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Unread 28 Mar 09, 02:52 PM  
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#33
kevbrydon
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Hi Heather, Welcome Home! ... will we get a Highs & Lows report from you? ... for us newbie's going soon...
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Unread 28 Mar 09, 03:03 PM  
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Heather1957
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Originally Posted by kevbrydon View Post
Hi Heather, Welcome Home! ... will we get a Highs & Lows report from you? ... for us newbie's going soon...
Just working on it - I've just seen a few from the others who've returned.
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Unread 28 Mar 09, 03:10 PM  
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Same here! ... have fun...
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Unread 24 Apr 09, 04:04 PM  
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#36
Diamonddog2801
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To give everyone an idea of how Vegas casino values are arrived at, here's a piece from the Las Vegas Advisor pages:

Q:
When a casino is placed for sale, how do they determine the value of it? Do they go by cash flow or land value or what? If its cash flow why would somebody like MGM consider selling something that brings in money and helps pay the bills?

A:
The most widely used yardstick for determining the value of a casino is its cash flow. For years, the preferred "baseline" is seven times annual cash flow (or EBITDA). For instance, MGM Mirages Beau Rivage, in Biloxi, is estimated to represent EBITDA of $100 million a year, so the bidding would probably start at $700 million.

If a casino sits on the Las Vegas Strip, though, thats thought to bring a premium which puts the acceptable minimum price at eight or nine times cash flow. Even now, when the major Strip-based companies are hurting something bad, its been reported that theyre trying to get as much as 10-12X cash flow for places like The Mirage.

Cash flow is a more stable barometer of value than are land prices, which can fluctuate wildly. In March 2007, when land on the Las Vegas Strip was perceived to be a precious and rare commodity, Phil Ruffin was able to sell the New Frontier not the most impressive casino on Las Vegas Boulevard for a price that broke down to $36 million an acre. Ruffin freely concedes that, had he waited even a few months, he couldnt have scored such a big payday.

As credit began to dry up and major Strip projects either slowed down or were scrapped altogether, land prices went into a tailspin. According to management of the Tropicana Las Vegas, its currently worth $11 million an acre. Needless to say, it sold in 2006 for a great deal more than that.

Sometimes you have people who are so eager to purchase a casino (or three) that both cash-flow and land-value metrics go out the window. For instance, Herbst Gaming paid nearly $350 million to acquire Buffalo Bills, Whiskey Petes, and Primm Valley Resort from MGM Mirage. Thats just under 12X the (very anemic) cash flow those casinos were generating nor were they in an area (Primm, Nev.) where raw land is in short supply. The Herbst family was simply so overeager to get three casinos on I-15 that it allowed itself to be hornswoggled by MGM. The latter, of course, was doing what its supposed to do: maximizing the return on its assets.

In some cases when a company pays a cash-flow multiple thats well out of the mainstream, its usually rationalized on the basis of a prime location, acquisition of a player database, or even "intangible assets." This gray area is then rationalized as something called "goodwill." Since the 2004-07 period was marked by a lot of exuberant overpayment for assets, youre seeing such "goodwill" getting written down left and right.

By contrast, a kind of negative "goodwill" sometimes comes into play. Companies are occasionally able to acquire casinos at subpar EBITDA multiples (also known as "fire sale prices") because theyre in diminishing markets. Boyd Gaming is perceived to have gotten a bargain on its Sams Town casino in the Shreveport area because that area was losing customers especially those from Dallas-Fort Worth to newly upgraded tribal casinos in Oklahoma. With the likes of MGM Mirage and Harrahs Entertainment strapped for cash and possibly needing to liquidate assets, potential buyers are waiting to see if they can snap up Strip casinos for seven times cash flow or perhaps even less.

That brings us to the "why" of your question: Unlike the good old days, when you sell off the low-hanging fruit, casino companies are having to contemplate parting with trophy assets because theyre so overextended they have few options remaining.

MGM Mirage, for instance, may have no other way of coming up with the money it needs to complete CityCenter. Consequently, its willing to part with practically brand-new MGM Grand Detroit and with Biloxi flagship Beau Rivage, gambling that the $230 million-plus in annual cash flow they provide will be made up by CityCenter. Its very risky, not only because it means trading a bird in the hand for one in the bush but also since regional markets like Detroit and Biloxi have been more resilient during the current recession than has Las Vegas. If it parts with Beau Rivage, MGM Grand Detroit, the Gold Strike in Tunica, Miss., (also up for grabs) and maybe even its half of the Borgata in Atlantic City, MGM Mirage will be almost completely at the mercy of the ups and downs of the Vegas Strip.

