This is a partial transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," July 21, 2004, that was edited for clarity.
NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Well Howard Stern doesn’t have to hold back in places like Las Vegas, where one of the top gaming companies there beat Wall Street expectations handily. MGM Mirage’s profits increased 95 percent, easing worries that fewer people are traveling to Sin City.
With us now, Terry Lanni. Terry is the chairman and CEO of MGM Mirage who is in the process now of buying Mandalay Resort Group.
Mr. Lanni, always good to have you.
TERRY LANNI, CEO MGM MIRAGE (MGM): Hi Neil. It’s good to be here.
CAVUTO: So, you’re on a roll here, and now everyone’s coming together. I think, eventually, the strip will be controlled by two or three guys: game over. Are we headed in that direction?
LANNI: I don’t think so, Neil. If you take a look at it, there’s so many individual entrepreneurs who have hotel/casinos here. There’s so many new projects under development.
I don’t ever see that happening. This is a very dynamic market. And a growing one.
CAVUTO: All right. Now you and Mandalay. And then Harrah’s and Caesar’s, the consumer groups are going to go nuts aren’t they?
LANNI: I don’t think so. We’ll see. Obviously, I can’t speak for all of those people, but I always say, judge us by the way we brought MGM and Mirage together and not what we’re going to say we’re going to do. I think it will work quite well.
CAVUTO: I apologize. How does it work with possibly getting cannibalized, and one person chooses one resort over another and all of a sudden, the numbers are swaying within your organization?
LANNI: Well, I think Neil, as long as the dynamics of Las Vegas continue, and this area grows and there is a demand that is frankly greater than the supply we’re going to be fine. And I don’t think there will be the cannibalization.
CAVUTO: All right. Because the fear is, as you know, that interest rates are on the move up right now, it’s going to put a crimp on the economy, that the go-go days are over, that even though Vegas is featured on the cover of TIME magazine this week that is proof it has topped. What do you say?
LANNI: Well I honestly believe, Neil, that this is just the beginning of a really explosive growth in Las Vegas. I think you’ll see it with all the work that’s taking place at existing hotel casinos, the new Wynn resort that opens in April of next year. And December of this year we open the 929-room and suite hotel tower, the spa at Bellagio.
A lot of new projects. Our company alone has invested $630 million in Las Vegas this year. There is a great growth out there. This economy is coming back, a lot of our friends in the Democratic Party don’t want to admit it, but this economy is coming back big-time.
CAVUTO: You say your friends in the Democratic Party, are you for President Bush?
LANNI: I am a President Bush supporter, I think he’s done a great job in a very difficult period of time.
CAVUTO: OK. So what would happen if John Kerry got elected, how would it affect your business or would it.
LANNI: I won’t leave the country, I still love the country. I don’t think that is going to happen. I think, frankly it is not going to affect our business. My personal support for President Bush has nothing do with my company, it is just my personal support.
CAVUTO: You know you mentioned before all the rooms and all the hotels you’re adding, casinos you’re adding and others are adding, is there room for all of those?
LANNI: Well you know, I have been in this business 27 years, Neil, and every time we put up more rooms they say don’t you think you put up too many. And I say, we are never going to know until we build one room too many. But to date, each time you build new amenities, new features, new factors that make an exciting opportunity for people, people come here. And I think it will continue to grow, I’m convinced of that. We are putting our money obviously where our mouths are.
CAVUTO: And despite the heat. It’s what, about 300 degrees there now, or whatever?
LANNI: That’s why we insist that everyone stay indoors. We don’t want them to get burned.
CAVUTO: Very good. Terry Lanni, thank you very much, the chairman and CEO of MGM Mirage, soon to hook up with Mandalay, and who knows, who else?
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