MGM Resorts CEO anticipates ‘very solid’ October

LAS VEGAS MGM Resorts International projects a “very solid” October in Las Vegas, helped along by improved convention attendance and leisure travelers taking advantage of last-minute deals.

Like most operators in Las Vegas, MGM Chairman and CEO Jim Murren tells Bloomberg that he has been disappointed at the pace of the recovery there thus far. But he believes October could prove to be a major turning point for the city. “The convention business looks very healthy,” he says. “The consumer, based on rooms booked in that 30-day window, looks like he and she wants to come out here and have a little fun.”

Visitor numbers at McCarren International Airport are off about 2.4% through August. International visitation is up, spending by U.S. tourists remains weak, Murren says.

MGM is struggling to fill rooms at its US$8.5 billion CityCenter Las Vegas development, where occupancy exceeded 80% in the third quarter—a successful quarter by most industry standards, but less so on the Strip, where hoteliers aim for occupancies of 90% or more. Nevertheless, Murren says CityCenter is currently profitable.