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McCarran numbers bode well for MGM Resorts

The 8.7 percent increase in passenger counts at McCarran International Airport during September — the highest jump since May 2005 – is a good sign that the convention market is returning to Las Vegas.

If that’s the case, said Macquarie Securities gaming analyst Chad Beynon, then it’s good news for MGM Resorts International, which has 10 Strip hotel-casinos, including Aria at CityCenter, Bellagio and the MGM Grand.

“Given the largest supply of hotel rooms in Las Vegas, we think MGM will benefit from this trend,” Beynon told investors.

In a research note, Beynon said the airport passenger numbers — 3.55 million travelers in September — indicate strong spending in restaurants, retail and other nongaming areas during the third quarter, which ended Sept. 30.

The nongaming areas help offset declines in gaming spending habits of Las Vegas customers.

Casino revenues, Beynon said, are “less relevant as MGM Resorts is becoming more of a Macau gaming and US hotel company.”

Beynon also thought MGM Resorts share of the Macau casino market would increase to 10 percent when the region’s third quarter results are revealed.

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