Mirage For Sale?

Reports surfaced last week that the Mirage in Las Vegas was up for sale by MGM Resorts. The iconic property is away from its parent company’s development focus these days and has been on the market for at least a year.

The Mirage hotel and casino in Las Vegas could be sold very soon. A report in the Las Vegas Review Journal last week indicated that MGM Resorts is close to an agreement to sell the property. MGM bought the Mirage when it bought Mirage Resorts from Steve Wynn back in 2000. Along with the Mirage, MGM also bought Bellagio, Treasure Island and the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas and Laughlin, Nevada. The company later sold the Golden Nugget properties to Tim Poster and Tom Breitling (who later sold it to Tilman Fertitta and Landry’s) and Treasure Island was sold to Phil Ruffin.

The Mirage was built by Wynn and opened in 1989, transforming the Las Vegas Strip. With more than 3,000 rooms, the hotel’s volcano show and Siegfried and Roy’s white tigers were Las Vegas staples for many years. Last year, the Mirage posted an EBITDA of $145 million, which could mean a value of around $1.4 billion. But any buyer would have to unplug from MGM’s MLife rewards program.

Reports indicate that Starwood Capital is the leading candidate to buy the Mirage. Starwood most recently sold the Riviera on the Las Vegas Strip to the city’s convention authority, which will use the land to build a Strip connection to its main facility.

The deal makes sense for MGM because the Mirage is located north of MGM’s development focus right now, which is at the intersection of Tropicana and Las Vegas Boulevard, where the company is building a 20,000 seat arena and an adjacent park, while sprucing up adjoining properties. Analysts see the sale of the Mirage as a deleveraging event.