In Brief

Allegiant Air says year-to-year passenger traffic rises in April

Allegiant Air, a unit of Las Vegas-based Allegiant Travel Co., on Tuesday said year-to-year passenger traffic rose 14.4 percent in April as it boosted its available-seat count.

In a statement, Allegiant, which flies passengers from smaller U.S. cities to Las Vegas and Orlando, Fla., said revenue passenger miles rose to 457,731 from 400,025. Available seat miles rose 14.2 percent to 505,680 from 442,757. Passenger count rose 8.6 percent to 484,079 from 445,881.

In April, Allegiant Travel reported a 19.8 percent drop in first-quarter earnings to $22.6 million, or $1.12 per share, from $28.2 million, or $1.37 per share, a year earlier.

Quarterly revenue rose 19.4 percent to $169.6 million from $142.1 million.

Allegiant Travel Co. shares fell $1.70, or 3.27 percent, Tuesday to close at $50.34 on the Nasdaq National Market.

Chase to open second local homeownership center

Community leaders are invited to attend the opening of Chase Bank’s second Homeownership Center in Southern Nevada.

The center provides help to homeowners seeking to avoid foreclosure through loan modification. The meeting, which starts at 9 a.m. Thursday, however, will give community officials an opportunity to meet with bank representatives.

Assemblywoman April Mastroluca, D-Henderson, and Cynthia Thompson, a Chase home loan executive, will participate in the meeting, which will run at 1441 W. Warm Springs Road in Henderson.

The bank’s home loan centers help borrowers who obtained loans from Washington Mutual and EMC, which have become part of Chase Bank, and those who borrowed from Chase Bank itself.

Bridge closing, weather hurt Ameristar’s quarterly earnings

Ameristar Casinos, a Las Vegas company, on Tuesday said first-quarter net income fell 64 percent compared with a year ago.

In a statement, Ameristar, which operates Cactus Pete’s and the Horseshu in Jackpot, said its net income was $10.7 million, or 18 cents per share, for the three months ended March 31, down from net income of $29.9 million, or 52 cents per share, a year earlier.

The latest per-share results fell short of the 26 cents-per-share profit forecast by Thomson Reuters-polled analysts.

Revenue fell 4.2 percent to $302.6 million from $315.8 million.

The company said a fourth-quarter bridge closure in East Chicago, Ind., made visits to its Ameristar East Chicago inconvenient for patrons and hurt that casino’s results. Furthermore, the company said, harsh winter weather hurt performance at its Midwest properties in St. Charles, Mo.; East Chicago, Ind.; Kansas City, Mo.; and Council Bluffs, Iowa.

The economic recession also hurt results, the company suggested, reflecting in year-over-year market contraction in its Jackpot, Kansas City, Council Bluffs and Vicksburg, Miss., markets.

Ameristar shares fell 26 cents, or 1.32 percent, Tuesday to close at $19.46 on the Nasdaq National Market.

TULSA, Okla.

Dollar Thrifty says it will listen to higher offer from Avis

Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group Inc. says it would entertain a "substantially higher offer" for its assets from Avis Budget Group Inc.

Avis is seeking to prevent the sale of Dollar Thrifty to Hertz Global Holdings Inc. In an open letter Monday, Avis said Dollar Thrifty had agreed to sell itself too cheaply and said it would make a higher offer than Hertz’s $1.17 billion bid.

In its own letter Tuesday, Dollar Thrifty says it will consider Avis’ offer.

Last week, Dollar Thrifty, based in Tulsa, Okla., posted a record first-quarter profit of $27.3 million.

Safety regulatory agency will open office in Southern Nevada

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration will open a new office in Las Vegas.

The state has so far lacked a regional federal OSHA office. A statement issued by the office of U.S. Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev., didn’t say where the office would be, when it would open, or how many people it would employ. Andrew Stoddard, a spokesman for Titus’ office in Washington, said that with the plan to put an office in the valley approved, the U.S. Department of Labor can proceed with finding a site and securing other details.

