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Dec. 4, 2009

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Rough road ahead for CityCenter. Copied from my a casino blog.

"Phil Ruffin, who owns the Treasure Island casino-resort about 1 1/2 miles north of CityCenter, said new hotels have historically helped tourism but CityCenter is opening into unprecedented economic circumstances.

"It's going to be bloody out there," the Kansas billionaire told The Associated Press. "We wish them all the success in the world because it would help the whole city of Las Vegas, but I can't think of a worse time to open up 7,000 rooms."

Including condominiums, CityCenter will have nearly 6,800 units open early next year with 400 more hotel rooms planned.

While marketed to high-end customers, rates for a room at CityCenter on Dec. 20 start at $129 at the boutique Vdara, $149 at anchor resort Aria and $345 at the luxury Mandarin Oriental.

Ruffin said tourism likely won't improve substantially until unemployment drops nationally. Others fear that even when the economy improves, visitors won't spend as freely as they did before the downturn."

(Suggest removal) 12/4/09 at 7:12 p.m.

Looks like Vegas is all in on this one. Hoping for the best!
Copied from one of my casino blogs.

CityCenter's owners now find themselves fighting for returns on a resort valued at roughly $4.88 billion as of Sept. 30, less than 60 percent of its construction cost, according to estimates MGM Mirage released last month after it reduced CityCenter's condo prices. The company told regulators Nov. 13 that 1,443 of the 2,440 condo and condo-hotel units were under contract.

Competitors, meanwhile, will see if CityCenter brings more visitors to Las Vegas, then fight to get them in their casinos.

"It's going to be a scramble about customers," Ruffin said. "No doubt about that."

Murren said even though MGM Mirage would probably be better off financially if CityCenter were never built, its finish represents a catalyst that couldn't come at a better time.

"We're at the eve of opening up something that was unimaginable this year, that will have a profoundly positive impact on our cash flows, our cross-marketing opportunities for our other properties, and on visitation and revenue to all of Las Vegas," Murren said. "I believe that it couldn't happen at a better time now that we've survived the first six rounds of the fight."

Alamo said that despite its troubles, CityCenter has a good chance to succeed - but needs a little luck.

"Let's just ring the seventh-round bell," he said.

(Suggest removal) 12/4/09 at 5:18 p.m.

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