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Marriott-MGM partnership exceeding expectations, executive says

Updated May 2, 2024 - 8:35 pm

MGM Resorts International’s partnership with a major U.S. hotel brand is already paying off – and is expected to help drive company growth throughout the year, executives said Wednesday.

The company’s licensing partnership with Marriott International launched this winter and has already seen more than 130,000 room nights booked, CEO Bill Hornbuckle told Wall Street analysts during the company’s first-quarter earnings call.

Booking through the partnership was up about 75 percent more than the company anticipated, with a significant boost to group business, he said.

The partnership, MGM Collection with Marriott Bonvoy, was first announced in July 2023 but the launch was delayed to 2024. Both companies said it was because they were confirming details, though multiple hotel analysts speculated that a nine-day cyberattack against MGM in September postponed the launch.

Hornbuckle said the partnership is expected to be a growth driver for the company’s financial results this year.

For the quarter that ended March 31, MGM reported a net income of $217 million, or 67 cents per share, on revenue of $4.4 billion. During the same period last year, it reported a net income of $467 million, or $1.24 per share, on $3.9 billion. The company said net income declined comparatively because it sold a regional property, Gold Strike in Tunica, Mississippi, in February 2023.

Executives touted the company’s luxury portfolio on the Strip as part of the success of the quarter. The Las Vegas segment reported net revenue of $2.3 billion, a 4 percent increase year over year. The company attributed the Strip portfolio’s growth to rising daily room rates, up 7 percent to an average of $277. Occupancy for the quarter was 93 percent.

Hornbuckle alluded to some upcoming capital projects on the Strip that would increase connectivity between the Bellagio, Cosmopolitan and Aria — the epicenter of the company’s luxury offerings — but declined to answer an analyst’s question about additional details. Last May, MGM bought a 1.6-acre parcel between the Cosmopolitan, which it acquired in 2022, and the Bellagio.

McKenna Ross is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms. Contact her at mross@reviewjournal.com. Follow @mckenna_ross_ on X.

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