholders' equity


6,520,484



6,512,283


Noncontrolling interests


4,434,237



3,957,508



Total stockholders' equity


10,954,721



10,469,791




$

30,813,715


$

30,210,706

MGM RESORTS INTERNATIONAL AND SUBSIDIARIES

SUPPLEMENTAL DATA - NET REVENUES

(In thousands)

(Unaudited)














Three Months Ended


Six Months Ended


June 30,


June 30,


June 30,


June 30,


2019


2018


2019


2018

Bellagio

$

338,572


$

346,377


$

676,698


$

707,165

MGM Grand Las Vegas


283,026



311,090



567,774



604,896

Mandalay Bay


241,002



251,890



466,575



496,455

The Mirage 


153,923



157,881



309,910



303,540

Luxor


98,342



103,708



192,556



200,459

New York-New York 


95,726



92,947



190,904



189,061

Excalibur


86,386



84,233



167,261



163,655

Park MGM


103,454



43,345



197,651



99,602

Circus Circus Las Vegas


65,913



63,043



125,203



121,785

  Las Vegas Strip Resorts


1,466,344



1,454,514



2,894,532



2,886,618

MGM Grand Detroit


153,310



153,211



307,549



300,746

Beau Rivage


106,252



102,793



209,044



199,488

Gold Strike Tunica


48,580



42,273



96,793



83,920

Borgata


201,976



207,859



386,605



400,300

MGM National Harbor


202,356



202,353



401,982



390,603

MGM Springfield


76,205



-



154,082



-

Empire City Casino (1)


54,603



-



91,172



-

MGM Northfield Park (2)


67,671



-



67,671



-

 Regional Operations


910,953



708,489



1,714,898



1,375,057

MGM Macau


390,170



376,610



823,556



887,480

MGM Cotai


315,919



184,740



616,737



269,731

  MGM China


706,089



561,350



1,440,293



1,157,211

Management and other operations 


139,857



134,342



350,431



262,046


$

3,223,243


$

2,858,695


$

6,400,154


$

5,680,932













(1) For the six months ended June 30, 2019, represents net revenues of Empire City Casino for the period January 29-June 30 only.


(2) For the six months ended June 30, 2019, represents net revenues of MGM Northfield Park for the period April 1-June 30 only.













MGM RESORTS INTERNATIONAL AND SUBSIDIARIES

SUPPLEMENTAL DATA - HOTEL STATISTICS - LAS VEGAS STRIP RESORTS

(Unaudited)














Three Months Ended


Six Months Ended


June 30,


June 30,


June 30,


June 30,


2019


2018


2019


2018

Bellagio












   Occupancy %


96.8%



95.6%



95.2%



94.5%

   Average daily rate (ADR)


$280



$280



$287



$283

   Revenue per available room (REVPAR)


$271



$268



$273



$268













MGM Grand Las Vegas












   Occupancy %


94.5%



95.3%



92.2%



93.3%

   ADR


$183



$179



$189



$183

   REVPAR


$173



$170



$174



$171













Mandalay Bay 












   Occupancy %


94.5%



93.4%



92.7%



89.3%

   ADR


$204



$211



$207



$215

   REVPAR


$192



$197



$192



$191













The Mirage












   Occupancy %


96.5%



96.0%



94.0%



93.2%

   ADR


$177



$178



$185



$179

   REVPAR


$171



$170



$174



$167













Luxor 












   Occupancy %


97.1%



96.1%



95.2%



94.9%

   ADR


$116



$116



$119



$118

   REVPAR


$113



$111



$113



$112













New York-New York












   Occupancy %


97.9%



97.1%



95.4%



96.7%

   ADR


$146



$139



$153



$146

   REVPAR


$143



$135



$146



$142













Excalibur 












   Occupancy %


96.4%



95.1%



92.9%



92.9%

   ADR


$101



$97



$103



$100

   REVPAR


$97



$93



$96



$93













Park MGM












   Occupancy %


91.1%



80.3%



88.7%



84.2%

   ADR


$141



$131



$148



$132

   REVPAR


$128



$105



$132



$111













Circus Circus Las Vegas












   Occupancy %


87.4%



85.1%



83.1%



81.9%

   ADR


$88



$81



$90



$83

   REVPAR


$77



$69



$75



$68

MGM RESORTS INTERNATIONAL AND SUBSIDIARIES

RECONCILIATION OF NET INCOME ATTRIBUTABLE TO MGM RESORTS INTERNATIONAL TO ADJUSTED EBITDA

(In thousands)

(Unaudited)
















Three Months Ended


Six Months Ended



June 30,


June 30,


June 30,


June 30,



2019


2018


2019


2018

Net income attributable to MGM Resorts International

$

43,405


$

123,777


$

74,702


$

347,221

  Plus: Net income attributable to noncontrolling interests


32,764



16,646



67,624



59,503

Net income 


76,169



140,423



142,326



406,724

  (Benefit) provision for income taxes


11,734



23,710



83,245



(61,669)

