The United States faced its worst shooting on home soil on October 1 when Stephen Paddock rained bullets into a crowd at the Route 91 Harvest Country Music Festival. He killed 58 and injured more than 500 people. The Mandalay Bay Hotel was the scene of the crime as Paddock carried out his massacre from the 32nd floor of the resort, which he had checked into on September 28.
Mandalay Bay has since reopened for business but the presence of security forces and the FBI is all too noticeable.
MGM Resorts, the owners of Mandalay Bay find themselves in a piquant situation, reminiscent of a similar event in 1980 when a fire broke out at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Will Mandalay Bay be forever associated with the shootout and the tragedy that followed? Gaming analysts have shared their views on whether Mandalay Bay needs to go through a rebranding process or not.
Brenda Fields, a hotel consultant says that it is highly unlikely that the image of the hotel will be tarnished. She reasons that it was the action of a demented person and that the shooting may be more closely associated with the concert than the hotel. Some analysts point to the fire that happened at MGM Grand Hotel in 1980. MGM eventually sold off the property to Bally’s Entertainment, who promptly changed the name to Bally’s Las Vegas. However, MGM opened a new MGM Grand and the Grand today does more business than what Bally’s can muster.
MGM’s management team however faces some difficult tasks in the weeks ahead. They would have to deal with the problem of the room that Paddock used to carry out the massacre and also that most rooms in the hotel have a view of the site of the mass shooting.
John Fareed, hotel consultant and managing director with Horwath HTL draws parallels with the recent shootings at Resorts World Manila in the Philippines. Resorts World Manila is still in business and has not proceeded with a name change. Marketing experts also make reference to the Taj Oberoi in Mumbai, India which survived a major terrorist attack and has continued to remain in business without a name change. These analysts believe that the terrorist attack in Las Vegas won’t stain Mandalay’s reputation.
Mandalay Bay ranks in third place when it comes to revenue generation for MGM. The property has garnered around $106 million in operating income in the first half of 2017. The two best properties for the MGM are the Bellagio and the MGM Grand with revenues of $203 million and $138 million respectively.