(Jonathan) Gray (Global Head of Real Estate) said Blackstone has a “very simple” business model of “buy it, fix it, sell it.”
Buy it – Check. Now it’s time for the “fix it” stage.
Plans are sparse but here’s what I can put together right now. Blackstone will make some changes you can see and some that you can’t see.
Casino – Blackstone is “acutely focused” on fixing the casino although no specific plans have been revealed besides that they want to “reinvigorate” the ground floor. Maybe this means expanding the concept of the popular Bond Bar area to other parts of the casino. (see details on Bond Bar pit at Vegas Chatter)
New Rooms – 46 new hotel rooms will be added in the west tower. This is smart since they control all of the revenue, unlike clubs and restaurants. The Cosmo also has the highest ADR (Average Daily Room) prices in Vegas. This could generate about $10,000 a week. Not much in the overall budget but it can’t hurt.
Expect Something New At The Top Of The East Tower – Blackstone says to expect “something creative with unused space at the top of the east tower”. Another club or restaurant with amazing views of Vegas sounds like a good fit here.
The Cosmopolitan is one of my favorite casinos in Vegas. I love hanging out here and am really looking forward to seeing what kind of changes Blackstone has in mind. We can discuss potential buyers next holiday season.
John Unwin, CEO of Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, did a sort of strange interview with Bloomberg last week. He was lobbed some softball questions about Las Vegas before being asked about Atlantic City, a market he’s never worked in. Since the Cosmo or any of his previous jobs have no connection to Atlantic City he seemed very lost. That part of the interview was a bad look for Unwin and Bloomberg.
The softball questions surrounded why Las Vegas is in such good shape. One of the interesting bits of information from this interview is that the median age of the Las Vegas customer has gone from 50 To 44 in the past two years. That’s a huge drop.
The large decrease in median age makes sense when you look at all of the new properties and club openings. As the reinvention of Vegas continues it seems as though that median age will continue to fall.
After G2E it seems as though all marketing focus has switched to millennials. If there is any success with this group of consumers the median age of the Las Vegas customer will continue to surge downward rapidly.
If you feel old when you’re in Vegas today get ready to feel really old in a couple of years.
You can see the complete 5 minute interview below for more information and context.
John Unwin from the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas was on CNBC today and offered nothing new. In fact, the most interesting thing to me were the lack of people walking around the casino. I know the interview was at 9am, but there are so many better options for a location. Compare this to Jim Murren from MGM Resorts interview on CNBC yesterday at the Bellagio conservatory and the Cosmo looks kind of sad. I’ll post that video later or tomorrow.