Strong performance for Bellagio

If the Virtuoso conference at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas last week was anything to by, then the hotel can expect a strong season ahead.  More than a thousand of the world’s upscale travel destinations and tour operators met during a weeklong event at the hotel to capitalize on the thriving luxury travel market.

“It’s absolutely booming,” Matthew Upchurch, Virtuoso’s chief executive told the Chicago Tribune newspaper.

“Our agents are busier than they’ve ever been and over the next 18 years, roughly 8,000 Baby Boomers will turn 60 each day and they have the money and the desire to travel.”

And the Bellagio is taking advantage of this very market with its upscale offering in Las Vegas. It has already shown a strong second quarter, benefiting from strong gaming revenues at its casino, decent non-gaming profits and cost controls.

High convention room nights are also anticipated in the third quarter, which management sees soaring 67 percent. O at the Bellagio, the Cirque Du Soleil show, is also still going strong.

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The Bellagio is also being considered for the world premiere of the movie “Ocean’s Thirteen,” producer Jerry Weintraub disclosed to local newspapers.

  Bellagio has also been nominated at this year’s World Travel Awards in the category of North America’s Leading Casino Resort.

Earlier this month, Bellagio’s parent MGM Mirage, which is one of the world’s largest casino companies, saw its second quarterly profits climb by 3.7 percent.

Net income was $146.4 million including strong slot performances at properties including the MGM Grand Las Vegas and MGM Grand Detroit. Hotel-room revenue rose 15 percent to $524 million

The group was also boosted by a full quarter of results from its Mandalay Resort Group, which it acquired in April 2005.

MGM is now looking to Project CityCenter, a 66-acre casino-hotel-shopping-residential complex along the Las Vegas Strip, between the Monte Carlo and Bellagio resorts.

The $7-billion, 18-million-sq-ft development is billed as the largest privately financed construction project in U.S. history.
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