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Flat airport traffic, low slot and table hold last year, and solid high end play should lead to positive revenue growth on the Strip in August.

McCarran Airport released data showing that the number of enplaned/deplaned passengers decreased only 0.4% in August.  As you know, fly in traffic represents the lion share of Las Vegas Strip visitation.  Based on this data and other inputs, we think Strip gaming revenue will increase 5-7%, assuming normal slot and table hold percentages.

Why do we expect positive gaming revenue growth with negative airport traffic?  Why not?  If people can be made to believe MGM is a good buy at 13x EBITDA, they’ll believe anything.  Actually, our prediction is a little more rationally based than that.  First, table and slot hold percentages were both below normal last year.  If use the same hold percentages as last August, our projection would be only slightly positive.  Second, we do expect table spend per visitor to be up over last year, consistent with recent months.  Finally, drive-in traffic has been positive the last few months and we think that trend continued in August. 

Here the projections: