Some of it was hold related, but Wynn stole the show in Q1.
As we all know, Wynn Las Vegas/Encore had a great quarter even when normalizing the high hold. The following chart shows Wynn’s big jump in EBITDA share among the big four Las Vegas operators: WYNN, LVS, MGM, and Caesar’s. MGM’s share, including half of Aria, held steady from Q4, although 40% is disappointing relative to previous quarters. LVS’s new promotional strategy does not appear to be paying off as it saw its EBITDA share drop 400bps to 10% in Q4. Yes, low table game hold % hurt EBITDA but slot hold % was unusually high and table and slot volume still fell 13% and 36%, respectively.
While we don’t have RevPAR data from Caesar’s, the following chart analyzes the relative quarterly RevPAR of MGM, Wynn Las Vegas/Encore, and Venetian/Palazzo. Relative RevPAR has been remarkably stable over the past few quarters. The only noticeable call out is the 6% and 5% fall off of LVS from its Q1 2010 peak the last 2 quarters.
In LVS’s defense, their RevPAR has been more volatile than the other 3 big Vegas Strip operators as can be seen in the following YoY RevPAR change chart. However, the company’s big Q1 lag as even MGM moved significantly into positive territory is disconcerting and once again brings their promotional strategy into question.