After selling the Cosmopolitan Casino and Hotel Las Vegas to MGM Resorts in 2021 and agreeing to sell its half stake in the MGM Grand Las Vegas and Mandalay Bay resorts to partner VICI Properties Inc., on June 27, as reported by Bloomberg, Blackstone Inc., an American alternative investment management firm based in New York, revealed that it is currently weighing offers for half of its stake in the real estate of the Bellagio casino-hotel in Las Vegas, which the company bought nearly four years ago for $4.25 billion.
Consideration of options:
“The New York-based investment firm is considering its options and hasn’t committed to a sale,” said the people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private. Additionally, Blackstone was looking to cash out some of its real estate positions.
On a related note, on Monday, June 26, it revealed its upcoming plans to sell warehouses and industrial assets for $3.1 billion to Prologis Inc.
Reasons for sale and potential buyers:
The Bellagio, one of the most successful resorts on the city’s widely-known Strip, is still managed under a long-term lease by MGM Resorts International, aka its original owner. Given that fact, the main reason Blackstone decided to sell its most successful resort on the Strip is that Las Vegas hotel traffic has remained strong even as other real estate sectors, like malls and office space, have weakened.
Furthermore, looking at the aforementioned sale of the Cosmopolitan casino and Hotel for $5.65 billion, this figure means that Blackstone has managed to roughly triple its initial investment, making it one of the most profitable commercial real estate transactions in US history. Additionally, looking at the aforementioned sale of a 49.9% stake to VICI Properties, this means that VICI is seen as a possible buyer for the sale of Bellagio. However, VICI hasn’t publicly endorsed its interest in owning part of the site.
When asked to comment on the potential sale of Bellagio, representatives for Blackstone and MGM refused to comment.
Renovating the Bellagio:
Reports of a potential sale come as the Bellagio begins its latest renovation. Relatedly, earlier this year, its officials unveiled new details about a $110 million makeover of all rooms and suites within the Spa Tower, a move set to provide “contemporary accommodations inspired by the beauty and tranquility of Italy’s Lake Como.”
Furthermore, the renovation of the Spa Tower includes 819 guest rooms and 104 suites and is due to be finished in October, with the first collection of rooms available for guests from July.