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[LV] Cosmopolitan, a new hotel


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#1 Rail Paul

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Posted 16 December 2010 - 02:40 AM

The new Cosmopolitan hotel is opening this evening. The 3,000 room hotel is adjacent to Bellagio, on the south (City Center) side. Business Insider has a slide show of the place, and it looks gorgeous.

Restaurants include Blue Ribbon Sushi, Estiatorio Milos, Comme Ca, Scarpetta, Jaleo, and the requisite Burger Bar, called Holstein's. STK advertises itself as a steakhouse with a feminine flair.


Times are very tough on the Strip, I understand. Wynn / Encore sent me a solicitation earlier this week. Other than some blackout days around New Years and Super Bowl, they're offering $129 for a king suite during the week, $179 on Friday and Saturday. For Wynn, that's a pretty deep discount.

Excalibur has a $30 rate for midweek in February, while Bally's has $49. Circus is $25. Aria is $175 minus a $75 credit. Vdara is $130.

Deutsche Bank owns it

“Jazz musicians just get better and better as the years go by. I think chefs are the same way. You know who you are.”

 

...Jonathan Waxman


#2 Evelyn

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 05:14 PM

Took a look at all the Cosmopolitan restaurants on my way to dinner last night at Jaleo (excellent-will start a thread later today). They are all well designed and appealing. With the exception of Jaleo, China Poblano and D.O.C.G., the prices are typically of the Strip stratospheric version. I'm really looking forward to going to back and giving China Poblano a try. On one side of the room is a dim sum station with 'certified noodle master'. The other has two comals for hand-made tortillas, and a plancha. Menu.

I think Deutsche Bank made a great move saving the hotel from never being completed. I think they have a gold mine on their hands. The place was packed early in the evening on what is traditionally a dead time on the Strip (weekdays between Christmas and New Year's Eve). They are one of only 3 properties that are fully booked for the NYE weekend. This same time last year, City Center had been open about the same length of time, and the difference in the 'traffic' is substantial.

#3 Rail Paul

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 01:40 PM

NY Times Dealbook has a piece on the Cosmopolitan today.

They rave about the over the top service, huge rooms with terraces, and often sold out status. But, the place aims at a younger demographic, so the restaurant and club revenue is strong, while the casino gaming take is weak.

Conventional industry practice is you make 1/2 to 2/3 of your profit on the casino floor, which requires a strong component of gamblers favoring your establishment, and Deutsche doesn't have that base yet. Yet, the bank is still committed to running a top notch property aimed at a luxurious clientele.

The over sized rooms and terraces are a relic of the original proposal to sell luxury condo properties. When that idea collapsed in 2008, the plan changed to market these as luxury hotel rooms.

Many big lenders and opportunistic investors ended up owning troubled, half-built properties in recent years. Some walked away, like Morgan Stanley, which took a $1 billion write-off on the Revel in Atlantic City. Others decided to wait out the economic downturn. The billionaire Carl C. Icahn, who picked up the unfinished Fontainebleau resort in Las Vegas in bankruptcy for $156 million in 2009, still has not restarted construction on it.

In contrast, Deutsche Bank doubled down on the Cosmopolitan, opting to go it alone after failing to find a partner. Almost immediately, the bank scrapped Mr. Eichner’s vision for the Cosmopolitan, which was originally planned as a modern residential building with 28-foot robots playing guitars in the lobby area. The bank also provided the project with a low-interest loan, potentially making Deutsche liable for roughly $4 billion.

Deutsche Bank soon recruited a high-powered management team, led by John Unwin, the former Caesars executive. The Cosmopolitan, say rivals who have lost staff, is offering pay packages 30 percent higher than the industry standard. Mr. Unwin collected $1.8 million in 2010, including a $1 million bonus.

After three years and an enormous financial commitment, the Cosmopolitan opened late last year to favorable reviews, said Mr. Curtis. Many of the hotel rooms, which are retrofitted condos from the housing bubble era, come equipped with kitchens and terraces that overlook Bellagio’s famous water show. Room rates — which can top $300 a night — are among the most expensive in Las Vegas, and the property is often filled to capacity.

The Cosmopolitan has also attracted a distinctive lineup of retailers and restaurants, many of which are new to the local scene. The trendy British clothing line AllSaints chose the casino for its first Las Vegas shop. The complex also has branches of top restaurants like Jaleo, the tapas restaurant by the Spanish chef José Andrés, and Blue Ribbon Sushi. The Cosmopolitan is also home to Marquee, a popular outpost of a New York City hot spot.

“In a sea of sameness, we are trying to stand out,” said Mr. Unwin.

But the young clientele attracted to the Cosmopolitan is a notoriously fickle group. While they willingly spend on food and drinks, they are less likely to drop thousands on roulette or poker — typically the largest source of industry profits. Rivals like Wynn Resorts, the Palms, and Hard Rock Casino have had varied results tapping into this demographic. The management at Cosmopolitan says its target audience is the “curious class,” well-traveled people who are receptive to different concepts.

The demographic cuts both ways, said David B. Katz, a gambling industry analyst at the brokerage firm Jeffries & Company. “The young vibe can be attractive from a volume perspective, and it can become the place to be on the Strip,” he said. “The rub is that demographic profile isn’t the most affluent and most predisposed to spending, inside and out of the casino. People that are 40 years old and older simply have more money.”

