MGM Mirage Retooling MGM Grand Macau
Last week the folks from MGM Mirage, part owners of MGM Grand Macau, held their quarterly earnings investor call wherein they discussed some of their strategies for improving performance at MGM Grand Macau.
One of the most notable changes is that MGM Mirage has hired Grant Bowie (and the Spiders From Mars?) to replace Bob Moon as President of MGM Grand Macau. Moon will be returning to his prior gig heading up MGM Mirage's international operations. Bowie comes to MGM Grand Macau from neighbor Wynn Macau where he served as President. It's unclear if Bob Moon was pushed out due to MGM Grand Macau's performance or if he was temporary to begin with. Anonymous tips are welcome.
In addition to the exec change, MGM Grand has decided to do some retooling to their property to expand table capacity for potential junket agreement expansion. The 34th and 35th floors of the hotel will be converted from hotel suites to VIP gaming salons, to be completed in August 2009. Initially, they had planned to put some mass market tables in there but have apparently decided to go full steam focusing on junket VIP play.
MGM Grand Macau has also begun to use MGM Mirage's "International Marketing Organization" to help bring in players. It isn't clear what the "IMO" is... could be player development intelligence, could be straight up marketing panache.
Another thing they mentioned in the call is the difficulty MGM Grand Macau is having due to it being surrounded on three sides by construction (One and Mandarin Oriental II to the west, Royal Arc to the east, Encore Tower at Wynn Macau to the north. If anyone can report on foot traffic conditions from StarWorld to MGM, please leave a comment below.
They also noted difficulty accessing the property via taxi - specifically the lack of a right hand turning lane into the property from Avenida Marginal de Baia Nova. Currently, auto traffic to the porte cochere has to drive past the property to the Macau Tower traffic circle, turn around then come back past Nam Van Lake en route the property. They listed a number of reasons why getting a simple turning lane installed is a bureaucratic nightmare. Apparently, all reclaimed land is under the direct jurisdiction of the Chinese government, not the Macau SAR. Widening the road to the south will require usage of reclaimed land to the south, therefore involving the Chinese government in negotiations and whatnot. Getting the turning lane is Grand Bowie's "number one job" when he assumes the position.
Overall MGM execs are reasonably happy with the level of play at MGM Grand Macau but definitely feel they can squeeze a lot more juice out of the lemon in the VIP and mass market sectors by addressing the above issues. With all the juice squeezing they're doing, they should consider renaming the property Tropicana (after the U.S. based orange juice company.)