Nevada: Apollo executives tout Venetian performance to Control Board

February 8, 2023 8:42 PM

Nevada: Apollo executives tout Venetian performance to Control Board

Photo: Shutterstock
  • Buck Wargo, CDC Gaming Reports
February 8, 2023 8:42 PM

A year after taking over the operation of the Venetian from Las Vegas Sands Corp., Apollo Global Management executives said the property is performing well.

During a Nevada Gaming Board meeting Wednesday in which executives were recommended for approval for licensing by the Nevada Gaming Commission, the executives gave an overview of the resort-casino.

“We’re here one year after the closing and it has been a tremendous success,” said Monta Ozolina, a member of Apollo’s board of managers. “That’s a testament to our team members and their dedication and our world-class management team. It’s incredible to see what our team members have done in the last year and, in turn, the amazing initiative that the management team has rolled out for our team members – everything from ice cream in the employee dining room to being part of the financial success of the property. We made our first distribution to team members in December, hopefully the first of many.”

Late last year as part of a $620 million dividend, Apollo gave its more than 7,000 employees $1,500 bonuses.

Ozolina said Apollo is making every full-time flex employee part of the financial success of the property.

“The idea behind it is to empower each and every team member to make them feel like they’re part of the story and part of the difference,” Ozolina said. “We’ve seen that the employee base is incredibly invested already, but this extra feeling matters. Since we instituted the program, we’ve seen an incredible amount of engagement. We believe in the Venetian story and to share that with the team members is very powerful and personally very rewarding.”

In November, Venetian CFO Robert Brimmer told state regulators that the business’s financial performance had been remarkable since closing and was run-rating north of $600 million of EBITDAR, versus roughly $470 million in the same 12-month period in 2019. Since the closing, the Venetian had earned more than $300 million in cash and has about $350 million in excess cash on the balance sheets, Brimmer said at the time.

“It’s going extremely well,” Brimmer repeated Wednesday. “Financially, it’s doing great. We were also the beneficiaries of an amazing employee culture built by Las Vegas Sands and Sheldon Adelson. We look to improve that through the initiatives Monta mentioned. And we continue planning to invest and have the business achieve its total financial potential. It’s going to be a really busy three years for us starting this year, with significant investment in the property that will drive a lot of financial growth and opportunities for team members and a better customer experience.”

In 2022, the Venetian added about 200 slot machines, with plans to add more square footage in the casino and space to target segments that are underserved on the property.

Apollo expects to make an investment of $1 billion in the next three to four years and touch every element of the business, from hotel rooms and gaming space to food and beverage, meeting facilities, and theaters.