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Casino landlord Vici now owns 660 acres along Las Vegas Strip

After completing more than $20 billion in deals recently, casino landlord Vici Properties now owns several hundred acres along the Strip, “the most economically productive street in the world,” the firm said Thursday.

Vici, whose real estate holdings on Las Vegas Boulevard include megaresorts MGM Grand, Caesars Palace and The Venetian, this week reported about $242.7 million in first-quarter net income, down 10.8 percent from the same period last year.

Revenue jumped 11.3 percent to $416.6 million in the three months ended March 31, while expenses more than quadrupled year-over-year to around $105.5 million.

Vici CEO Ed Pitoniak said on a conference call with analysts Thursday that the company has transformed its portfolio over the past year or so and has become “the leading real estate owner” on what “we believe is the most economically productive street in the world, the Las Vegas Strip.”

He also said that New York-based Vici, a Caesars Entertainment spin-off, has collected 100 percent of its rents, in cash and on time, throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

Overall, the company now owns 660 acres of real estate along Las Vegas’ famed casino corridor, according to John Payne, Vici president and chief operating officer.

Its holdings include 34 acres of “underdeveloped” land in Las Vegas, and there have been some “significant” property sales on or near the Strip that continue to “make our land very valuable,” he said.

“We sure do like the prices that are coming out if they are completely true,” Payne said, pointing to one deal for a small property for around $30 million an acre.

He didn’t name the site or the buyer in that sale.

The Review-Journal recently reported that Houston billionaire Tilman Fertitta is in the process of acquiring about 6 acres on the Strip for more than $200 million, or above $30 million an acre, according to people familiar with the matter.

Vici was spun off from Caesars Entertainment in 2017 as the casino chain’s main operating unit emerged from bankruptcy. By the end of that year, Vici’s real estate holdings on the Strip consisted of Caesars Palace and Harrah’s, a securities filing shows.

The company, however, has significantly expanded lately and now owns 10 resorts on the Strip.

Casino operator Las Vegas Sands Corp. announced in March 2021 that it was selling its properties on the Strip — The Venetian, Palazzo, and former Sands Expo and Convention Center — for about $6.25 billion to Vici and investment giant Apollo Global Management.

Under the transaction, which closed in February, Vici acquired the real estate for $4 billion. Apollo acquired the operations side for $2.25 billion and leased the former Sands sites from Vici.

Vici last week also completed its $17.2 billion buyout of MGM Resorts International’s real estate spinoff. The deal, announced in August, included the assumption of about $5.7 billion of debt.

As part of the sale, Vici acquired several MGM Resorts-operated properties along Las Vegas Boulevard including Mandalay Bay, MGM Grand, The Mirage, Park MGM, New York-New York, Luxor and Excalibur. It also picked up several other casino properties outside Nevada.

The company indicated it is slated to receive more than $1 billion in initial annual rent from the latest batch of properties.

Vici shares, traded on the New York Stock Exchange, closed Thursday at $29.76, down $0.89, or 2.9 percent, according to data on Yahoo Finance.

The Review-Journal is owned by the Adelson family, including Dr. Miriam Adelson, majority shareholder of Las Vegas Sands Corp., and Las Vegas Sands President and Chief Operating Officer Patrick Dumont.

Contact Eli Segall at esegall@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0342. Follow @eli_segall on Twitter.

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