BluefoxToday blog : MGM Mirage studying sale of land in Las Vegas

MGM Mirage studying sale of land in Las Vegas

The weak economy is forcing many Southern Nevada resort operators to revisit their master plans. Not too long ago the trend was to acquire land on the Strip and almost anywhere else in town with idea of building more hotel rooms, casinos and luxury condominiums because the traffic seemed to be there. Now the focus has shifted rather dramatically away from further expansion to just being able to survive this nasty downturn.

MGM Mirage wants to do just that by seeking to unload some or all of the raw land it owns here. It has several choice Strip lots to offer, in addition to multiple parcels elsewhere in the valley and in the entire state. These sales proceeds would go a long way in shoring up its depleted bottom line and in turn help in the completion of the massive CityCenter project that has encountered some financing issues. Actually, that seems to be the main reason to the exercise.

How much will the land sales bring? Right now potential buyers might be scarce because to get funding today for something like that is nearly impossible. Some developers could have the cash but then they wouldn't want to pay anything close to market price. Applied Analysis, a Las Vegas research firm, advises that median undeveloped land price was $524,725 per acre at the end of September, around 74% decrease from a year earlier. MGM Mirage could get its money back on some of the land if it was acquired several years ago, but any recent purchases would likely result in a loss. Still, just to generate some cash might be all they want.

Who would be interested in buying land here now? The Strip certainly doesn't need any more luxury high-rise condos. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of unsold and vacant units on and off the Strip that are difficult to market in this economy. Besides, no developer would find money for construction even if he wanted to take on a gamble. The same can be said about new resorts. As it is the present room count far exceeds demand and it's going to stay that way for the foreseeable future. The likely candidates would have deep pockets and long-range plans. Firms that can afford to sit on the land for some time until the market conditions improve. Selling today for a top dollar is going to be a challenge.




Provided by: 

Esko Kiuru
Mortgage, real estate and apartment industry analyst - syndicated mortgage, housing and property management blog
My cell: 702-499-1006

Comment balloon 10 commentsEsko Kiuru • November 28 2008 04:49PM


Esko, if someone has money that they don't need for a while, now would be a great time to buy up some of that land.  Sooner or later the market will turn around like it always does, and when that happens big profits could be made.

Posted by George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert (George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages) about 10 years ago

I am going to Vegas next weekend!  Look out!

Posted by Chuck Carstensen, Minnesota Real Estate Expert (RE/MAX Results) about 10 years ago

Esko, I thought you pinpointed it very accurately with who would buy? Those with the long term focus.

Posted by Gary Woltal, Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) about 10 years ago

I met just met with the admin of major casino capital firm that is eager for to bring them valid clients.

Posted by Jeffrey Allen about 10 years ago


Vegas has good real estate value wherever you look.

Posted by Esko Kiuru about 10 years ago


Come and join the party.

Posted by Esko Kiuru about 10 years ago


It's a long-term play now. Excellent opportunity for that.

Posted by Esko Kiuru about 10 years ago


The big investors are definitely keeping an eye on opportunities here.

Posted by Esko Kiuru about 10 years ago

That certainly is a change for Vegas! Not building on land as high as possible just to make it a casino and hotel. Well, what other changes might we be expecting from these giants in the next few years as the economy changes and vacations like Vegas become less frequent.

Thanks for your two years here on Activerain and thanks for your contribution, you are appreciated, I promise! Have a happy and successful 2009!

Posted by Respect Realty LLC, Brokers - Oregon / SW Washington Real Estate (Respect Realty LLC) about 10 years ago


Vegas certainly enjoyed a long growth period that has now come to a halt. It'll recover eventually and then likely grow at a less frantic pace.

Posted by Esko Kiuru about 10 years ago