By Staff writer
Las Vegas firm aims to tap into luxury travel demand, owns CityCenter casino with Dubai World
MGM Resorts International, the Las Vegas casino operator
part-owned by Dubai World, may open as many as 30 hotels in China in the next
three to four years to tap increasing demand for luxury travel in the country.
MGM Hospitality, a unit
of the company that focuses on luxury hotels, is currently building 20 hotels
in the Asia- Pacific region, with nine of those in Chinese cities including
Shanghai and Ningbo, said Michael Sagild, managing director for Asia-Pacific
development at the unit.
Demand for luxury goods
and travel in China may rise by as much as 25 percent to account for 44 percent
of the world’s total by 2020, Credit Agricole’s CLSA said in a February report.
MGM Hospitality plans to open its first hotel in the country
in Sanya, Hainan Island, in the fourth quarter, Sagild said.
“If I had spoken to you
nine months ago I would have said we may get to about 15 hotels in China in the
next three to four years,” Sagild said in an interview in Hong Kong, where he’s
“Today, it may be 30 because in the last four months there’s
been an absolute rush on brands. There’s still a lot of developers who’re
interested” in opening hotels.
State-backed conglomerate Dubai World bought a 9.5 percent
stake in MGM in 2007, in a deal worth around $2.4bn. The company also put up
half of the financing cost on the $8.5bn CityCenter project, the largest casino
on the Las Vegas strip, in a 50/50 joint venture.
Last year the flagship firm was reported to be mulling the
sale of its stake in a bid to reduce net debt.