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MGM Mirage Continues Global Expansion with New Casino in Egypt

Thursday, June 18, 2009

by Arnold M. Knightly
Las Vegas Gaming Wire

LAS VEGAS, Nevada –- MGM Mirage likes to think big.

It is building the largest privately funded project in U.S. history on the Strip, but the company
  isn't stopping there.

The gaming giant on Tuesday announced its latest push to spread its name around the world, this time through a partnership to build an MGM Grand nongaming luxury hotel near Cairo, Egypt.

MGM Grand New Giza will be a 550-room hotel that will be part of a 1,500-acre master-planned community. The community will include homes, three hotels, restaurants, shopping malls, golf courses and other sports facilities.

Construction of the project, which is expected to open in 2013, will be financed by New Giza for Real Estate Development Co. Cost of the project was not available.

MGM Mirage will provide management services and license the MGM Grand name to the hotel through its subsidiary MGM Mirage Hospitality.

"It's a great opportunity for the company to leverage our brands and reach out to our guests who have come to know and love our brands in their own countries and in their own cities," Gamal Aziz, MGM Mirage Hospitality chief executive officer and president, said.

MGM Mirage Hospitality has signed similar deals to develop and manage nongaming hotels in China, Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The subsidiary also has a deal to develop and manage an MGM Grand-branded hotel-casino in Vietnam.

MGM Mirage Hospitality was formed in 2007 to leverage the MGM Mirage name through mostly international partnerships.

These partnerships allow MGM Mirage to expand into new markets at very little cost for the gaming company, which is struggling with nearly $14.4 billion in debt.

"In all the deals we've done, the developer provides the funding and we provide the management," Aziz said. "None of these deals we've signed so far involves significant investments by MGM Mirage."

MGM Mirage will receive revenues through what Aziz described as "typical hotel management contracts," with the casino company earning a percentage of sales and profits, and licensing and marketing fees.

The agreements also help MGM Mirage build its international luxury hotel presence quickly with little cost to the company, according to David Schwartz, director of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas' Gaming Research Center.

"It gets their name out there to people in the luxury market," Schwartz said. "If they want to be in that field I don't know that you can say you're a great hospitality provider with one or two MGM Grands. You need to have several of them, and this seems to be a cost-effective way to do it."

The Egyptian property will be the 10th MGM Grand-branded property in the company's portfolio.

The company owns the MGM Grand on Las Vegas Boulevard and MGM Grand Detroit. It also has a licensing agreement with the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, which owns and operates the MGM Grand at Foxwoods in Connecticut.

The company also owns and operates the MGM Grand Macau in a 50-50 partnership.

3600 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Las Vegas, NV 89109
Phone: (702) 693-7120
Fax: (702) 693-8626
MGM MIRAGE is one of the world's leading gaming companies. It owns and operates 24 properties located in Nevada, Mississippi and Michigan, and has investments in four other properties in Nevada, New Jersey, Illinois and the United Kingdom. MGM MIRAGE has also announced plans to develop Project CityCenter, a multi-billion dollar mixed-use urban development project in the heart of Las Vegas, and has a 50 percent interest in MGM Grand Macau.
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