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MGM CEO says company looking forward to F1, Super Bowl

Updated November 8, 2023 - 5:03 pm

With MGM Resorts International appearing on the verge of settlement with the Culinary union Wednesday and September’s cyberattack in the rear-view mirror, the state’s largest private employer turned to relishing the future — next week’s Formula One race, a big Super Bowl boost in February and a plan to make the MGM Grand a gateway to a new Major League Baseball stadium.

In a wide-ranging earnings conference call with investors, MGM CEO Bill Hornbuckle said he expects the Super Bowl to be even bigger for the company than next week’s F1 race and that MGM designers have already begun meeting with Oakland A’s architects to consider remaking MGM Grand’s front entrance more compatible with the planned $1.5 billion stadium.

Hornbuckle also on Wednesday said he expects his company will agree to a contract settlement with the Culinary union later in the day. He did not provide details, but said in a scheduled earnings conference call with investors that he expected a deal to be completed Wednesday.

MGM hardly skipped a financial beat in the company’s third quarter despite the crippling cyberattack in September that gut-punched the company for nine days.

The company reported nearly $4 billion in revenue, 16.3 percent better than in the third quarter of 2022, primarily because of improved results from its Macao operation.

Analysts had suggested that between the cyberattack that began Sept. 10 and no longer having revenue streams at The Mirage and Mississippi’s Gold Strike Tunica, which were sold, that revenue declines were possible.

But an 829 percent revenue increase from the MGM China unit, from $89 million a year ago to $813 million in the quarter that ended Sept. 30, boosted the company.

“We started the quarter with great momentum across our businesses,” MGM CEO Bill Hornbuckle said in a release. “While we were faced with a difficult cybersecurity issue in September, our employees rose to the occasion with incredible resilience and determination. With the incident now behind us, we are a stronger company having been through the challenge.”

Hornbuckle said the company is optimistic about its immediate future with next week’s Formula One Las Vegas Grand Prix, the launch of a partnership with Marriott International next year followed by Super Bowl 58 in February. The start of the MGM Collection with Marriott Bonvoy was delayed several months with analysts suggesting the cyberattack was behind postponing implementation.

“Beyond these catalysts, MGM China is performing exceptionally well, and we have a pipeline of development opportunities including New York and Japan alongside the growth and development of our international digital business and BetMGM.”

Hornbuckle said during the call that the company is prepared to welcome guests “for what promises to be an exciting and enduring tentpole event. We sold out our Bellagio Fountain Club and grandstand seats,” he said.

Late in the call, in response to an analyst’s question, Hornbuckle said demand during the week leading up to the Super Bowl is about twice as strong as for the Formula One race, noting that while F1 is being driven by international traffic, the Super Bowl “is about corporate America.”

Strong Super Bowl demand is driving higher average daily room rates, he said.

Executives also were enthused with how the $100 million makeover of the Mandalay Bay Convention Center is going to drive business and they’re also looking forward to the 2024 edition of the Formula One race.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on X, formerly known as Twitter.

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