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Tix Corp hit hard by Las Vegas shutout

Discount ticketing provider Tix Corporation has felt the fallout from the Las Vegas shutout in 2018, seeing a revenue decrease of 25 per cent for the year.

Tix Corporation provides discount-ticketing services through several stores in the Nevada entertainment hub under its Tix4Tonight marquee. It offers discounted tickets for same-day shows, concerts, attractions and sporting events, as well as discount reservations for dining. Tix4Tonight also serves as the official Las Vegas guest services partner for Expedia and its other brands.

The firm’s income for the year ending December 2018 fell by around $4.4m (£3.3m/€3.9m) to $13m, which is due to several factors.

MGM Resorts, which is a partner of four of the five Cirque du Soleil shows, pulled the show’s tickets from the company’s Tix4Tonight booths to retain them for its own sales in November 2017. Cirque du Soleil made up 15 per cent of Tix’s total ticket sales. MGM also opened five of its own discount ticket booths

Tix Corporation’s chief executive, Mitch Francis, said: “Fiscal year 2018 was a highly unusual year for us in that for almost the entire year, we couldn’t offer certain Cirque du Soleil tickets from our multiple retail locations on the Las Vegas Strip.

“As previously discussed, MGM Resorts and Cirque du Soleil began in November 2017 to withhold certain Cirque du Soleil show tickets from our retail booths while at the same time, constructing and operating competing booths on MGM Resorts’ properties. The impact from these events, as well as a general continued decline in interest for shows in Las Vegas, hurt our financial results.”

In December, Tix4Tonight’s Las Vegas booths resumed selling MGM Resorts resident Cirque du Soleil shows, which for a period had only been offered on the company’s website.

Francis added: “With our recently announced new agreement with MGM Resorts and Cirque du Soleil, we are once again selling Cirque du Soleil show tickets, as well as MGM Resorts headliners, at our retail booths, which we anticipate will lead to improved operating results in 2019.”

In the fourth quarter of 2018, Tix Corp said it saw a return to positive cash flows from operations as a result of the “successful execution of its growth and cost reduction initiatives.” It adds that this boost occurred prior to Tix4Tonight’s resumption of selling tickets for the Cirque shows.

Fourth quarter 2018 operating income, after adjusting for a one-time non-cash goodwill impairment charge, was $250,000 and cash flows from operations were $142,000 during the fourth quarter of 2018.

Francis continued: “We implemented significant cost reductions throughout this year, leading to a return to quarterly operating income and positive cash flows from operations in the fourth quarter of 2018, excluding a one-time non-cash goodwill impairment charge.”

Image: Stuart Seeger