The owners of Encore Boston Harbor told investors Wednesday that they are on track to grow business at the casino, which so far has generated lower-than-expected gambling revenues amid intense regional competition for slot machine players.
Wynn Resorts provided the first in-depth look at the finances of the $2.6 billion project as part of its earnings report for the three months that ended Sept. 30. Encore opened in late June.
The company said it took in $114.9 million in casino revenues for the quarter at Encore. It earned $29 million in food and beverage revenues, $13.8 million on entertainment and retail, and $18.2 million in room revenues from its hotel, according to the company’s earnings report.
The hotel occupancy rate of 69.6 percent was lower than at Wynn’s other properties in Las Vegas and Macau — though its average daily rates of $465 were higher than at those sites.
The resort’s revenues in its first quarter were not enough to outpace the expenses associated with getting a gold-plated facility off the ground. Wynn Resorts reported that the casino had an operating loss of $41.7 million over the three-month period.
Speaking to analysts on a conference call Wednesday afternoon, chief executive Matt Maddox said he is encouraged by the results so far. And he repeatedly emphasized that the property is still ramping up.
One of the reasons Encore’s slots business has been slow, Maddox said, is that the company is just introducing itself to players in New England. He said the company has built a database of 250,000 customers it can now use for marketing.
“You need to message to the customers what it is you’re doing each week and why they need to come into the property,” he said. “We are on the path to growth there, and we have the right team in place.”
Maddox said there would be some changes coming to Encore, particularly when it comes to the restaurants. He said the facility is planning a sports bar that could potentially become a sports book if Massachusetts legalizes sports betting.
Wynn Resorts also owns about 11 acres near the casino that could be developed. Maddox said the company has fielded inquiries from interested developers, and that Wynn Resorts is more likely to manage the land it owns as a landlord than directly develop it.
The company recently installed a new top executive at Encore. Brian Gullbrants, who had overseen the casino’s hotel and food business as executive vice president of operations, replaced Robert DeSalvio, who had steered the project through its construction and opening phases.
Wynn Resorts calculated its casino revenues differently in its financial results than in the gambling revenue figures it reports to state regulators. The company has told the Massachusetts Gaming Commission that it took in $166.8 million between its June 23 opening and the end of September.
That is off the pace of the approximately $800 million in first-year revenue projections it made to state regulators in 2014 when it was seeking a gaming license.
Maddox told analysts he believes Encore Boston Harbor will go into 2020, its first full year of operation, with strong business prospects.
He noted, however, that the facility may look to cut some jobs as it becomes more established in the area.
Encore now employs about 4,800 people.
“Clearly, when you open a property, you have more staff than you end up needing than when you’re operating in an efficient way,” he said.
This article has been updated to include additional details about Encore’s financial performance.