Resorts World Las Vegas to result in better, more vibrant Las Vegas

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The opening of Gentings US$4.3 billion Resorts World Las Vegas will rejuvenate the Las Vegas Strip and potentially spark a new integrated resort development boom, according to a Thursday note from brokerage Bernstein.

RWLV, which will open its doors in the coming hours (11pm Las Vegas time), represents the first full casino-resort opening on the Strip in more than a decade and comes seven years after Genting first purchased the land from Boyd Gaming for US$350 million in 2013.

Originally planned as an Asian-themed resort, it has instead been reimagined into a high-end, modern property offering entertainment, food and beverage, boutique retail and luxury hotel rooms under three Hilton Hotels brands.

According to Bernsteins Vitaly Umansky, Louis Li and Kelsey Zhu, this transformation is precisely what Las Vegas needs right now as it emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Coming on the heels of the COVID epidemic that had left Las Vegas a temporary ghost town, the city is alive again, with leisure and gaming visitors flocking back and anticipation that the throng of conventioneers will soon follow, the analysts said. It is into this bullish demand resurgence that Gentings US$4.3 billion gamble is opening.

The propertys positioning, its management team and the quality of its product offering brings new competition to long-established casino properties, and the result will be a better, more vibrant Las Vegas.

Bernstein says RWLV should provide competition for other high-end Strip properties such as Wynn, The Venetian, Bellagio, Aria and The Cosmopolitan while driving more traffic to the northern end of the Strip potentially benefiting nearby Wynn and Venetian.

However, if successful RWLV could also provide the impetus for construction of the partially completed Fontainebleau plus other undeveloped land in the area to resume.

Once fully ramped, Bernstein estimates that RWLV should be able to generate EBITDA of at least US$250 million up to the high US$300 millions.

Resorts World Las Vegas should be positive addition to Las Vegas, driving incremental demand with its focus on entertainment and food & beverage, the analysts state.

The original plan was to open Resorts World in 2016 with the property to be developed as an Asian/Chinese thematic resort. However, due to a variety of events including the evolution of the Las Vegas customer, Resorts World was reconceived into a modern, premium positioned, entertainment and food/beverage driven property. The gimmick of thematic properties so prevalent in the 1990s is no longer needed in Las Vegas. What is needed is product quality, innovation and service and here Resorts World will try to deliver.