Las Vegas Sands reports third quarter loss

The Las Vegas Sands Corp. reported Wednesday that third quarter revenue at $586 million fell 82% from the previous year and executives said the weekend leisure demand for Las Vegas is strong and that conventions are itching to return in 2021.

Operating loss was $610 million, compared to operating income of $899 million in the prior year quarter. The net loss in the third quarter of 2020 was $731 million, compared to net income of $669 million in the third quarter of 2019.

“I am pleased to say the recovery process from the COVID-19 pandemic continues to progress in each of our markets,” said Chairman and CEO Sheldon G. Adelson. “Our greatest priority as the recovery continues remains our deep commitment to supporting our team members and to helping those in need in each of our local communities of Macao, Singapore and Las Vegas.

“We remain optimistic about the eventual complete recovery of travel and tourism spending across our markets, as well as our future growth prospects. We are fortunate that our financial strength supports our previously announced capital expenditure programs in both Macau and Singapore, as well as our pursuit of growth opportunities in new markets.”

Capital expenditures during the third quarter totaled $376 million, including construction, development and maintenance activities of $279 million in Macau, $76 million at Marina Bay Sands and $21 million in Las Vegas, the company reported.

Its properties include The Venetian Resort and Sands Expo in Las Vegas. Demand has been strong on the weekend and that is expected to continue, officials said.

“In Las Vegas, we are pleased to report the recovery is well underway,” Adelson said during the conference call. “Weekend occupancy has been as high as 70%.”

Rob Goldstein, the president and chief operating officer, said the Las Vegas weekend market is “surging” and that the leisure demand is “very strong” but “not as much midweek.” He said gaming has come back 75% to 80% pre-COVID levels.

“There are some bright spots, but we got to see the group come back,” Goldstein said. “There are some impediments despite the demand that’s even growing. We are getting calls every day, and people are itching to come back and be here for both large conventions and small groups. Across the board, demand is reoccurring for next year in 2021 and starts with April, May June and goes up.”

Goldstein said it’s difficult to overcome the restrictions in place that limit group meetings at 250 people.

“Some positive signs are that we are getting calls from the group market and inquiries we want to come back,” he said. “Most people require air lift. That is not drive-in traffic. I think that will come back when the market demand is there. What will help the group market again is a catalyst in consumer views of being around 30,000, 40,000 or 50,000 people.”