MGM Expands Strip Holdings

MGM Mirage’s plan to spend $575 million to buy two vacant Las Vegas Strip parcels might entice some of the casino operator’s new foreign-based joint venture partners to invest in Las Vegas, gaming analysts hope.

The acquisitions, on the north end of the Strip near the company’s Circus Circus hotel-casino, give MGM Mirage a 78-acre site for development, according to

The Las Vegas Gaming Wire reports that some analysts think the company could plan a development similar to the massive $7 billion Project CityCenter, which it is building on the south end of the Strip.

CityCenter is expected to comprise a 4,000-room hotel/casino and include boutique hotels, high-rise condos, plus a retail, dining and entertainment complex.

"While plans to develop this land may not be imminent, we believe this land purchase gives MGM Mirage a greater foothold at the north end of the Strip and additional long term development options," Deutsche Bank analyst Bill Lerner told the Gaming Wire.

"We see this as an opportunity to not only harness the power of our portfolio, but also as a means to expand and enhance the operations of our valuable Circus Circus property for years to come," MGM Mirage Chairman Terry Lanni reportedly said.

The gaming giant also has plans to renovate and expand the aging 3,700-room Circus Circus.

MGM Mirage has exploratory deals for non-gaming business opportunities with the Mubadala Development Co. of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; and with an unnamed Chinese company, according to Gaming Wire

MGM also reportedly has a joint venture hotel/casino development deal with Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, which operates Connecticut’s Foxwoods Resort Casino.