MGM Grand and Mandalay Bay have been sold for $4.6 billion. Which is only news to you if you don’t read headlines, but whatever.
According to a news release, MGM Growth Properties (MGP) and Blackstone Real Estate Income Trust (BREIT) will co-own the resorts. MGP will own 50.1% of the joint venture, and Blackstone will own 49.9%. Blackstone also owns Cosmopolitan.
Yeah, not exactly sexy, but news is news.
Customers won’t notice any changes at Mandalay Bay, so don’t freak out.
The bottom line is this deal is similar to the recent sale of Bellagio in that MGM Resorts will continue to operate the resorts.
The sale of MGM Grand and Mandalay Bay are part of a larger “asset light” strategy on the part of MGM Resorts. It also seems to be part of a larger “boring us to death” strategy involving REITs, lots of initialisms and companies paying themselves rent.
MGM Resorts’ initial annual rent will be $292 million. Which shouldn’t be a big deal until the recession hits, then everything goes to hell in a handbasket.
MGM Grand is the green one.
The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2020.
A wildly expensive and polarizing Cirque du Soleil show, “R.U.N.” at Luxor, looks to be closing after April 2020, according to a source.
“R.U.N.” opened on Oct. 24, 2019 at a staggering cost of $62 million.
It’s a blog, we don’t have to be neutral.
“R.U.N.” has received scathing reviews since its debut, with many declaring it the “worst show ever in Las Vegas.”
On TripAdvisor, the show has received 115 “terrible” ratings, and 31 “excellent” ratings, although a good deal of the “excellent” ratings are of questionable origin.
For example, many use the same or similar terminology (“immersive!”), and are written by first-time reviewers using generic profile photos. Another common theme among the dubious raves are claims audience disappointment with the show is due to it not being a “typical Cirque show.”
We can’t disagree, as typical Cirque shows are “enjoyable” and “entertaining” and tend to not feature torture sequences.
Here’s a taste of “R.U.N.” Warning: Viewing this video may cause nausea, headaches, vomiting and an uncontrollable urge to, well, run.
There has been no official announcement or confirmation of the closure of “R.U.N.” by Cirque du Soleil or Luxor (owned by MGM Resorts).
A source shared an internally-distributed schedule of upcoming performances of “R.U.N.,” which abruptly ends after its April dates.
“R.U.N.,” it seems, has run out of gas.
There’s been speculation that because of the show’s $62 million price tag, it would be disastrous to simply pull the plug on “R.U.N.” There’s a chance the show could close temporarily for an overhaul to try and salvage it.
There’s also a chance Cirque has realized it misread the market and will cut its losses to stop the bleeding.
While it’s no fun when a show closes and performers and crew members lose their gigs, it’s also no fun when customers feel ripped off after seeing a Las Vegas show, especially one from a respected company like Cirque du Soleil.
“R.U.N.” was a noble, but misguided and poorly executed, attempt to reach a new audience for Cirque. Unfortunately, there’s no evidence that audience actually exists.
Circa Las Vegas has made impressive progress during its first year of construction, and we’ve got a look at the current state of the new hotel-casino downtown.
The $1.2 billion Circa is expected to open in December 2020. The project broke ground on February 19, 2019.
Downtown’s about to get some new shiny.
Here’s an amazing fun fact about Circa: Since Oct. 3, 2019, Circa has been adding a floor per week.
The 44-story, 500-foot-tall Circa will eventually have 777 rooms, but will open with closer to 500 rooms, plus 71 suites. The final mix of rooms and suites will be based upon demand.
Among the new resort’s features will be what’s billed as the “world’s largest sports book.” Gird your loins, Westgate.
Here’s a look at the space where the sports book will reside when it slides into home. Or something.
They’ll probably spruce it up a bit before opening day.
The three-level Circa sports book, expected to cost about $20 million, will have a 78 million pixel high-definition screen.
Here’s a rendering of the finished product for comparison purposes, reversed angle from the perspective above.
Consider it spruced.
The jewel of Circa will be its rooftop pool complex, with six pools open 365 days a year. It’s projected the pools will be able to serve about 4,000 people a day.
The video screen at the pool will have 14 million pixels.
Here’s the owner of Circa, Derek Stevens, showing off his baby. Stevens and his brother Greg also own The D and Golden Gate.
We were the first to quote Derek Stevens as saying, “Downtown is under-pooled.” He’s determined to remedy that.
Here’s the rendering of what the pool deck will look like when it’s completed.
Good luck escaping the sports at Circa.
It was a blast being among the first to walk around the future Circa casino, where we fully anticipate making regular donations.
Circa will have 1,350 slot machines and 49 table games.
Here’s a “before” shot of Circa’s casino!
Savsies on Wheel of Fortune.
During our tour, we spotted an area we’re pretty sure will be the home of Vegas Vickie upon her much-anticipated return to Fremont Street. She is set to be a featured part of Circa’s
The Circa lobby will have a moon roof.
From what we can tell, the Vegas Vickie sign is so tall (40 feet), she’ll actually extend beyond the ceiling of the casino, protruding through an opening in the ceiling.
We couldn’t help but create this weak and entirely speculative image of where Vegas Vickie might go at Circa.
When we asked a friend at Circa which way Vickie’s leg will go, the reply was, “We don’t know.” If they don’t know, we sure as hell don’t.
Our mole got some sweets shots of Vegas Vickie during her renovation at Yesco Signs. She’s got a fresh coat of paint!
If you love classic Vegas signs, this photo gives a whole new meaning to “halfway to completion.”
Across the street from Circa is another key element of the project, deemed Garage Mahal.
The nine-story Garage Mahal structure will hold about 1,200 vehicles, but the big selling point is it’s the first parking garage in Las Vegas to be built around catering to rideshare services like Lyft and Uber.
In Persian, “Mahal” means mansion or palace. Because writing photo captions is hard.
More fun facts: More than 10.75 million pounds of rebar (emphasis on “bar,” because Vegas) have been installed at Circa to-date, as well as 12.2 million pounds of structural steel (emphasis on “pounds,” because you know how we are).
Circa is set to announce more about its bars and five restaurants in the next couple of months. Let’s just say the mix of cuisines will augment the already popular options at The D. Hint: Think “east,” both “coast” and “far.”
We haven’t heard much about non-sports entertainment at Circa, although a stage production called “Circa du Soleil” would have been absolute gold, marketingwise.
How is Circa coming along so quickly? Credit has to go to the stellar efforts of Steelman Partners (architecture and design), McCarthy Building Companies (general contractor) and Tre Builders (construction manager).
Oh, and the construction folks, of course. The total number of construction workers on Circa and Garage Mahal is about 600. Note: Safety vests are hawt. Are we right, ladies?
Oh, like we were going to write this entire story without a single use of the word “erection”? Do you know this blog at all?
Disclosure: We work in digital marketing at Fremont Street Experience as our day job, and The D and Golden Gate are member casinos of that organization. Our opinions are our own.
Update (1/7/20): The first windows have been put into place at Circa.
No panes, no gain.
Enjoy a few more photos of Circa’s construction, several of which are accidentally in focus.
Update (1/14/20): On Jan. 14, 2020, the pedestrian bridge between Circa and Garage Mahal appeared overnight, literally.