Encore Boston Harbor reported record earnings during an investor call on Monday, with the casino and hotel leading all other Wynn properties in the first quarter of 2021.
While all eyes were on the Macau (China) properties, which is typically the focus of such investor calls, Wynn Resorts CEO Matt Maddox had nothing but praise for the performance of Encore coming out of the pandemic – and the numbers backed up that enthusiasm.
“We achieved record EBITDA of $30 million over the quarter and that’s even with restricted operating hours, and quite significant COVID restrictions in the month of January,” said Maddox. “That trend has continued. In fact, in the second quarter thus far, our daily EBITDA is up 30 percent compared to the first quarter. Encore Boston Harbor is hitting on all cylinders now. We’ve been able to really rationalize the cost, run the building more efficiently and focus on our casino customers so we can be the top super-regional casino in the Northeast. I believe Encore Boston Harbor is going to continue to grow quarter over quarter throughout this year as that property and that management team are really doing an amazing job.”
EBITDA stands for earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, and is a standard way to measure revenues in public companies.
The record earnings at Encore of $30.3 million was up from $26 million generated in the 3rd quarter of 2020 – one of the last quarters where the resort casino was mostly open fully.
Compared to last year’s first quarter, the casino business was doing extremely well, growing by 9.5 percent over the first quarter in 2020. In fact, the $111.4 million in casino revenues outpaced other North American Wynn properties. In Las Vegas, the casino operations did $79.9 million, which was a growth of 12 percent over the first quarter 2020. EBITDA in Las Vegas was $28.08 million for the first quarter of 2021, meaning Encore outpaced Vegas in earnings as well.
That figure was also approaching Wynn Macau operations, particularly since there were significant restrictions and closures in Massachusetts this past January. The Wynn Macau property casino operations hit $138.9 million in the first quarter, while the Wynn Palace was at $185.9 million.
The slot machine handle at Encore was the strength in the quarter, at $913 million, which was a 19 percent increase from last year. The slot machine win rate was also up by 26 percent in the quarter, though, and the winnings per machine per day was $440. That was up 55.5 percent, meaning the slots were much looser this year than last. The numbers of slot machines at Encore is down significantly though due to the state’s COVID restrictions on social distancing. Last year, outside of COVID, the property had 2,837 slots, and this year they operated 1,889.
There were more table games at Encore than in the Vegas property, with 199 on average in the quarter compared to 172 in Vegas. However, it must be noted that many games, like poker, were not allowed in the quarter at Encore. The table games have been a strong suit of Encore since it opened, but the table drop in the quarter was down from last year by 14.9 percent, at $234 million.
One oddly interesting piece of the numbers for Encore was that its hotel operations outpaced all other properties, including China, by a long shot. Though that’s likely because Encore is a regional casino and the others are international destination casinos, it was still significant.
The occupancy rate in the first quarter at Encore was 71 percent, which was down from 76 percent at that time last year. The occupancy rate in Vegas for the first quarter was 35 percent, 60 percent at Wynn Macau and 60 percent at Wynn Palace. The Average Daily Rate at Encore was $276 and the REVPAR – a way of more accurately measuring hotel revenues – was $196. As a comparison, the REVPAR in Vegas was $117, while Wynn Palace was $108 and Wynn Macau was $147.
Most of the discussion from Maddox about Macau and Vegas and Encore was for the future, heading into the second quarter and beyond into 2022. He said the retail revenues in Vegas for April were the second best month on record since 2005. He also said at Vegas the REVPAR for rooms was already up 50 percent since the end of April.
Anecdotally, he said Vegas hosted their first large group recently of more than 600 people to great success.
“It went off without a hitch,” he said. “People are longing to be back. Conventions work.”