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Las Vegas Sands Corp. Message Board

  • bjspokanimal bjspokanimal Mar 5, 2013 5:25 PM Flag

    Sizing Up an Ill-timed Lunar New Year

    Further down in a nearby thread, I made a point about Lunar New Year that bears repeating. I don't think a lot of people fully appreciate how badly the calendar fell on Macau for LNY this year so hopefully this helps.

    The days leading up to LNY tend to be some of the slowest days of the entire year in macau... and we had 10 of those pre-LNY days packed into early February. Similarly, since LNY itself fell on Sunday, that tends to trash the weekend for gaming since the time that patrons spend "arriving" is not typically time they spend "gambling". That weekend is further exacerbated by the fact that VIP punters wouldn't likely touch it with a 10-meter cattleprod... VIPs generally stay away from Macau, both to do other things during the holiday, and to avoid the mass market crowds in Macau.

    Similarly, VIP tends to pick up once the LNY crowds dispurse. If fact, it's usually a relatively strong period for VIP since the LNY holiday tends to generate a bit of pent-up demand after spending multiple days with the in-laws. But this year, there were barely 11 days for that to happen... and there was 1 less day given that last year was leap year.

    To fully appreciate this, imagine if Lunar New Year had fallen on February 2nd instead of February 10th. In such a scenario, the "lull" ahead of LNY would have been fully absorbed by JANUARY, the mass market masses would have spent saturday checking in and sunday queuing up at the gaming tables instead of cheking into their hotels. Furthermore, the post LNY VIP traffic would have had a full 18 days in february to enjoy the post-LNY trappings of their favorite suite.

    There's no question that such a shift in LNY could have easily added a lot of percentage points to the YOY gaming revenue number for February and it goes to show just how substantially Macau can be impacted from one LNY to the next...

    ... just by how the whole thing plays out on the calendar.

    Spok

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