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Travel Roundup: MGM Mirage Raises $1B, Las Vegas Sands' Macao IPO, Allegiant Flies Into LAX and More

MGM Mirage raises $1 billion -- MGM Mirage reported Thursday that it raised $1 billion in a public stock offering, in an attempt to raise $2.5 billion to pay off its $14 billion in debt. The company, headed by Kirk Kerkorian, said it will use the proceeds to pay at least $750 million to its senior credit facility. The company sold 143 million shares of common stock. It also is selling $1.5 billion in notes which closes next week. The sales is seen as a way for MGM to gain some financial traction and in a better position to pay down its debt and gain better financing. [Source: New York Times Dealbook]

Las Vegas Sands attempts Macao IPO -- Las Vegas Sands Corp. couldn't sell its casinos and hotels in Macao, so now the company is reportedly working on an initial public stock offering of its Macau assets. Las Vegas Sands has struggled with its Macao developments, whose success was dampened by Chinese restrictions and the current economy. According to reports, the Macao assets would be sold in nearby Hong Kong. Last month, the company declined to sell its casinos and hotels when bids weren't deemed high enough. [Source: Las Vegas Sun]

Allegiant Air begins flights out of LAX -- Allegiant Air, which began flying out of Los Angeles International Airport last week, began its 13 routes to such venues as Billings, Mont, Des Moines, Iowa and Fargo, N.D. The carrier, owned by Allegiant Travel Co. of Las Vegas, is only 12 years old but has been profitable for 25 straight quarters while other larger carriers are bleeding money. A spokesman said that Allegiant keeps prices low by offering direct flights between eight primary cities, mainly cities that appeal as tourist attractions, and smaller destinations without many flight options. The carrier's focus is on leisure travelers only. [Source: L.A. Business Journal]

Tampa will gain more cruises -- Royal Caribbean International will nearly double its annual sailings in Tampa from 28 to 44 beginning next year. The cruise company will also replace the Grandeur of the Seas with the 2,500-passenger Radiance of the Seas, which will accommodate 54 more passengers. The new cruises include four- and five-night sailings, along with calls in the Cayman Islands and Belize. Carnival and Holland America cruise lines also sail from the Port of Tampa. [Source: Tampa Tribune]