Macau casinos are booked solid for the Chinese New Year, a telling sign that the city’s efforts to market towards the more casual gambler and visitor are finally paying off.
The most important holiday in the world’s most populated country, the Chinese New Year is known as the Spring Festival in the mainland. The official day takes place tomorrow, January 28, but most Chinese make the event a weeklong celebration.
For the 2017 gala, many citizens are opting to stay in the country and check out all Macau has to offer. According to a survey conducted by Morgan Stanley, Macau casinos are reporting room occupancy rates of more than 80 percent for the period between January 27 and February 6.
Among the properties surveyed by the financial services company were Wynn Macau and Wynn Palace. Combined, the two resorts boast over 2,700 rooms. A quick search online found zero rooms available from today through February 6 at either location.
The Cotai Strip where the Wynn Palace is located is the most desirable area of Macau for the Chinese New Year.
Hotel room rates at Las Vegas Sands’ Parisian and Venetian properties are also heavily occupied, though rooms are available. Rates vary depending on the night and resort from $167 to $425 for a standard room.
New Game in Town
After two years of falling revenues due to China’s crackdown on VIP players being brought to Macau via junket operators, resorts shifted their attention to the more spontaneous gambler.
Focusing on the common tourist meant offering new attractions that appeal to a wider audience.
China is home to 1.3 billion people, but in years past, many often traveled internationally during the New Year festivities. With attractions such as Wynn Palace’s SkyCab ride that lifts visitors high above the city for breathtaking views, the Parisian’s half-scale replica of the Eiffel Tower, water fountain shows, art galleries, theme parks and more, the “Las Vegasization” of Macau is working.
Combined with the remaining VIP base, and Macau casinos have plenty of reasons to be optimistic.
Steve Wynn has voiced his frustrations to investors regarding the entryways to Wynn Palace, which opened in August. The billionaire said on a conference call in November that construction and public works projects surrounding the new resort has made public access difficult, and that’s led to disappointing opening revenues.
However, Wynn Resorts released its fourth-quarter and full-year financial results this week, and the earnings gave investors much to celebrate.
Net revenue for the last three months came in at $1.3 billion, fueling a bottom line take of $113.8 million. That’s a nearly 31 percent gain on the same period in 2015.
Wynn gave a simple explanation for the strong numbers. “They all have a common thread that is undeniable: They go where they are treated the best and where the facilities are superior,” the tycoon explained.
Shares of Wynn Resorts on NASDAQ soared on the news. The stock was up over eight percent in early morning trading.