MGM Resorts International boss Jim Murren has said over and over again The Mirage - a classic Strip casino built by Steve Wynn - is not for sale.
Well hold on now, a new report says The Mirage will be sold. And sold soon.
That report came from Scott Roeben, the editor of Vital Vegas.
"As far as I can tell, this is happening," Roeben told KNPR's State of Nevada.
When asked to confirm the report by KNPR News, MGM Resorts repeated its previous statements that the resort is not being sold and said, "otherwise we do not comment on rumor and speculation."
Roeben couldn't say why MGM is not confirming the deal, but said it is likely due to the wrangling that surrounds these kinds of big deal.
"They have a lot of considerations when they're dealing with a deal this big," Roeben explained.
He believes Starwood Capital Group are buying the Mirage. The former owners of the Riviera have wanted to buy something on the Strip for a while, Roeben said.
"I think they set their sights of the Mirage because it was kind of prime for a sale," he said.
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However, why would MGM Resorts sell a property that was once the most luxorious resort in Las Vegas.
When Steve Wynn first opened it in the late 1980s, he reportedly had to make a $1 million a day to pay for it. At the time, critics said there was no way he could make that much. Needless to say, the critics were wrong.
Roeben believes MGM Resorts doesn't see the Mirage as the crown jewel in its portfolio anymore.
"They have shifted their focus away from that part of the Strip," Roeben said. "They could use a little cash right now. They need to pay for some things down near the arena."
According to Roeben, the company's focus has now moved south to its City Center project, the new arena and the refurbishing of the Monte Carlo.
"They are truly creating a destination, a kind of a combination of a lot of things that poeple have said they want," he said, "It is really going to be huge boost for that end of the strip, and I think Vegas over all, because it's really thoughtfully put together and the offerings sound just fantastic."
As far as the price is concerned, Roeben told KNPR's State of Nevada that the property is being sold for between $1 and $1.5 billion, which he believes is a fair price.
"I think it's right in that sweet spot," Roeben said. "I'm sure a good deal was struck with Starwood Capital."
There is no word, of course, on what would happen to the Cirque du Soliel show "Love" at the Mirage, but as Roeben pointed out, Cirque's relationship with MGM Resorts is a strong one.
Scott Roeben, editor, Vital Vegas
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