Meanwhile, Deutsche Bank also has to contend with a tricky plot of land. The Cosmopolitan sits on a mere 8.7 acres, compared with 120.5 acres at the neighboring Bellagio, the resort modeled after an Italian palazzo. So Deutsche Bank had to build up rather than out, drawing comparisons to a New York City brownstone. The casino occupies the first floor, while restaurants, retailers and a common area with a pool table take up the next two. It is a challenging design, as it forces customers to leave the casino floor for food and shopping.

All that has left Deutsche Bank struggling to attract a critical mass of gamblers. At most Las Vegas properties, the casinos typically represent half of revenue, with the balance coming from lodging, retail and the like. It is less at the Cosmopolitan, according to industry analysts.

“When you build a $4 billion casino in the middle of the Strip, it is important to have a base of gamblers,” said Mr. Lerner of Union Gaming, who previously covered the industry for Deutsche Bank. “They have zip.”

Mr. Unwin, who indicated that the restaurants and retail were at or above targets, would say of gambling only that the “trajectory is good.”

To help build the casino profits, Mr. Unwin cut a deal with Marriott to gain access to its large database of travelers. While the list does not specifically focus on gamblers, it does give the hotel a wider group to whom it can market services.

“As a financial investor in the project, we are convinced that the executive management team will built an outstanding business, and thereby serve our shareholders well,” said John T. Gallagher, a spokesman for Deutsche Bank.

But behind the scenes, executives at Deutsche Bank have balked at some aspects of casino ownership. The Cosmopolitan created a risqué advertising campaign featuring farm animals and proclaiming that the casino had “just the right amount of wrong.” But senior officials in Germany felt that the commercials were too “racy for a bank,” said a former Deutsche staffer who spoke on the condition of anonymity. Despite Deutsche’s concerns, the Cosmopolitan ran the ads.


Doubling Down

“Jazz musicians just get better and better as the years go by. I think chefs are the same way. You know who you are.”

 

...Jonathan Waxman


#4 mitchells

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 03:02 PM

Members of Marriotts Rewards program can use points to stay at The Cosmopolitan and I here it is already one of the more popular rewards requested.

All are lunatics, but he who can analyze his delusions is called a philosopher.
Ambrose Bierce

#5 Rail Paul

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 07:15 PM

Standard & Poors recently had a short piece about the situation in Las Vegas. I thought their comments on Cosmopolitan and Aria might be of interest.

Cosmopolitan has been able to sustain some of the higher room rates in LV through the most grinding stretch in recent memory. Although it's still losing a bundle for Deutsche Bank, occupancy remains in the 90% range with an average room rate of $247 ytd.

Aria, which includes Mandarin Oriental, Veer, Vdara, Crystals, and Aria, was praised as a result of several recent visits. Last year, S&P noted poor housekeeping, fouled up computer systems at checkout, incorrect bills, etc. This year, housekeeping was flawless, bills were accurate, and checkout was a breeze.

S&P's nose was apparently pushed out of joint when AAA awarded Aria its top five diamond status shortly after S&P's experience.

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I did a quick look at prices in January, and Bellagio, Wynn, and Venetian all have rate higher than Aria ($159) and Vdara ($189) on a few dates during the week.

“Jazz musicians just get better and better as the years go by. I think chefs are the same way. You know who you are.”

 

...Jonathan Waxman


#6 Rail Paul

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 08:31 PM

Estiatorio Milos at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas racked up 40 demerits during an inspection on March 1 by the Southern Nevada Health District, just one point away from being shut down by health inspectors.

Violations included no hand washing, improper temperatures for stored food and food unprotected from contamination during storage and prep and by employees.


Missed by THAAAAAT much

“Jazz musicians just get better and better as the years go by. I think chefs are the same way. You know who you are.”

 

...Jonathan Waxman


#7 Daniel

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 07:41 AM

While I have heard a lot about this secret pizza place in the Cosmopolitan Hotel. It's really not all that much. It's essentially an ok pizza place down a hallway on the 3rd floor of a hotel. I hate to ruin the intrigue but, it's not all the secret. Though there is no posted sign, ask any hotel employee and they will direct you to a small hallway in between Jaleo and Blue Ribbon.

Pizza is anywhere between $4.50 and 5 dollars.. For two slices and a 5 dollar beer, it was sixteen bucks. Is it good, eh, it's not bad. Being away from NY for the last 8 days, I enjoyed it more than I would have 8 days ago.

It's crowded, they serve you a sloppy slice that is pretty much luke warm. The sauce is tasteless, it needs salt, there is non provided.

I tried the ricotta and sausage and an olive pepper cheese slice. I would pass it every day of my life and probably not stop in if it were in Brooklyn.

Hallway:

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16 bucks:

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The Cosmopolitan is the new trendy hotel.. It has a cheap plastic chandelier running from the third floor down to the lobby. Just another way to cleverly disguise a mall within a hotel. There are plenty of places to get alcohol, buy expensive crap, and lose your money in the casino. I won 600 bucks tonight. So that was good. My first time gambling in a few years. I started with a hundred bucks and maybe lost 3 hands in 15 minutes.

Happy to be going home soon.


Ason, I keep planets in orbit.