A senior executive of casino operator Wynn Macau Ltd said the rooms in its two properties – Wynn Macau on Macau peninsula and Wynn Palace on Cotai – are already fully booked for the upcoming October Golden Week holiday period.
“Our occupancy rate has always been very high. The number is almost always above 95 to 96 percent. And it is definitely fully booked during the Golden Week holiday period… We hope that [the business] is better than that of the previous year” said Linda Chen (pictured), executive director and chief operating officer of Wynn Macau Ltd.
Investment analysts have previously indicated that in the Macau market, the importance of VIP and premium mass players in gross gaming revenue terms means that many hotel rooms at the city’s casino resorts are provided on a complimentary basis to clients – commonly referred to in the casino industry as “comps”.
Ms Chen noted in her Tuesday remarks, given on the sidelines of a company event for local small- and medium-sized enterprises: “We put more emphasis on the quality [of guests] instead of the quantity.”
According to the company’s interim report for 2017 published in August, the Wynn Macau property had – as of June 30 – a total of 1,008 rooms and suites and Wynn Palace 1,706 rooms and suites. In aggregate that was approximately 7.4 percent of the city’s 36,500-room capacity as measured at the end of December.
October’s Golden Week period encompasses China’s National Day on October 1. China’s State Council declared the 2017 holiday period as running for eight days from October 1 to 8, as it includes the lunar calendar-based Mid-Autumn Festival which this year falls on October 4.
Commenting on the recovery from Typhoon Hato, which struck Macau on August 23 and damaged several casino resorts, Ms Chen revealed repair work at Wynn Macau Ltd properties was still in progress.
The executive director explained: “Some objects in the properties – such as windows – are custom-made. It thus takes some time to make repairs. But it does not affect operations.”
Wynn Palace business
Regarding the progress of business at the US$4.4-billion Wynn Palace, which opened in August last year, Ms Chen said it was “improving”, but was still somewhat affected by construction work nearby. A section of Macau’s light rail system is being built near the front of the property, and construction-related traffic for the next door MGM Cotai site, a venue promoted by MGM China Holdings Ltd, also makes pedestrian access to Wynn Palace difficult.
Ms Chen predicted trading conditions at Wynn Palace would improve once those civil engineering works were completed.
She added that special promotions and events were already being introduced in order to attract customers to the Cotai property.
She noted: “We are trying to provide some new offers to customers, like promotions and diversified events. We organised lots of concerts, and themed dinners so that not only guests from our hotels, but those from other hotels, will come and check out our new events.”
The second-quarter business performance of Wynn Palace was “weaker-than-expected” said brokerage JP Morgan Securities (Asia Pacific) Ltd in a July note. Wynn Macau Ltd’s Steve Wynn, chairman and chief executive of Wynn Macau Ltd, remarked during a conference call with analysts in July that the mass market at Wynn Palace] was “really affected” by what he termed the “physicality of the neighbourhood”.
Ms Chen noted on Tuesday there was not yet a formal plan for phase two of Wynn Palace, but said the firm would take into consideration the facilities in nearby competing properties.
“We [as a Cotai operator] want to be complementary… instead of building the same thing [as other operators]. For example, if large-scale convention and exhibition facilities are not needed, then we are going to build performance facilities with special features, or develop a different hotel and food and beverage experience,” she explained.
Analysts at brokerage Sanford C. Bernstein Ltd had said in a July note they did not expect a phase two at Wynn Palace “until there is clarity surrounding [Macau gaming] concession renewals and the Macau recovery is more sustained”.
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Direct taxes on gaming collected by the Macau government in full calendar year 2018