Casino hotels on the Las Vegas Strip, already struggling to attract customers without further discounting, will face new pressure with the December opening of 2,000 hotel rooms at the US$3.9 billion Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. The competition could trim as much as 5.5 percent, or $74.1 million, from next year’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) at rival casino operator MGM Resorts International, according to a report on Friday from Union Gaming. Under such a worst-case scenario for other Strip casinos, the research firm found that 2011 operating cashflow could fall 1.7 percent at Wynn Resorts Ltd, 1.4 percent at Las Vegas Sands Corp and 1.2 percent at Harrah’s Entertainment Inc. Union Gaming arrived at its findings by quantifying the impact of daily room reservation rates through March 2011 at the Cosmopolitan on its peer group of high-end luxury hotel rooms. The research firm, which assumed that current visitation and occupancy trends remain stable, estimated that the Cosmopolitan could attract just over 1 percent of total visitors to Las Vegas, dropping occupancy rates at existing high-end resorts from 82.1 percent to 76.5 percent. The Cosmopolitan, acquired in a foreclosure by Deutsche Bank AG in 2008, is scheduled to…
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