Cosmopolitan CEO recommended for license by gaming board

William McBeath, president and CEO of the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, makes a few remarks Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015, during an event celebrating the resort’s new ownership by Blackstone.

William McBeath, the chief executive of the Cosmopolitan, today received the first of two regulatory approvals he needs to be licensed by state gaming authorities.

The Gaming Control Board approved McBeath’s application for licensure as a key executive, sending it to the Nevada Gaming Commission for final approval later this month. McBeath, a former top executive at CityCenter and other Strip properties, was named to lead the Cosmopolitan in December 2014.

McBeath started in his current role just as the Cosmopolitan’s new owner, Blackstone Group, was finalizing its $1.73 billion purchase of the resort from Deutsche Bank.

Under the leadership of Blackstone and McBeath, the Cosmopolitan has cleared some important milestones, including agreeing to a four-year union contract covering some 2,000 employees. The Culinary Union and the resort’s previous owners had clashed as contract negotiations stalled, leading to some high-profile protests.

Also, the traditionally money-losing resort reported two straight quarterly profits over the second and third quarters last year. McBeath said today that the final quarter of 2015 was profitable, too.

Some of the most noteworthy growth has been on the Cosmopolitan’s casino side, and McBeath stressed to regulators the resort’s particularly strong year for slot revenue and baccarat.

McBeath also told regulators that the Cosmopolitan was a “wonderful property” in an “incredible location” and discussed the resort’s recent opening of a new high-limit slot lounge and its securing of multiple new restaurants.

Moving forward, he said the resort intends to build 21 “world-class” suites in the top four floors of its east tower, in an effort to boost its high-end room product.