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Is MGM Mirage Still Worth Investing?

mgm-mirage-picture-las-vegas-usIt took 20 years and undisclosed millions of dollars to build the Resort at Pelican Hill on the California coast just south of Los Angeles. The centerpiece of the complex is the “Coliseum”—a two-storey, semicircular, epic-scale colonnade enveloping the world’s largest circular pool, decorated with $1 million-plus hand-cut custom glass tiles.

And this is not all – a Tom Fazio golf course adorns the hills overlooking the ocean. The rooms aren’t merely rooms: they’re bungalow-suites and villas, arranged to resemble a Tuscan village. Gracious, superbly trained staff wait discreetly to attend to the wishes and caprices of guests.

mgm-mirage-april-15And yet, during the recent visits the place looked mostly deserted. The waiters seemed to be happy to serve on somebody and the feeling of having such a huge resort only for yourself can be overwhelming. Yet, one question raises – is the era of the luxury spa and hotel stays over?

The casino company controlled by Kirk Kerkorian has raised today almost 19%, despite the bad news surrounding the industry. It is true, they have received today a waiver for their lenders allowing a $70 million payment on its CityCenter project without partner Dubai World.
MGM Mirage agreed to pay both partners obligations. This looks a lot like a sure bet on the future of the casinos and luxury hotels, in a period where the figures of the industry seem at the bottom of everything.

We at can’t help but to admire the audacity of MGM Mirage. They apply the rules of the bear markets – invest when you are at the bottom of the crisis in order to be well positioned when the markets comes back. As the largest casino operator on the Las Vegas strip, MGM Mirage is not excluded from the fate of its own bets. The CityCenter from Las Vegas, a project worth $8.6 billion, was due today for gaining a waiver. MGM pulled one more stunt and gained the approval, but its adventure is not over. MGM Mirage also faces a May 15 deadline to offer a restructuring plan for more than $12 billion of corporate debt.

“We have already contributed $4.3 billion, and we are standing ready to commit more money to see the project finished once we are sure our partners and the lenders will also commit, and there’s certainty about the future viability of MGM Mirage,” Dalton said. “This is in the interests of everyone.” The biggest project on the Las Vegas Strip, CityCenter represents MGM Mirage’s largest expansion. The development, which includes a casino, hotels, apartments and malls, is scheduled to open in December amid a global recession that led to the city’s biggest gambling decline on record last year.

Will MGM Mirage pull a second stunt on May 15? It remains to be seen, yet the adventures of the largest Las Vegas casinos operator are mirrored closely by its share price, so if you feel like betting, you might as well buy some shares of them. After all, if they fail you might still have the chance to change the worth of your investment for a few chips in their tematic casinos.