MANDALAY PLANS RETAIL EXTRAVAGANZA

June 16, 2001 7:40 PM
by

share

Mandalay Resort Group is planning to build a $75 million retail complex between its Mandalay Bay and Luxor reosrts on the Las Vegas Strip.

The company refused to disclose more details about the facility pending a formal announcement this summer. But President and CFO Glenn Schaeffer indicated it will be decidedly upscale, describing it as a "destination retail experience with a high-fashion theme."

A diagram displayed at the company's annual shareholders meeting at Mandalay Bay on Friday shows the facility acting as a sort of "bridge" for foot traffic traveling between the two resorts, with some frontage likely on the Strip.

Opening is projected for late fall of 2002.

The mall is the second element of plans to strengthen the company's three-resort cluster at the south end of the Strip via major construction. This "Mandalay Mile," as the company calls it, consists of Excalibur, Luxor and Mandalay Bay. The first element will be a $225 million, 1.8 million-square-foot, state-of-the-art convention center. Construction of the facility will be launched this summer. Opening is set for summer 2002.

The company still has vacant parcels of land of 50 and 15 acres at the south end of the Strip, the largest chunk of developable property left on Las Vegas' most famous street. Schaeffer said the company has no plans to construct more resorts there, but is prepared to act if demand indicates the need.

"We'll keep our options open," he said.

As expected, Schaeffer was decidedly bullish for stockholders on the company's prospects in the Las Vegas market, projecting double-digit growth in free cash flow per share, driven by higher room rates, higher casino revenues and an aggressive policy of share repurchases.