Las Vegas, MGM's Bread & Butter, to Outperform: CEO
"It was painful having so much of our profits here in Las Vegas during the recession," he said. "But Las Vegas is firmly rebounding now. I would expect that Las Vegas as a hospitality market will outperform the other U.S. gaming markets over the next couple years. We'll probably have a record in terms of tourism this year."
MGM is heavily exposed to Las Vegas, with approximately 60 percent of its business arising from operations in the city.
Murren said that visitors are spending more money, while occupancy rates and gaming rates are rising.
"The cream is rising to the top," he said, adding that the biggest players—MGM, Wynn, Caesars and The Venetian—"are getting a lion's share of the recovery market and I expect that trend is going to continue."
MGM's expansion plan includes a new 20,000-seat arena in Las Vegas. The company has to "turn away literally dozens of concerts, entertainment events every year," Murren said, and the addition of a state-of-the-art arena will allow it to take advantage of these opportunities and bring more value to MGM resorts.
Murren added that his company is having a "very, very solid year" in China and MGM expects to see cash-flow growth through 2013. "I'd expect to see continued growth, even understanding some of the macro trends," he said. "More people are going to Macau than ever before."