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MGM's Internal Pecking Order Revealed

By Chuckmonster on Monday, 21st June 2010 3:30am
  » filed under MGM Mirage  comments: 7


While perusing the recently refreshed Las Vegas Shows page on MGM Resorts International's corporate website, eagle eye VT reader donnymac66 noticed that the listing of the shows reveals what might be their internal resort pecking order.

  1. ARIA
  2. Bellagio
  3. MGM Grand
  4. Mandalay Bay
  5. Mirage
  6. Monte Carlo
  7. New York - New York
  8. Luxor
  9. Excalibur
  10. Circus Circus

Ok, I'll bite. Aria gets the top spot, at least until Bellagio renovates their room offerings and refreshes some of the other interiors.

The Second Tier - MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, Mirage - is a bit closer to call. MGM Grand wears its renovations and upgrades really well and the dining options are over the top awesome. Mirage's new(ish) public areas are certainly an improvement, but their HVAC system in the hotel towers needs a thorough scrubbing / refit - those rooms reek and the ultra modern decor is a little over the top to many. One walk through Mandalay Bay's casino reveals that the property isn't aging very well at all although the room product, most notably THEhotel, is still very competitive.

The Third Tier - Monte Carlo is on top here only because of Hotel32, the rest of the room offerings are dismal. On the good side, Monte Carlo's casino has an infinitely better selection of playable slot machines than ARIA does and... it's not ARIA. New York New York has completely redone their casino floor, added new clubs and attractions and will have even more once ESPN Zone closes. Other than the Park Avenue Deluxe rooms, NYNY's room product is exquisitely vintage. Luxor did a complete renovation of their public areas but pulled the plug on a planned renovation of their rooms once the economy turned sour. It is also worth nothing that some people view Criss Angel's 'Believe' as a liability to Luxor's bottom line.

Here's my list, peppered by a whole bunch of wishful thinking.

  1. Bellagio (with room renos)
  2. MGM Grand (with room renos)
  3. Aria (as is)
  4. Mirage (as is)
  5. Mandalay Bay (as is)
  6. Luxor (w/room renos, axed 'Believe')
  7. NYNY (w/room renos)
  8. Monte Carlo (as is)
  9. Excalibur (as is)
  10. Circus Circus (as is)

What's your pecking order? Did MGM get it right? If not where did they blow it and why?

Thanks again to donnymac66 for the tipsydipsy!


Comments & Discussion:

MGM's Skylofts have been incredibly successful. I remember when they were first introduced, one-bedroom units on weeknights could be had as low as $510. Despite the recession, their popularity has climbed and are now running in the neighborhood of $900 for weeknights. Their formula worked because unlike Hotel32, they sit atop a well rounded resort with higher-end offerings and have the spaces and hallways to support such a concept. Such is the same with Mirage. Once they get their top four floors redone (especially that incredible lounge on the top floor), they likely to have an excellent product. So, assuming we get that kind of concept out of Mirage, my order is as follows:

Bellagio (after renos), Aria, Mirage, Mandalay, MGM, Monte Carlo (after renos), Luxor, NYNY, Excal, and Circus Circus.

Pecking order don't mean shit. Revenue and profit is all that counts. And just as I predicted a year ago, Bellagio hold the top spot, and it will for the foreseeable future, I believe. And yes, even without the room remodel.

Based on room rates, Mandalay should be ranked higher than MGM. However, internal MGM politics (as the acquiring company) have always placed MGM above MB and Mirage.

Luxor has probably fallen the most since its peak. At one time, it actually got quite a few high rollers.

This is really not new? Go to citycenter.com, then About, then MGM Mirage and look at the order of the logo parade that comes to your screen: Aria, Bellagio, Vdara, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, Mirage, Monte Carlo, NYNY, Luxor, Excalibur, Circus Circus. It has been like this since sometime last year, though they finally got around to changing the flash to put the new Resorts Intl logo in (though not the menu item)

I agree with Chuck's second list, post-renovations. I think NYNY is perennially over-valued, as is the MGM Grand. If I were to make a list based on current conditions it would look like: Bellagio, Aria, Mirage, Mandalay, MGM, Monte Carlo, Luxor, NYNY, Excalibur, Circus Circus.

Bellagio over Aria because it is established and has far better service, despite the aging infrastructure. I put Monte Carlo over Luxor and NYNY only because of it's arguably better location next to CityCenter, otherwise I would have it lower. I put Mirage over Mandalay for the same important reason: location. I put MGM relatively low because the rooms that 99% of customers stay in are vintage 1993, which I would say places it below Mirage and Mandalay.

Here's my list and reasoning.

1. Bellagio - It's there crown jewel anyway they slice it, much like the Poker room, moving high level play from here, seems to reside with the players choice and I'm guessing it stays at this spot, especially after some remodel.

2. Aria - I get why other's want to put it lower and it's had it's share of issues in rolling out, but at the end of the day, I still think it winds up being #2 here, Especially if you put it against all Vegas resorts, it almost has to be number 5 or 6 on those, so why not #2 for MGM.

3. MGM - They continue to manage this property the best out of all of their holdings. Great word of mouth, restaurants, and good player base, plus the hotel seems to be holding up to the wear very well.

4. Mirage - High end room remodels are needed and I only put the resort here, as the ones below it have bigger flaws.

5. Mandalay Bay - it's here now based on old reputation and what they continue to try and charge for it. It seriously needs a dose of new life/publicity/something. MJ's Cirque show would give it a nice boost and with room rates higher then the ones below, is a much more profitable pairing.

6. New York New York - I haven't stayed in the rooms, but the casino remodel alone puts it a notch above Monte Carlo, which besides Hotel 32 is a mess.

7. Luxor - I don't love the remodeled floor, but the deluxe tower rooms have held up better then the MC offerings in my opinion. Plus the remodeled floor compared to MC's floor is no comparison.

8 and 9. Monte Carlo and Excal - Yes MC has Hotel 32 but take a look at Excalibur's floor sometime, I don't think I can remember a time in the last couple years when it's been empty. They are doing something right with the casino. Excal could definitely use some TLC as can MC, but I'm putting it as a tie based on Excal's booming casino floor.

10. Circus Circus - MGM's disassociated it from it's Players club, so I would tend to disassociate it from the list. Although I've heard remodeled rooms are very nice, have to imagine some of the other areas need a lot of work, although the new Kahunaville concept restaurant might breath some life in the property.

I would go with the current rankings for the most part since if I was working on a list of hotels to stay at Bellagio would be first then MGM but with all the issues I keep hearing about Aria I would go with Mirage since it is near the middle of the strip then Mandalay Bay followed by Aria. NYNY would beat out Luxor anyday (the remodel works but has removed the character of the place). Then Monte Carlo, Excalibur (have never warmed to the place) and the perpetual trash bag Circus Circus.

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