TICKERS: MPEL, G13.SI, WYN, CCL, Airbnb
July 28 8:30am: WYN 2Q CC ; PW: WYNDHAM
July 29 10:00am: HLT 2Q CC ; PW: 74328196
July 30 9:00am: HST 2Q CC
July 30 10:00am: MAR 2Q CC ; PW: 66506287
July 30 1:00pm: HOT 2Q CC ; PW: 69941686
July 30 8:30am: STAY 2Q CC (1877)
July 31 10:00am: RCL 2Q CC
- Wild Rose Jefferson opens
- St Regis Macau opens
August 3: 8:00pm: CTRIP 2Q CC ; PW: 40828276
August 4: 11:00am: MGM 2Q CC ; PW: 0575269
August 4: 5:00pm: AWAY 2Q CC
August 6: 8:30am: MPEL 2Q CC ; PW: MPEL
August 6: 8:30-1pm: RCL INVESTOR DAY (NYSE)
MPEL - Casino operator Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd says that next Monday, it will publicly announce the date of the "Grand Opening” of Macau casino resort Studio City. The company has organized a tour of the venue for the media, followed by a press conference in the afternoon that day.
Takeaway: We're hearing only a 150 table allocation for Studio City. The property probably won't reach its potential until the ownership issue is resolved.
G13.SI - Genting Singapore bought back 3.6 million shares on July 28 at $0.895.
WYN - Recently welcomed three new affiliated resorts in China to its vacation exchange network. The properties are Shangshanqi Villa Resort and Taoyuan Hot Spring International Hotel in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, and Bo'ao Holliyard Seaview Resort in Hainan Island. The signing of these agreements expands RCI's portfolio of resorts in China to more than 55 properties.
CCL - Today announced that its Italian brand, Costa Cruises, will build two new cruise ships as part of an agreement with Meyer Werft to construct four next-generation cruise ships with the largest guest capacity in the world. In June, Carnival Corporation announced the other two ships included in this multi-billion dollar contract are destined for its German brand, AIDA Cruises.
- The two new ships for Costa Cruises will be built by shipbuilder Meyer Werft at the company's shipyard in Turku, Finland, with deliveries expected in 2019 and 2020. Each new cruise ship will exceed 180,000 gross tons, offering more than 2,600 passenger cabins and 5,200 lower berths to comfortably accommodate a total capacity of 6,600 guests.
- Pioneering a new era in the use of sustainable fuels, these new ships will use LNG to generate 100 percent of the ship's power both in port and on the open sea – an industry-first innovation that will significantly reduce exhaust emissions to help protect the environment and support the company's aggressive sustainability goals.
- The four-ship contract with Meyer Werft is part of a larger previously announced strategic memo of understanding with leading shipbuilders Meyer Werft and Fincantieri S.p.A for nine new ship orders between 2019 and 2022.
Takeaway: Cost efficient and Eco friendly appears to be the new mantra for cruise ship construction.
Airbnb - Airbnb is planning its Africa Expansion. The San Francisco company, which allows people to rent rooms in their private homes to travelers over the Internet, held an event July 27 in Johannesburg, where Airbnb Chief Executive Officer Brian Chesky walked local reporters through the company’s ambitions in the world’s second-most populous continent.
- With news spreading mainly through word of mouth, some 9,400 homes are for rent in South Africa, making it the company’s largest market on the continent. The biggest cities for Airbnb are Cape Town and Johannesburg, and the company says listings in South Africa are increasing 138% a year.
- The number of people staying in Airbnb homes in the country is growing 257%.
- In the coming weeks, Airbnb says it will also roll out its “host guarantee” in Africa, which reimburses hosts for up to $1 million U.S. dollars if a guest damages their homes.
Takeaway: Regulations may be a headwind in some markets, but it hasn't stopped Airbnb's relentless push for growth and expansion worldwide.
Macau Blue Card Holders - The number of non-resident workers, commonly known as blue card holders, rose 16.2% YoY to 180,523 at the end of June, the Human Resources Office (GRH) announced on Monday. The number increased by 1,107 between May and last month. Mainlanders accounted for 65 percent of all imported labor. Other major segments were hired from the Philippines (23,152), Vietnam (14,203), Hong Kong (9,708), Indonesia (4,087), Nepal (3,521), Taiwan (1,600), Myanmar (1,249), Malaysia (1,232), and Thailand (1,034).
Takeaway: Good news for Casino operators with current projects and those planning to build.
Saipan Casino - Imperial Pacific International Holdings Ltd says it has opened its casino on the western Pacific island of Saipan. The company told the Hong Kong Stock Exchange that its temporary casino premises in Garapan on the island had opened for business on July 26. Imperial Pacific International has plans to build a casino-resort on Saipan in five phases. It has a 25-year licence to run a casino.
Takeaway: Let's not confuse Saipan with Japan
Thailand Casino - Thailand’s latest outbreak of casino speculation began in June. Two members of the post-coup military government’s National Reform Council suggested casino to bolster tourism. The pair said they represented about a dozen members of the advisory panel and planned to submit a more detailed proposal to the government.
- “We want to invest in Thailand if we are given permission,” LVS vice president for communications in Singapore Krist Boo said
- “For Thailand, we would love to have an integrated resort at a place close to the city center or financial center, near the international airport,” Boo said, according to Thailand’s The Nation newspaper.
Takeaway: Could this be what LVS's Adelson was referring to?
Lifestyle Hotels and Threats to the Industry - Lifestyle hotels might be lodging option du jour for investors, operators and consumers, but they aren’t immune from some of the challenges facing the rest of the hotel industry. The most notable challenges, according to panelists speaking during the second stop on the ALIS Summer Update tour last week at the Chicago Athletic Club Hotel, involve rising pressure on the wage and rental-economy fronts.
- “To our business, (the biggest issue) is the wage issue, and particularly as it relates to labor unions,” said Niki Leondakis, CEO of San Francisco-based Commune Hotels
- “Airbnb is a concern,” said Raul Leal, CEO of Virgin Hotels. “It should be a concern for properties that don’t provide an experience.”
- Because Airbnb tends to be most successful in high-density, urban markets where lifestyle hotels also thrive, regulatory issues will have a big impact, panelists said.
- The executives agreed that facing these pressures can be beneficial for all hoteliers.
- Leondakis pointed to the growing trend of ditching 24-hour room service in favor of a grab-and-go concept in which guests get their food to-go from a lobby restaurant concept as an example.
- “You’ve got to think about F&B completely differently with this cost of labor,” she added.
- “In some ways, Airbnb has caused all of us to up our game,” he said. “They’re doing some things that are really, really relevant that consumers want.”
Takeaway: More commentary on the realistic threats to hotels. Airbnb and rising labor costs are major rising in that industry.
Hedgeye Macro Team is incrementally bearish on U.S. consumption growth, based on the consumer's continued efforts to deleverage their household balance sheet combined with the peaking of consumer confidence and stagnating labor productivity.
Takeaway: For now, US regional gaming slowed in June but North American cruise pricing still doing well.