For the moment, prospective sellers arent offering any discounts. Theyre trying to get the best deal they can in a bad situation and hoping that the other guy blinks first. Its a gambit with a limited window of opportunity, though. As CityCenter starts to open for business, between October and mid-December, the number of hotel rooms on the Las Vegas Strip will increase dramatically and continue to do so as Fontainebleau and Cosmopolitan follow suit. Unless Las Vegas tourism and gambling revenues increase in direct proportion to the glut of new rooms, cash flows up and down the Strip are going to become even more diluted than they are now. When that happens, itll be a buyers market.
--------------------

Just for info!
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Read the Las Vegas 'All You Need To Know' thread:
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Unread 3 May 09, 01:50 PM  
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#37
Diamonddog2801
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A really excellent Bellagio buffet tip, straight from the pages of the Las Vegas Advisor:

Q:
I have heard that at the Bellagio Buffet, if you don't want to wait in line, you can jump right past the line and sit at the bar. Is this true and if so how exactly does it work? Do you just walk by and tell the hostess that you want to sit at the bar? Do you still have to pay the cashier in advance? Are there any other buffets where this works? I am a big buffet fan, but hate lines, so this is very interesting knowledge.


A:
Yes, it's true and it's by far the greatest buffet non-comp "line pass" in Las Vegas.

You don't have to say a word to anyone. Just walk past the line, the cashiers, and the hostesses and check to see if there are enough seats for you and your party at the bar counter. If there are, sit yourself down and wait for the bartender to acknowledge you; he or she'll ask if you want something to drink. Alcohol is extra, of course, but soft drinks come with dinner. Once you're set up, it's off to the face-stuffing races.

You pay when you're done with the meal; the bartender brings you the bill and you settle up with him or her.

If there aren't enough seats at the time, talk to the bartender, who can tell you how long a wait you'll have. It's often way shorter than the wait outside. In fact, the bartenders, on ocassion, leave their post to wade into the crowd outside and grab people out of the line, in order to fill up the 12 seats at the bar. Only people in the know are aware of this counter play. And now you're in the know.

An LVA staffer took a date to the Bellagio buffet last December 30, the night before New Years Eve, at 6:30 p.m. He knew it was prime time on one of the busiest nights of the year and ordinarily, he would've shown up 90 minutes earlier, but they had extenuating circumstances for eating there just then. The line was 150 deep and he was praying for two seats at the bar.

He walked his hungry date to the end of the line, watching her face get longer and longer as they passed more and more people and got farther and farther from the food. He told her to stay put for the moment and took her coat. When he got to the bar, not only were two seats, but four were available and two other patrons were paying their bill. He claimed two of the vacant seats with their coats, signaled the bartender who gave him a thumbs-up, and went back for his date.

Instead of a 90-minute wait, they were eating within 90 seconds and boy, did she think he was a savvy Vegas stud. So did the bartender, who asked how he knew about the play. "It's my business to know these things," he said.

On the way out, the staffer and his date saw people still in line who were there on their way in.

As far as we know, Bellagio is the only buffet with a bar with seats for diners. If anyone knows of any similar situations at buffets, please inform us.
----------------

That is a wonderful tip if you intend to eat the Bellagio buffet!
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Read the Las Vegas 'All You Need To Know' thread:
http://www.thedibb.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=249670
I'm no expert, but I've visited Las Vegas 14 times since 1989 - if you want some advice, feel free to pm me!
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Unread 3 May 09, 11:56 PM  
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#38
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What a fantastic thread. Amazing Diamonddog2801, really fabulous. :-)
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Unread 4 May 09, 12:11 AM  
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#39
carys
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Wow thanks for this ! We will be in Vegas at the beginning of August.I am particularly interested on things to do with kids and the most cost effective and easiest way for us to see the Grand Canyoun given that there are 5 of us ! We will be doing alot of driving up to Vegas and then handing the car in so driving is not an option.
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Unread 4 May 09, 12:37 AM  
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#40
Diamonddog2801
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Thank you and I hope it helps you in your quest to have a great holiday!
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Read the Las Vegas 'All You Need To Know' thread:
http://www.thedibb.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=249670
I'm no expert, but I've visited Las Vegas 14 times since 1989 - if you want some advice, feel free to pm me!
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