American casino operator MGM Resorts International has reportedly embarked on a plan to offload its interest in the ageing Mirage Las Vegas venue so as to reduce overheads and further diversify its holdings.
According to a Wednesday report from the Las Vegas Review-Journal newspaper, the Las Vegas-headquartered firm has begun accepting bids for the right to take over running the 3,000-room property but has yet to disclose an ideal asking price or the identities of any potential bidders. Any such deal would purportedly follow the company’s September decision to offload its ownership of the CityCenter Las Vegas property to The Blackstone Group Incorporated for $3.9 billion as well as its subsequent outlay of $1.6 billion so as to take over operations at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas enterprise.
Bill Hornbuckle (pictured) serves as the Chief Executive Officer for MGM Resorts International and he reportedly told investors that the process to find a new operator for the Mirage Las Vegas is ‘in the early stages’ but that now ‘is an opportune time’ to dispose of the 31-year-old Las Vegas Strip property.
Opened in November of 1989 on the 77-acre site of the former Castaways hotel and casino, the Polynesian-themed Mirage Las Vegas reportedly passed into the hands of MGM Resorts International some eleven years later courtesy of its $4.4 billion purchase of rival operator Mirage Resorts. The Nevada venue was purportedly then sold to the MGM Growth Properties real estate investment trust in 2015 as part of a lease-back deal that saw the former firm retain the right to run its hotel, restaurants and 100,000 sq ft casino.
The newspaper reported that MGM Resorts International’s operating portfolio currently runs to ten Las Vegas Strip properties moreover including the MGM Grand Las Vegas, Aria Resort and Casino, Bellagio Las Vegas, Vdara Hotel and Spa, Luxor Las Vegas, Excalibur Hotel and Casino, Park MGM Las Vegas, Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino Las Vegas and the New York-New York Hotel and Casino. This collection will soon purportedly encompass The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas with Hornbuckle declaring that his firm already has ‘enough of Las Vegas.’
Reportedly read a statement from Hornbuckle…
“This is an amazing property and I’m excited for somebody to come in and make it their marquee property. I think the right owner could do a lot but it just fell pretty far down in the spectrum of how much in capital we’d allocate to it in any given period of time in the near future. So, we just took a strategic decision to sell it.”
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that the move from MGM Resorts International reportedly follows the March deal that saw rival casino behemoth Las Vegas Sands Corporation offload its interest in The Venetian Las Vegas property to American alternative investments firm Apollo Global Management Incorporated for $6.25 billion. The newspaper finished by explaining that Caesars Entertainment Incorporated pronounced only this week that it was also looking to offload one of its five gambling-friendly venues on the Las Vegas Strip sometime early in the new year.