Income before income taxes


87,903



164,133



225,571



345,055














Non-operating (income) expense:












  Interest expense, net of amounts capitalized


215,829



181,493



431,949



349,402

  Other, net


67,753



17,449



84,225



28,375




283,582



198,942



516,174



377,777














Operating income


371,485



363,075



741,745



722,832

  Preopening and start-up expenses


879



19,077



4,166



85,994

  Property transactions, net


5,790



16,970



14,566



22,868

  Depreciation and amortization


334,788



296,208



651,202



565,030

  Restructuring


42,990



-



84,088



-

Adjusted EBITDA

$

755,932


$

695,330


$

1,495,767


$

1,396,724



























MGM RESORTS INTERNATIONAL AND SUBSIDIARIES

SUPPLEMENTAL DATA - ADJUSTED PROPERTY EBITDA and ADJUSTED EBITDA

(In thousands)

(Unaudited)
















Three Months Ended


Six Months Ended



June 30,


June 30,


June 30,


June 30,



2019


2018


2019


2018


Bellagio

$

121,542


$

126,604


$

238,325


$

267,001


MGM Grand Las Vegas


62,687



92,118



133,361



182,199


Mandalay Bay


63,021



66,983



118,742



135,766


The Mirage 


37,752



39,768



77,967



72,617


Luxor


32,246



33,556



61,641



62,545


New York-New York 


37,027



33,425



74,221



70,336


Excalibur


30,353



28,578



57,384



55,628


Park MGM


15,874



(830)



29,850



8,373


Circus Circus Las Vegas


17,695



15,703



30,233



30,594


  Las Vegas Strip Resorts


418,197



435,905



821,724



885,059


MGM Grand Detroit


50,334



52,135



99,685



98,526


Beau Rivage


27,305



24,393



54,363



47,468


Gold Strike Tunica


18,176



12,400



35,302



24,809


Borgata


53,426



50,917



92,263



94,149


MGM National Harbor


47,710



49,970



98,099



92,076


MGM Springfield


12,476



-



21,862



-


Empire City Casino (1)


21,926



-



36,353



-


MGM Northfield Park (2)


23,800



-



23,800



-


 Regional Operations


255,153



189,815



461,727



357,028


MGM Macau


116,496



99,813



245,564



245,648


MGM Cotai


54,332



20,062



116,054



25,978


  MGM China


170,828



119,875



361,618



271,626


Unconsolidated resorts (3)


28,357



47,940



68,839



79,706


Management and other operations 


(8,084)



12,491



22,047



20,336


Stock compensation


(14,566)



(17,286)



(30,861)



(32,903)


Corporate 


(93,953)



(93,410)



(209,327)



(184,128)



$

755,932


$

695,330


$

1,495,767


$

1,396,724

















(1) For the six months ended June 30, 2019, represents Adjusted Property EBITDA of Empire City Casino for the period January 29-June 30 only.




(2) For the six months ended June 30, 2019, represents Adjusted Property EBITDA of MGM Northfield Park for the period April 1-June 30 only.




(3) Represents the Company's share of operating income (loss), adjusted for the effect of certain basis differences. 

CITYCENTER HOLDINGS, LLC

SUPPLEMENTAL DATA - NET REVENUES

(In thousands)

(Unaudited)


















Three Months Ended


Six Months Ended




June 30, 


June 30, 


June 30, 


June 30, 




2019


2018


2019


2018
















Aria


$

296,067


$

311,798


$

606,372


$

583,679


Vdara



33,276



32,336



66,491



64,805




$

329,343


$

344,134


$

672,863


$

648,484















CITYCENTER HOLDINGS, LLC

SUPPLEMENTAL DATA - HOTEL STATISTICS

(Unaudited)


















Three Months Ended


Six Months Ended




June 30, 


June 30, 


June 30, 


June 30, 




2019


2018


2019


2018


Aria














   Occupancy %



93.9%



92.7%



92.4%



91.0%


   ADR



$269



$257



$277



$265


   REVPAR



$252



$238



$256



$241
















Vdara














   Occupancy %



95.6%



94.0%



92.7%



92.8%


   ADR



$205



$205



$215



$212


   REVPAR



$196



$193



$199



$196





























CITYCENTER HOLDINGS, LLC

RECONCILIATION OF NET INCOME (LOSS) TO ADJUSTED EBITDA

(In thousands)

(Unaudited)


















Three Months Ended


Six Months Ended




June 30, 


June 30, 


June 30, 


June 30, 




2019


2018


2019

2018















Net income (loss)


$

5,025


$

54,395


$

22,997


$

(51,672)

 Plus: Loss from discontinued operations



-



38



-



128,548

Net income from continuing operations



5,025



54,433



22,997



76,876















Non-operating (income) expense:













