Las Vegas casinos hope for a boost from McGregor fight, UFC 229

Strip casinos are set for a Conor McGregor bump this weekend as thousands of UFC fans pour into town to watch the Irish mixed martial arts fighter take on Russian counterpart Khabib Nurmagomedov on Saturday night in UFC 229.

Room rates have jumped for Friday and Saturday and clubs are gearing up for packed parties following the rumble at T-Mobile Arena. Nobu Hotel, the high-end boutique inside Caesars Palace, is sold out Friday as casinos dish out free tickets to high rollers.

However, the spike in resort revenues this weekend is unlikely to alter gaming investors’ bearish outlook on Strip operators, analysts said.

“It’s going to be a great weekend for the Strip and we are likely to see high gaming volumes, but it is hard to get the investment community excited,” said Union Gaming analyst John DeCree. “There is still a little bit of uncertainty about about how strong the Vegas market will bounce back in the fourth quarter.”

Fourth quarter

Strip casinos have been on a bad roll over the past three months as fewer events, especially fights, have caused a drop in the number of visitors to Las Vegas. That has pulled down room rates and revenues across the Strip.

The decline has surprised gaming investors, who expected the strongest U.S. economic growth in years and lowest jobless rate in five decades to put more cash in people’s pockets for a trip to Las Vegas.

Investors have been dumping shares of MGM Resorts International and Caesars Entertainment Corp, the two largest Strip resort operators by properties, sending them tumbling more than 14 percent since August to near 52-week lows.

MGM Resorts and Caesars executives said during August conference calls they expect a rebound in the fourth quarter as the Strip will host more events. During an investor conference in September, Caesars executives highlighted the Conor McGregor fight as one reason it expects the fourth-quarter to be better.


Nobu’s 189 rooms are all booked for Friday and selling for $1,000 for Saturday, triple the rate for Saturday Oct. 13. Bellagio king rooms are selling for $429 per night this weekend, a 50 percent premium compared with Oct. 12 and 13. MGM Grand queen rooms are selling 33 percent higher and Caesars king rooms 25 percent more.

Fights can boost the MGM Resort’s Strip quarterly revenue per available room by as much as 1 percent, said Chad Beynon, an analyst at Macquarie.

Floyd Mayweather announced last month he will fight Manny Pacquiao in December. If the fight is held in Las Vegas, it will further support a Strip rebound, Beynon said.

“I think that would make this quarter significantly better than what we were thinking,” he said.

UFC Chief Operating Officer Lawrence Epstein said the economic impact from the fight will last well beyond the weekend. The fight has nearly 3 million pay-per-view buys, the third largest in history. The broadcast will generate a “huge amount” of advertisement for the city, he said.

“As part of the telecast the city of Las Vegas will be integrated into that broadcast. Whether it is a vanity shot of the Strip, or the hottest nightclubs, the Bellagio fountains — those positive images will be sent” to the millions of people watching, he said.

UFC fans

A MGM Resorts presentation to Wall Street analysts in May showed that fight fans are among the most lucrative Strip clients.

That is backed up by a 2016 study conducted by Las Vegas research firm Applied Analysis for UFC.

UFC fans spend nearly $4,000 per visit to Las Vegas, more than three times the amount spent by the typical traveler, according to Applied Analysis. They also tend to have higher incomes and stay longer.

Nearly 90 percent of UFC ticket holders said they would not have come to Las Vegas for the weekend were it not for the fight, according to the study.

UFC has sold 20,000 tickets, implying that as many as 18,000 fans could be traveling to Las Vegas for the battle.

“This is a very big weekend. People are coming from Australia and all parts of Mexico to watch this fight,” said high roller RJ Cipriani, who traveled from Los Angeles to see the fight this weekend.

Contact Todd Prince at 702-383-0386 or Follow @toddprincetv on Twitter.