In April, administrators from Nevada OSHA promised to address 18 major findings in a U.S. Department of Labor report prompted by several construction site deaths in Las Vegas, most of them on Strip projects.

A federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration oversight committee cited several problems including willful violations of OSHA standards, fines that were deemed too small, failure to cite repeat violations and lack of proper training for inspectors.

Pfizer, Merck post big revenue jumps, lower income in quarter

The world’s two largest drugmakers, Pfizer Inc. and Merck & Co., posted big revenue jumps but lower net income for the first quarter, as they enjoyed new revenue from big rivals acquired last year but absorbed billions in severance pay and other costs.

Pfizer, the maker of cholesterol fighter Lipitor and impotence pill Viagra, earned $2.03 billion, or 25 cents per share, in the latest quarter, down 26 percent from $2.73 billion, or 40 cents per share, a year earlier.

Adjusted income for the first three months totaled $4.88 billion, or 60 cents per share, rising 33 percent from $3.67 billion, or 54 cents a share, a year earlier.

Pfizer’s revenue rose 54 percent to $16.75 million from $10.87 billion.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had expected earnings per share of 53 cents and revenue of $16.58 billion.

Meanwhile, Merck, the maker of asthma and allergy pill Singulair and cholesterol drugs Vytorin and Zetia reported net income of $298.8 million, or 9 cents per share, down 79 percent. Excluding charges totaling $2.31 billion, Merck would have earned 83 cents a share, or 8 cents more than analysts expected.

Revenue more than doubled to $11.42 billion.


Regulators to examine whether Apple violating antitrust rules

Federal regulators plan to examine whether Apple Inc. is violating antitrust rules by requiring software developers to use Apple programming tools to create applications for the iPhone and iPad.

Officials at the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission are sorting out which agency will examine Apple’s new policy, according to a person with knowledge of the inquiry. Apple’s policy prevents developers from using outside tools such as Adobe Systems Inc.’s Flash format, which is used in many Web videos, games and interactive graphics, to design apps for Apple’s popular devices.

The person with knowledge of the inquiry, who was not authorized to speak publicly, noted that it is in a preliminary stage. The two antitrust agencies regularly scrutinize whether corporate conduct could stifle competition, and not all inquiries result in a formal investigation or action by the government.