  Interest expense, net of amounts capitalized



23,406



19,922



46,660



37,147

  Other, net



17,410



567



28,710



(151)





40,816



20,489



75,370



36,996















Operating income



45,841



74,922



98,367



113,872

  Property transactions, net



353



(883)



1,249



(1,929)

  Depreciation and amortization



56,900



55,105



114,404



108,715

  Restructuring



2,707



-



6,172



-

Adjusted EBITDA


$

105,801


$

129,144


$

220,192


$

220,658





























CITYCENTER HOLDINGS, LLC

SUPPLEMENTAL DATA - ADJUSTED EBITDA

(In thousands)

(Unaudited)





Three Months Ended


Six Months Ended




June 30, 


June 30, 


June 30, 


June 30, 




2019


2018


2019


2018


Aria


$

101,550


$

120,561


$

206,718


$

202,367


Vdara



10,610



10,131



21,062



20,922


 Resort Operations



112,160



130,692



227,780



223,289


Other



(6,359)



(1,548)



(7,588)



(2,631)




$

105,801


$

129,144


$

220,192


$

220,658

SOURCE MGM Resorts International

Related Links

http://mgmresorts.com

The Best Beach Clubs on the Las Vegas Strip - TravelPulse

Posted: 29 Jul 2019 12:00 AM PDT

Close to 40 million people visit Las Vegas' neon clad desert annually. Even those visitors from equally as scorching locations want some cool off time when on vacation. What better way to enjoy said vacation than next to a beautiful pool at one of Vegas' many beach clubs at some of the most luxurious hotels on the Strip?

What is a beach club, you ask? A beach club is the best way to party during the day, allowing you to stay cool and soak up the rays. Most of the MGM Resort beach clubs in Las Vegas are seasonally open March through September so prepare your sunscreen and pack your favorite swimwear.

Daylight Beach Club at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino

Starting on the far south side of the strip, you will run into your first, and the first one of its kind, beach club at Mangalay Bay Resort & Casino called Daylight. Once entering this paradise oasis, you are greeted by the sounds of some of the best DJs and performers around such as J. Cole and DJ Mustard.

The performers are highlighted on a 1,500-square foot elevated stage, surrounded by luxurious pools, daybeds, bungalows, cabanas and plenty of open space to give you the feeling of being at the beach, but in the desert. Here at Daylight Beach Club dancing is always encouraged as well as testing out the signature cocktails available.

Season Close: November – February

Moorea Beach Club at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino

Also, located at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, is another option when it comes to the day club scene in Las Vegas, Moorea Beach Club. Moorea gives off a more relaxed vibe when it comes to the party scene. Here you can decide between a Summer and Winter option.

During the winter, travelers can enjoy an outdoor pool furnished with fire pits and snacks available that provide warmth and comfort. The summer option is a more private and chic way to day club. Sign up for a lounge chair or daybed and enjoy the European style, Toptional Beach on your very own island in the desert.

Season Close: November – February becomes a family-friendly destination, complete with heated pools, fire pot and s'mores!

Temptation Sundays Pool Party at Luxor Las Vegas

Our next stop on the famous strip is at our pyramid-shaped resort—Luxor Las Vegas. With each beach club different than the one before, Luxor does Sunday Funday like no one else in the desert. Here, Temptations is an LGBT pool party offered every single Sunday during the Summer hosted by J. Son of Naked Boy News.

When walking into Temptations you can always expect up-to-date music by some of the hottest DJs, specialty drinks and exciting new themes every week to keep things electrifying! Tourists as well as locals both enjoy this Sunday Bash as a great place to beat the heat and show off your dance moves.

Season Close: October – April

Wet Republic Ultra Pool at MGM Grand

As you make your journey down the strip, you will come upon MGM Grand next. Here you will find one of the biggest day parties Las Vegas has to offer: Wet Republic, the Ultra Pool that can put all other pools to shame. Once you make your way inside, or should we say outside, you will see why everyone seems to flock to this pool party.

Wet Republic is an amazing 54,500-square foot venue that includes daybeds, bungalows, cabanas, dipping pools, and saltwater pools to keep you guessing! Enjoy dancing and fun when you see what DJ is headlining every week, performing on their "larger-than-life" sundeck stage. So, when you head to Vegas make sure to bring your best swimwear to make an impression on the city that put day clubs on the map!

Season Close: November – February

Bare Pool Lounge at The Mirage

Last, and by certainly no means least, heading up the Strip you'll arrive at The Mirage which hosts a poolside escapade called Bare. Enjoy a secluded pool surrounded by beautiful palm trees, and a more relaxing pool party when it comes to Vegas.

When guests come to Bare Pool Lounge, they are guaranteed to enjoy an afternoon away from the hustle and bustle of the Las Vegas strip. A trip to Sin City is not complete without an adults-only event, which is exactly what Bare is here to do for you. Relax, swim, drink, eat and listen to some of the hottest music around because what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.

Season Close: November - February