Caesars Entertainment is back in the game. The giant casino company is now out of bankruptcy after grueling negotiations over the past two years and it has a new chief executive who’s ready to roll.
“Now we can grow,” Caesars’ new CEO Mark Frissora tells Fortune after ringing the opening bell at the Nasdaq Marketsite where the company’s stock trades.
Frissora, who was CEO of Hertz before joining Caesars in 2015, is upbeat about the company’s future. And so is Wall Street. The stock has surged more than 40% so far this year as investors look for growth now that Caesars has a stronger balance sheet and $2 billion in cash. Frissora talks about developing nearly 100 acres of land near the Las Vegas strip into convention and entertainment space, expanding operations in Japan and throughout Asia, and buying regional casinos.
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“Since we’re new and everyone knows we have cash, a lot of properties just really came on the market just waiting for us,” says Frissora.
Caesars is still the largest gambling company in the U.S. and dominates Las Vegas with Caesars Palace, Planet Hollywood, Harrah’s, and six other casinos. It is expected to bring in more than $8 billion in revenue this year.
And Frissora is confident people will still come to Las Vegas despite the mass shooting in early October. He says Caesars has improved security measures and plans to do more to maintain a “safe environment.” And he notes that while initially customers cancelled their plans, future bookings are “very strong.”
Watch the video above for more of our conversation with Frissora.