Bellagio, MGM Resorts International’s luxury hotel turns 20
The more than 3,000-room Bellagio hotel is situated on the site of the former Dunes Hotel. The Dunes was imploded in 1993, and construction of the Bellagio started in 1996. It cost $1.6 billion to build, making it the most expensive hotel in the world at the time. The Bellagio was former Wynn Resorts Ltd. Chairman and CEO Steve Wynn’s second major casino on the Strip after The Mirage. MGM Resorts International acquired the property from Steve Wynn in 2000. (Tara Mack/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Facial recognition software at G2E – Todd Prince
Shing Tao, CEO of Las Vegas-based Remark Holdings, talks about his facial recognition product. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former NBA player, Shaquille O'Neal, speaks about his new Las Vegas chicken restaurant
Former NBA player, Shaquille O'Neal, speaks about his new Las Vegas chicken restaurant. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Bobby Baldwin to leave MGM
MGM Resorts International executive and professional poker player Bobby Baldwin is set to leave MGM.
Caesars has new armed emergency response teams
Caesars Entertainment Corp. has created armed emergency response teams. They are composed of former military and law enforcement officials. "These teams provide valuable additional security capabilities,” Caesars spokeswoman Jennifer Forkish said. Caesars is hiring Security Saturation Team supervisors, managers and officers, according to LinkedIn. The company did not say how many people it plans to hire for the units. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas, airlines prepare for CES
CES in January is expected to attract more than 180,000 attendees. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
AGS partners with Vegas Golden Knights
AGS is the nation’s second-largest manufacturer of Class II slot machines used primarily in tribal jurisdictions. It announced a marketing partnership with the Vegas Golden Knights NHL team. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Lehman Brothers bet big on Las Vegas
Lehman Brothers collapsed 10 years ago, helping send the country into the Great Recession.
Fremont9 opens downtown
Fremont9 apartment complex has opened in downtown Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Ross & Snow launches in Las Vegas
Luxury shoe brand Ross & Snow has opened in Las Vegas, featuring "functional luxury" with premium shearling footwear. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Remote Identification and Drones
DJI vice president of policy and public affairs discusses using remote identification on drones. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Drones and public safety in Nevada
Two representatives in the drone industry discuss UAV's impact on public safety. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Frontier Airlines to launch flights from Las Vegas to Mexico
Frontier, a Denver-based ultra-low-cost carrier, will become the first airline in more than a decade to offer international service to Canada and Mexico from Las Vegas when flights to Cancun and Los Cabos begin Dec. 15. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International CEO Jim Murren addresses Oct. 1 lawsuits
MGM Resorts International Chairman and CEO Jim Murren addresses criticism his company has received for filing a lawsuit against the survivors of the Oct. 1 shooting. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International opens the doors on MGM Springfield
Massachusetts’ first hotel-casino opens in downtown Springfield. The $960 million MGM Springfield has 252 rooms and 125,000-square-feet of casino. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International prepares to open MGM Springfield
Las Vegas-based MGM Resorts International gave news media and invited guests a preview of the $960 million MGM Springfield casino in Massachusetts. The commonwealth's first resort casino will open Friday, Aug. 24. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
A Walk Through Circus Circus
It only takes a short walk through Circus Circus to realize it attracts a demographic like no other casino on the Strip: families with young children. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Morphy Auctions, a vintage slot machines seller, wants gaming license
Vice president Don Grimmer talks about Morphy Auctions at the company's warehouse located at 4520 Arville Street in Las Vegas on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada's venture capital money doesn't stay in state
Zach Miles, associate vice president for economic development for UNLV, said there’s venture money in Southern Nevada, “but trying to find the right groups to tap into for that money is different.” According to a 2017 report from the Kauffman Foundation, Las Vegas ranked number 34 out of 40 metropolitan areas for growth entrepreneurship, a metric of how much startups grow. With a lack of growing startups in Las Vegas, investment money is being sent outside of state borders. The southwest region of the U.S. received $386 million in funding in the second quarter, with about $25.2 million in Nevada. The San Francisco area alone received about $5.6 billion. (source: CB Insights)
Neon wraps can light up the night for advertising
Vinyl wrap company 5150 Wraps talks about neon wraps, a new technology that the company believes can boost advertising at night. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Nevada on the forefront of drone safety
Dr. Chris Walach, senior director of Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems, talks to a reporter at NIAS's new Nevada Drone Center for Excellence of Public Safety, located inside the Switch Innevation Center in Las Vegas. K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal @KMCannonPhoto
Motel 8 on south Strip will become site of hotel-casino
Israeli hoteliers Asher Gabay and Benny Zerah bought Motel 8 on the south Strip for $7.4 million, records show. They plan to bulldoze the property and build a hotel-casino. Motel 8 was built in the 1960s and used to be one of several roadside inns on what's now the south Strip. But it looks out of place today, dwarfed by the towering Mandalay Bay right across the street.
Project billed as one of the world's largest marijuana dispensaries plans to open Nov. 1
Planet 13 co-CEO Larry Scheffler talks about what to expect from the new marijuana dispensary, Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Oasis Biotech opens in Las Vegas
Brock Leach, chief operating officer of Oasis Biotech, discusses the new plant factory at its grand opening on July 18. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UNLV Tech Park innovation building breaks ground
Construction on the first innovation building at the UNLV Tech Park is underway. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
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