Discount carrier Spirit Airlines is often criticized for charging passengers extra for a wide range of services, but its no-frills approach has fueled competition and driven a surge in traffic at McCarran International Airport.
In September, 3.55 million travelers passed through the airport, an
8.7 percent increase over the same month last year and the highest jump since May 2005, airport records show.
McCarran's passenger counts, a key factor in prosperity on the Strip, began to fall sharply four years ago and did not rebound consistently until this year.
The recession caused Spirit to slash its schedule in 2010 to 35 flights a week to two cities. But after adding several destinations in recent months, including flights to Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Portland and San Diego, Spirit's Las Vegas schedule has jumped to 122 flights a week.
Its entry into routes such as Los Angeles International Airport has helped push some rivals to add seats and cut fares. Several airlines have dropped their one-way fare to LAX to $32 after Spirit started the route in the spring. Southwest Airlines announced a nationwide sale Monday of $35 one way for flights shorter than 450 miles.
Because of its renewed interest in Las Vegas, Spirit's passenger counts rose by 81,000 in September compared with one year ago, more than one-fourth of the 285,000 gain in McCarran passenger traffic.
The other airlines presented a mixed bag. Market leader Southwest rose 3.6 percent, and American gained 12.7 percent, partly as a reaction to Spirit's service to American hubs in Chicago and Dallas-Fort Worth. But Delta dropped 3.4 percent, and United was off 17.3 percent as it trimmed its schedule as part of its merger with Continental.
In something of a last gasp, US Airways went up 19.6 percent, 35,000 passengers. In the next few weeks, however, US Airways will discontinue close to half of its Las Vegas flights.
Mob Experience flops;
company in Chapter 11
Murder Inc., the company that put the Mob Experience attraction into the Tropicana Las Vegas, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Monday.
Many of the largest creditors listed in the initial court papers were described as holding a note and security, but it was not spelled out if they were investors in the attraction, which opened last year to typical Las Vegas fanfare. The amounts ranged from $250,000 to several million.
Attendance at the Mob Experience is now about 150 people a day, which court papers say barely generates enough revenue to keep the doors open.
Hilton continues fight against Goldman Sachs
The majority owners of the Las Vegas Hilton gained at least another month in their struggle to retain control of the off-Strip resort.
Clark County District Court Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez on Thursday put off until mid-November a hearing brought by lender Goldman Sachs Mortgage Co. to put a receiver in charge of operations.
This will allow the 2,950-room Hilton's controlling owner, an affiliate of the Santa Monica-based real estate investment fund Colony Capital LLC, to interview as many as four people involved with the case and view Goldman Sachs documents.
Goldman filed the lawsuit asking for the receiver one day after it started foreclosure proceedings, which could result in it taking over in late December. Before then, the receiver would control the hotel's operations until its fate is decided.
To Goldman Sachs, the case is straightforward. Colony had halted payments on the $252 million mortgage and agreed to the installation of a receiver if that happened when it signed the loan five years ago.
MGM Resorts International was listed among Newsweek magazine's 500 most environmentally responsible companies in the United States.
MGM Resorts was the highest ranking company among casino operators and was ranked as the third most highly rated hotel company on the list.
Judge may allow
implosion of tower
The Nevada Supreme Court has ended a nearly yearlong delay in a lawsuit between developers of CityCenter and Perini Building Co., potentially setting the stage for implosion of the unfinished Harmon tower.
Clark County District Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez now will determine whether MGM Resorts can proceed with its plan to implode the building - and who must pay for it.
The lawsuit covers the Harmon tower, which was never completed after construction-defect issues surfaced in 2008 as it was being built as part of the $8.5 billion CityCenter development.
The blue-glass tower, which sits along the Strip, has been labeled structurally unsound by an engineering firm and could collapse in a large earthquake. But Perini officials think the tower can be repaired.
Penn National Gaming
sees competition grow
M Resort owner Penn National Gaming told investors Thursday the locals gaming market is growing increasingly more competitive, especially with Station Casinos emerging from bankruptcy earlier this year.
In a conference call with analysts and investors to announce the company's third quarter earnings, Penn executives reflected on an increase in business they have seen at M Resort. Penn National, which is based in Wyomissing, Pa., took over ownership of the 390-room M Resort in June.
"Las Vegas locals is clearly the most intensely competitive market out there," Penn National President Tim Wilmott said. "Obviously, I think with Stations now reformed, they will be 800-pound gorilla in the Las Vegas locals market."