It might seem like an odd statement coming from Jim Murren, chairman and CEO of the Strip’s largest casino company. For now, MGM Resorts International — which operates Bellagio, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, The Mirage, CityCenter and others — is done building hotel-casinos on the Strip.
“It’s not my expectation during my career here that we will build another casino resort in Las Vegas,” said Murren, who became CEO in 2008. Before taking that role, he was MGM’s president, chief financial officer and chief operating officer for over a decade. During his career, MGM bought Mirage Resorts, Mandalay Resort Group and built CityCenter with its centerpiece, Aria.
“I don’t see the value proposition, the need and the business case that could be made,” Murren said of adding a property.
MGM Resorts, however, isn’t slowing. The company is the most active developer on the Strip for new restaurants, retail outlets and other entertainment attractions. The company recently built two outdoor festival grounds on previously vacant land — a 33-acre site on the Strip’s north end and a 15-acre site across from Luxor. They were programmed for music events and specialty shows.
A $66 million, 350,000-square-foot expansion to the Mandalay Bay Convention Center is expected to open in August, giving the facility more than 2 million square feet of space.
The centerpiece of the company’s nongaming effort is a $350 million, 20,000-seat sports and entertainment arena behind New York-New York in partnership with arena developer AEG.
The arena will anchor the Park, an outdoor retail and dining district between New York-New York and Monte Carlo.
“We’re developing the type of environments that will make our buildings more popular and profitable,” Murren said during an interview at Bellagio. “Everything we’re doing is geared not toward the expansion of the room count or the casino floor, but the expansion of entertainment and visitation to Las Vegas. We believe that we will get the lion’s share of that benefit.”