MGM could be selling The Mirage to Starwood Capital

Two Wall Street analysts said in research notes Wednesday that MGM Resorts International may be considering selling The Mirage to focus on other development aspects for the Strip casino giant.

The reports said MGM Resorts could sell the hotel-casino to Starwood Capital for between $1 billion and $1.5 billion.

A spokesman for Starwood, which sold the Riviera to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority in February for $182.5 million, declined comment to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

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A sale of The Mirage was possible as a result of MGM Resorts' recent development focus on the Strip's southern end, where it is building the Park project between the New York-New York and Monte Carlo, a $350 million sports arena, and is expanding the Mandalay Bay convention complex. The company is expected to change the name of Monte Carlo and is also exploring other non-gaming attractions at its south Strip properties.

MGM is also spending billions of dollars on building new hotel-casinos in Maryland, Massachusetts and Macau.

The company acquired The Mirage, which was originally built by Steve Wynn, when it bought Mirage Resorts in 2000 for $6.4 billion. In 2009, MGM Resorts sold The Mirage's sister resort Treasure Island to Phil Ruffin for $755 million, leading to speculation the neighboring property would also be sold. At the time, MGM Resorts was having financial issues as it sought to complete the CityCenter complex.

In addition to The Mirage, MGM Resorts also owns Circus Circus on the Strip's north end.

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