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McBeath recommended for gaming license a year after taking over Cosmopolitan

The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas President Bill McBeath was granted tentative approval for a Nevada gaming license Wednesday, a year after taking over operations of the Strip resort.

McBeath, 52, whose 20-year gaming career included stints as the president of The Mirage, Treasure Island, Bellagio, and CityCenter, was brought in by a division of the Blackstone Group to make The Cosmopolitan profitable. Blackstone bought The Cosmopolitan in December 2014 for $1.73 billion from Deutsche Bank, which opened the resort in December 2010.

The nearly 3,000-room Cosmopolitan reported two straight profitable quarters last year, and McBeath told the Gaming Control Board a third straight profitable quarter was on the way.

“We got back to the basics and we’re a product-relationship driven company,” McBeath said at the hearing in Las Vegas.

The Control Board had few questions for McBeath. He outlined $40 million in improvements The Cosmopolitan underwent in 2015 with more on the way this year. The Strip resort opened a high-limit slot machine area last month, has plans in place for five new restaurants and will move the race and sports book from the second floor to a new location on the casino floor within a few weeks.

“Blackstone has given us incredible support,” McBeath said.

He said the Cosmopolitan increased slot machine revenue 25 percent last year, table game revenue increased nearly 15 percent and baccarat revenue topped 28 percent.

McBeath told the Control Board he expects to receive approval from The Cosmopolitan’s board to build out the top floors of the property’s east tower to create 21 luxury villas totaling 60,000 square feet. The smallest villa will be 1,800 square feet. He expects to open the rooms by early 2017.

He called the space “the 50-yard-line” of the Strip. McBeath said The Cosmopolitan’s restaurant expansions were expected to be complete by the end of the year.

“Congratulations and good luck in the new role,” said Control Board Chairman A.G. Burnett. McBeath has been licensed on several occasions by Nevada gaming regulators, most recently in 2010 when h was overseeing CityCenter.

The Nevada Gaming Commission will make a final ruling on Jan. 21.

Contact reporter Howard Stutz at hstutz@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3871. Find @howardstutz on Twitter.

 

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