Leaving for Las Vegas, Encore president promoted

The Encore Boston Harbor casino. (Photo by Jim Mahoney)

By JOSH RESNEK

The president of Encore Boston Harbor has apparently been named a vice-president of Wynn Resorts and will be leaving the Encore in Everett for the company’s home base in Las Vegas.

Brian Gullbrants, who has been near the top of the management ladder at Wynn for about 13 years, has headed up Encore Boston Harbor since replacing Robert DeSalvio in October 2019.

Gullbrants opened the noted Encore Casino and Hotel in 2008 in Las Vegas.

Wynn officials did not respond to the Leader Herald for confirmation of the change reported to us by sources familiar with the goings-on at Encore Boston Harbor.

Gullbrants is being replaced by Wynn Resorts Executive VP of Operations at the Encore Boston Harbor Jennifer Holaday, according to the source.

Holaday will be the third leader of the Encore Boston Harbor since its opening in June 2019.

She inherits a business that was beset by the restrictions placed upon it by the pandemic, and she will take over leadership at a time when the casino and hotel are just beginning to flex their muscles again.

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Encore suffers brutal 1st quarter earnings

Wynn Resorts undaunted, feels profits will rebound

By JOSH RESNEK

When the stock market closed Monday afternoon, officials of Wynn Resorts released the company’s first-quarter earnings report.

It wasn’t pretty.

But then, it wasn’t meant to be pretty.

For the fourth consecutive quarter, Wynn reported deplorable earnings, mainly the result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the impossible business situation the casino and hotel world was thrown into and which it hasn’t yet come out of.

The resiliency of casino stocks is famous during hard times.

Investors and analysts know this: very few businesses can generate money and profits like casinos and their hotels when they are operating at full capacity.

Stock analysts and traders understood this and compensated for it.

Unbelievably, Wynn stock went up in anticipation of earnings being reported but ended down slightly at the end of the trading day. It closed Monday not too far away from its 52-week high of $143.88, proving that bad earnings don’t necessarily mean very much to investors trading on the NASDAQ exchange.

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Encore starting to roll again

FEBRUARY 25: Encore Boston Harbor Casino is starting to back in the game after a year of pandemic restrictions. (Photo by Jim Mahoney)

Renewed energy at the casino as gamblers flock back

By JOSH RESNEK

The difference between January and February’s revenues at Encore was about $3 million more with February marking an upbeat moment in what has been a dismal year.

Weekly visits to the Encore by this writer, and a variety of people the Leader Herald has spoken with, indicate a change of feeling.

“We can really feel a difference in energy,” said an Encore employee who is part of the crew meeting visitors to the casino front door.

“Since the hours changed, things have been getting busier and looking up,” he said.

Encore has gone through the equivalent of a catastrophe here, in Las Vegas and in Macau, where total revenues combined were down a whopping 70% in 2020.

In fact, despite being up 176% in revenues in February in Macau, the revenue figures remain dramatically down for the year.

Macau is responsible for 75% of Wynn Resorts’ revenues.

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Encore coming to life

Revenues start to recover, Wall Street bullish on casino industry

By JOSH RESNEK

Encore is revving up.

The return to 24/7 gambling hours at the casino and the reopening of the hotel led to higher revenue figures in January.

In addition, Wall Street’s bullishness on gaming stocks, and in particular Wynn Resorts, led to a respectable run.

Wynn’s stock price closed at $126 a share Tuesday, outperforming all other gaming stocks on the major exchanges.

Analysts nearly all agree – the pent-up demand to experience again the excitement of casino venues is much more to bet on in the future than the depressed earnings reports for the past year.

In other words, when the virus is finally under control, whenever that time arrives, the casinos and their hotels will once again flourish.

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Stock exchange

Encore Boston Harbor casino as seen from Linden Street (Photo by Jim Mahoney)

Wynn Resort execs cash out million$

By JOSH RESNEK

It is rarely a good sign of things to come when the top executives of a major company are selling off multi-million dollars’ worth of their stock.

Wynn CEO Matt Maddox sold 59,000 shares within the last two weeks.

He received approximately $6.3 million when the transaction settled.

Vice-President Elaine Whittemore has sold hundreds thousands of dollars of her stock recently, as well in a number of transactions recorded with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

In both cases, the executives sold stock they were given by the company in lieu of salary because of the consequences the epidemic has caused for the worldwide gaming giant founded by Steve Wynn.

Maddox still owns 394,549 shares of Wynn stock.

He was paid a total of $18 million in cash and equities by Wynn Resorts in 2018.

In fact, the sale of the Maddox shares is not believed to be a lack of confidence in the company, but rather, his effort to compensate himself for salary he did not receive during the year.

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