Primm’s outlet mall has fallen on hard times
The mall, attached to Primm Valley Resort, opened in 1998. Back then, it was a “textbook, perfect outlet-center location." But now, Primm’s outlet mall has fallen on hard times. Las Vegas Boulevard has endless shopping spots. And there are other outlet malls that don’t require a hefty drive to the state line. Its mortgage-holder foreclosed on the mall in late September.
Las Vegas residents discuss avoiding holiday scams
Las Vegas residents discuss their donation habits and how they avoid giving money to scam charities during the holiday season. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Tesla’s Nevada Gigafactory ahead of economic impact expectations
The Tesla Gigafactory’s economic impact on Nevada has exceeded projections, bringing in more than 7,000 jobs. In 2014, Nevada agreed to give the automotive and energy company $1.3 billion in tax abatements. In return, Tesla promised to meet certain requirements in areas like employment and capital investment. As of June, Tesla has brought in a total of $6.05 billion in capital investment, surpassing the $4.95 billion projection. The original contract gave the company until 2024 to make $3.5 billion in capital investments in Nevada. Derek Armstrong, deputy director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development.
Land sales near the Las Vegas Raiders stadium
Land around the Las Vegas stadium site has been selling for high prices. A few months before the stadium’s groundbreaking, Global Trust Group acquired a 2.5-acre parcel just north of the stadium site. The property sold for $7.25 million, or $2.9 million an acre. Osprey Real Estate Capital and Huntington Hotel Group acquired a 2-acre industrial site just west of the stadium site in late November. The property sold for $6.5 million, or $3.15 million per acre. That's roughly 12 times the average price of land in the valley this year as tracked by Colliers International.
T-Mobile Tech Experience Truck parks in Toshiba Plaza at T-Mobile Arena
The Tech Experience Truck is a state-of-the-art showroom on wheels, with demonstrations that put connected drones, smart cities, augmented/virtual reality and smart tracking. The exhibit shows new wireless technology – including 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT). (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Steve Siegel, CEO of the Siegel Group, speaks about helping families and other needy residents
Steve Siegel, CEO of the Siegel Group, speaks about helping families and other needy residents to keep them from teetering off into homelessness. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vrgas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Crowds camp out for Chick-fil-A opening
Dozens of customers camped out 24 hours ahead of the 6 a.m. Thursday opening of the new Chick-fil-A on Rainbow Blvd.
Cheapest listings for sale in Las Vegas
Listed for $39,990, 585 S. Royal Crest Circle, Unit #9 is one of the cheapest homes currently listed for sale in Las Vegas. (Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM's sports betting deals
MGM Resorts International signed a sports betting sponsorship agreement with the NBA in July It was the first professional sports league to have official ties with a legal sports betting house. The deal came just two months after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a law prohibiting sports betting in most states. In October, MGM became the first gaming company to sign a sports betting partnership with the NHL. In November, MGM became the first gaming company to sign a sports betting partnership with the MLB. Financial terms of Tuesday’s deal and earlier partnerships have not been announced.
Terry Miller discusses Convention Center
Project Manager Terry Miller explains the phases of Convention Center construction.
Zappos treats their team members on Cyber Monday
Zappos rolls out a variety of food, drinks and special activities for all team members at their downtown Las Vegas headquarters for Cyber Monday. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Team Hybrid at the 2019-Model Motor Trend International Auto Show
Among the companies showing off the 2019 model cars, Team Hybrid shows off its modified cars. Las Vegas resident David David talks about the team, which is in its ninth year exhibiting at the show, and his show car.
Black Friday Shoppers at downtown Summerlin and at the Arsenal
Black Friday shoppers at downtown Summerlin and at the Arsenal. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfYe
Black Friday shopping in Las Vegas
Black Friday sale shopers express their shopping experience. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Las Vegas Livestock recycling Strip food waste
Las Vegas Livestock collects and recycles food from many Las Vegas Strip companies. (Nicole Raz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Black Friday at Fry's
Shoppers line up for deals early on Black Friday at Fry's Electronics on Las Vegas Boulevard South. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Black Friday shoppers at Best Buy at 5 am
Black Friday shoppers at Best Buy at 5 am on Nov. 23. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Black Friday - 1am Closing Time
Quiet night.
Black Friday - 12:30am - Best Buy Arroyo Crossing
Sam's Town Holiday Lighting Ceremony
On Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2018, Mystic Falls Park opened with its annual tree lighting ceremony, hosted by Boyd Gaming Executive Chairman Bill Boyd. The attraction features a Winter Wonderland theme and holiday-inspired laser light show, available daily Nov. 23 to Jan. 1. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
What Is A Smart City?
George Karayannis, vice president of CityNow, Panasonic’s smart-city arm, explains. (Nicole Raz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Walmart uses virtual reality to train employees
Walmart Academy Facilitator demonstrates the VR training program being used by Walmart stores across the country.
With holidays around the corner, department stores hiring extra staff
J.C. Penny hired 72 seasonal workers this year at the Galleria at Sunset mall in Henderson in order to handle the heavy traffic of the holiday shopping season. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Startup Weekend fosters new businesses
With the help of entrepreneurial peers and an expert panel of mentors, Techstars Startup Weekend fosters the ideas of attendees into marketable business plans. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Mecum Car Auction in Las Vegas
The Mecum Auctions is held at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/ Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Construction underway for new Google Data Center
Henderson is slated to be home to a new Google data center in December 2020. The Governor’s Office of Economic Development approved $25.2 million in tax abatements for Design LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Google. The company plans to build the data center on 64 acres of land on Warm Springs Road west of Boulder Highway.
Anthony Rufo talks about his new product, an in-home digital companion and monitor.
Anthony Rufo talks about his new product, HAPPIE Home technology, an in-home digital companion and monitor designed for unpaid family caregivers that gives personalized alerts, messages and reminders. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Holiday parades help bring shoppers to Downtown Summerlin
Sports Town USA floor manager Angela Gardonio talks about the work that goes into the Downtown Summerlin holiday parades and how they benefit her and other businesses there.
Final vote on CG Technology
Final commission vote on the $2 million settlement for CG Technology.
Happie Home Startup Establishing Headquarters In Las Vegas
Digital companion startup company Happie Home is establishing its headquarters in Las Vegas after receiving tax abatements from the Governor's Office of Economic Development on Nov. 15. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like