Steve Wynn had plenty of reasons to smile last week despite having to report that his Wynn Resorts Ltd. (WYNN) incurred a loss during the fourth quarter of 2009 that ended on Dec. 31.
His move to Macau where the gaming business is booming saved the company from reporting a disastrous quarter. Macau revenues during the quarter rose 36 percent.
Revenues in Las Vegas increased also but only because the period included a full-three months of activity at the Encore property that opened in December, 2008.
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Wynn spoke enthusiastically of the Macau operation and expressed optimism that gaming growth in that Chinese enclave would continue. Come April 24, the company will open a $600 million second Macau property.
There was little optimism in his speech as he discussed the immediate future of Las Vegas.
"Unlike some of our (Las Vegas) competitors," he said in obvious reference to Jim Murren, CEO of MGM MIRAGE Inc. (MGM) and his confidence in the recently-opened CityCenter, "who have seen all kinds of glitter and wonderment just around the corner, I think everybody has sort of come clean now that we don’t see that."
Wynn also was critical of the Obama administration whose "policies of government have taken a terrible toll on the working people in America that come to Las Vegas."
"I’m excited for 2010 and beyond for Macau…I wish I could say the same thing about Las Vegas," Wynn added.
And Wynn’s excitement wasn’t restricted to Macau. He announced that he was replacing Foxwoods Resort as the principal operator and manager of a casino that will be built on the Philadelphia waterfront in Pennsylvania.
A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Wynn considers returning to Philadelphia like returning home. He also was a casino operator in the early days of Atlantic City gaming and knows the market area and competition very well.
Helping to ease the unemployment problem in Las Vegas, Wynn Resorts will begin taking applications on March 11 for 400 positions it will need with the opening of the Encore Beach Club and its Surrender Nightclub.
In its fourth quarter report, the company said total net revenues were $809.3 million with a loss of $5.2 million or $0.04 per share.
Question? Comment? E-mail me at: Ray Poirier