Casino construction near standstill

Oct 7, 2008 5:03 PM

Gaming Insider by Phil Hevener | MGM Mirage President Jim Murren has turned a lot of speculation into a statement of fact.

This is not the same world it was a year ago, he said, back when the big dreamers and big spenders were envisioning a Las Vegas Strip with lots of new capacity just a couple of years down the road.

"The amount of new capacity that’s going to hit Las Vegas is going to be a fraction of what people thought it was going to be a year ago." Murren explained.

"I mean a dramatic decline because of many reasons, not only the credit markets, construction costs, and the ability to finance these projects. It really boils down to if you’re not almost done, you’re just not going to do anything for a long time in Las Vegas. That, of course, accrues to the benefit of the incumbents, and as long as the market continues to show durability and a lot of people are coming here, even right now, we continue to build our market share as we are, we think that’s a positive."

He continued, "We’ve pushed off joint ventures, we’ve canceled some. Many projects that had been announced will just never be built and the reality is if you’re not here right now, if you’re not fully financed or have the balance sheets to do projects, you’re just not going to do anything over the next several years. And that, we think, is a profound positive for our competitors that are here today and ourselves."