Las Vegas CityCenter OpensBy: Harper Whitefield
With a spectacular fireworks show the new CityCenter in Las Vegas opened its doors to the public. The most expensive development project in Las Vegas ever built carries a price tag of approximately $8.5 billion. Considering the biggest financial crisis since the 1930″s, timing could not have been worse.
CityCenter”s owner MGM – well known for their MGM Grand, Bellagio, New York New York, and Luxor casinos – started the project together with another famous victim of the credit crunch, Dubai World. As Dubai World had to pull out because of a lack of funds, MGM was left behind and now has to carry the risk of this project alone, a gamble that even some of the most fanatic casino players would consider risky.
Americas macro economic numbers predict some very rough times ahead for the dessert city. With an umemployment rate of 12% and a national loss of $4tn of housing wealth, the near future is looking bad. The effects have already been noticed in Las Vegas with a 3.9% reduction in visitors. Hotel rooms have been slashed in 2009, averaging a reduction in rates of 23%. Such numbers makes you wonder: is this the right time to open a project that will increase the city”s hotel capacity with 4.2%?
Apart from the economic sense of the project, one has to admit the beauty of the project. The CityCenter involves four hotels, a shopping center, an entertainment hall, and two glass towers with luxury flats. This all is located at one of the prime locations at the Strip, between the Bellagio and Monte Carlo resorts.