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Excellence Group Expands Its Portfolio in Punta Cana



WHY IT RATES: Travelers to the Dominican Republic will soon have a new resort option when Finest Punta Cana opens this year. —Codie Liermann, Associate Editor

Following the immense success of their foray into modern all-inclusive vacations with Finest Playa Mujeres, Excellence Group Luxury Hotels and Resorts has announced plans to open the second outpost from their Finest Resorts brand.

The latest addition to the Excellence Group portfolio of properties will be set on the shores and crystal blue waters of Punta Cana. Set to open its doors in 2020, Finest Punta Cana will be the third Excellence Group property in the Dominican Republic, expanding its presence in the region.

The first of its kind in the area, the resort marks a new standard for all-inclusive, non-age-restricted luxury, catering to romantic getaways, nuptial celebrations, rejuvenating holidays and options for both adults and couples with children.

Finest Punta Cana will house all of the exacting standards and personalized luxury that Excellence Group has become renowned for, with 450 suites, including 60 family suites, that will range from 800 to 2000 square feet.

All of the elegantly designed suites will offer the Excellence Group guest touchpoints that have helped the group earn their place on the Travelers’ Choice for Hotels Awards, such as the brand’s oversized jacuzzis, fully stocked in-room premium bars, private pools, decks with breathtaking views, rooftop terraces and family-designed suites.

As leaders in all-inclusive luxury travel, Excellence Group’s expertise and experience will be evident in every thoughtfully designed detail of Finest Punta Cana. Guests will be able to choose from at least twenty world-class bars and restaurants, and Finest Punta Cana will also offer private club settings in the Excellence Club for those seeking adults-only relaxation, an exclusive Finest Club for all ages, a world-class spa with hydrotherapy circuit, six swimming pools complete with a children’s pool and baby wading pool and a playground and pavilion for children and teens.

With a wide array of activities for guests of all ages and unmatched culinary experiences, Finest Punta Cana will bring a new level of all-inclusive luxury to the area.

Excellence Group’s Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Mr. Domingo Aznar, stated, “We are thrilled to be opening our second Finest Resort in Punta Cana. With the success of Finest Playa Mujeres, we know that both adults and couples with children are seeking top-of-the-line luxury and personalized service. With our Finest Resorts brand, we offer Excellence Group’s exacting standards in luxury, comfort, and service that guests have come to expect from the brand. Our resorts offer the convenience of an all-inclusive experience and the amenities of an upscale five-star property while seamlessly combining both family-friendly and adults-only options. We are thrilled to offer a whole new all-inclusive luxury experience for both adults and families traveling to the Dominican Republic.”

Surrounded by a beautiful palm grove and bordering the Caribbean Sea, Finest Punta Cana will be conveniently located on the east coast of the Dominican Republic, only 35 minutes from Punta Cana International Airport and 75 minutes from La Romana International Airport.

SOURCE: Excellence Hotel Group press release.

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MGM Resorts Addresses Effects of COVID-19 and Near-Term Plans



A statement just released by MGM Resorts International sheds light on the company’s current status and the ways in which it’s maneuvering to mitigate fiscal damages being inflicted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

All operations at MGM’s domestic hotel and casino properties have been suspended since March 16, 2020. “At MGM Resorts, we are committed to doing our part to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, including the closure of our properties across the United States,” said Bill Hornbuckle, Acting CEO and President of MGM Resorts.

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“While this will undoubtedly have a significant negative effect on our business in the near-term, we are well-positioned to emerge from the current crisis in light of our strong liquidity position and valuable asset portfolio. We are currently making very difficult decisions, but believe these will be in the best interest of the Company long-term.”

As of March 26, 2020, MGM Resorts Domestic Operations reported liquidity balances of approximately $3.9 billion, including $1.5 billion drawn under its revolving credit facility.

The other good news is that MGM’s figures for domestic business performance during the first two months of 2020 were strong: $1.3 billion, up significantly from the $27 million seen in the same period in 2019. Of course, in March, the company incurred substantial operating losses due to the escalation of the coronavirus public health emergency, but MGM says that it’s swiftly implementing policies to “significantly reduce expenses to protect its financial position.”

The company estimated that between 60 and 70 percent of its domestic operating expenses are variable, and is leveraging means of minimizing these costs, including implementing hiring freezes, furloughs and other headcount reductions. “Most of our employees are either working from home or have been put on furlough,” Hornbuckle disclosed in an online video message addressed to MGM team members.

MGM said that it’s also reviewing fixed operating expenses and corporate expenditures to identify further opportunities for cost-cutting. In addition, “the Company is evaluating all capital spend projects and expects to defer at least 33 percent of planned 2020 domestic capital expenditures.”

By proactively and carefully managing its expenses and other cashflow items, monitoring its balance sheet and fully drawing its revolving credit facility, MGM Resorts remains confident that it will successfully, “weather this downturn and ultimately rebound from the impacts of the current crisis.”

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