JP Morgan gaming analyst Joe Greff made one last trip to Las Vegas before the end of the year and came away with a hopeful outlook — at least for the last few weeks of 2009.
Broadly speaking, high-end business volumes on the Strip are solid, he told investors in a research note.
Greff said the initial indicators for New Year’s Eve show volumes will be up year-over-year, based mainly on an easy comparison with last year’s numbers being off and the strength of the Asia baccarat player.
CityCenter and its flagship 4,004-room Aria resort will impact the market’s capacity issues.
“Our sense is that booking and pricing trends for the near term are no worse than planned or feared,” Greff said.
As for Aria, Greff walked away impressed by the hotel-casino and CityCenter as a whole.
“Aria met our expectations and was every bit as elegant and well appointed as we expected it to be,” Greff told investors. “Despite its large size, we found the property to be relatively easy to navigate. We found the casino, convention space, and the Mandarin Oriental to be architecturally stunning.”