Tag Archives: Vdara

CityCenter Unveils Vdara Hotel and Spa in Las Vegas Today

MGM Mirage and Dubai World marked the unveiling of their CityCenter project today with the opening of the luxurious Vdara Hotel and Spa. 

Executives cut the ribbon on the 57-story, 1,495-suite luxury property shortly after 10:30 a.m. today. 

The hotel’s suites come in one- or two-bedroom variations, ranging from 500 square feet to 2,000 square feet, each featuring gourmet kitchens and washer and dryer units among their amenities. 

Other amenities in the non-gaming Vdara Hotel include an 18,000-square-foot spa, Asian fusion restaurant Silk Road and direct access to the Bellagio’s casino floor. 

Vdara has partnered with Vanity Fair for its private grand opening celebration tonight with appearances by actor Orlando Bloom, actress Rosario Dawson and photographer Sebastian Copeland. While VIPs will fill the hotel tonight, Vdara won’t welcome its first public guests until Wednesday evening. 

Following Vdara’s opening will be the unveiling of the high-end retail and entertainment district, Crystals, on Thursday, then the opening of Mandarin Oriental will be Friday. 

CityCenter’s crowning jewel and only gaming property — the 4,004-room Aria Resort and Casino — will round out the month with a Dec. 16 opening. Residential occupancies at Veer Towers will begin January 2010 while the Harmon will open in late 2010.

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Huge CityCenter Project Prepares for Las Vegas Public Unveiling this Week

The cost: $8.5 billion.  The decision: Let it ride- open the doors to the public!  

The much anticipated CityCenter project in Las Vegas- the largest construction project in the U.S. this year – is taking its opening public curtain calls this week.  

Updated Public Opening Schedule: 

Dec. 1 – Vdara Hotel & Spa opens

Dec. 3 – High-end retail shops, entertainment venues open, featuring Crystal

Dec. 4 – Mandarin Oriental luxury hotel opens

Dec. 16 – The project’s centerpiece, Aria Resort & Casino opens 

Since March, Las Vegas Backstage Access has written extensively on the project, covering it from all angles.  Please check out our articles on March 4 & 25; July 13, 16 & 28; Sept. 3, 17 & 25; Oct. 13 & 18; and Nov. 9, 14, 18 & 19.

C’mon over to Las Vegas and check it out!

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Only One Gambling Site in Las Vegas’ New $8.5 Billion CityCenter

AriaIs gambling in Las Vegas becoming passé with the advent of new venues? 

Gaming regulators in Las Vegas last Friday granted preliminary licensing approval for the only casino component inside the $8.5 billion CityCenter project and suggested the revenue mix might be sharply different from the traditional gaming-driven environment that has existed since Las Vegas’ creation. 

During a hearing that lasted more than two hours, the Nevada Gaming Control Board was told not to expect additional gaming inside the multiple hotel, high-rise residential and entertainment complex. 

Aria, pictured, CityCenter’s 4,004-room centerpiece, was designed as the project’s only casino. Vdara and Mandarin Oriental are nongaming hotels, and Veer Tower is strictly residential. 

Executives from MGM Mirage and Dubai World, its 50-50 partner in the development, explained the CityCenter concept, using a promotional sales video and previewing Aria’s first television advertisement in what will be a $20 million marketing campaign. 

Gaming is not the focal point of the 67-acre project. The casino at Aria, roughly the size of Bellagio, will have only 145 table games and 1,940 slot machines, half of which will be linked to a server-based gaming platform. 

Aria President Bill McBeath said the casino’s revenue projections are modeled with Bellagio, but the CityCenter casino has fewer slot machines. He said Aria is designed to have private gambling salons like other MGM Mirage high-end casinos, but the rooms will not be used immediately. 

“There will be cross-marketing between the properties,” McBeath said. Aria will host MGM Mirage’s private Chinese New Year party for high-end customers at the MGM Grand, Bellagio and other company resorts. 

McBeath said Aria’s slot machines are projected to produce roughly $320 win per unit per day. 

During MGM Mirage’s quarterly earning conference call with analysts, City Center Chief Executive Officer Bobby Baldwin said Aria would produce $1.2 billion in revenue in 2010. 

“The (revenue) projections are optimistic,” Gaming Control Board Chairman Dennis Neilander said. “But they seem reasonable.” 

The three-member control board then recommended unanimous approval for Aria. The Nevada Gaming Commission will consider the recommendation this week.

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CityCenter Gets Ready to Blossom in Las Vegas – Opening Schedule

In just three short months, the world will be introduced to CityCenter in Las Vegas. An extraordinary urban resort destination brought to life by eight world-renowned architects, CityCenter will debut a new era of resort experiences with an ambition to refine and redefine Las Vegas. 

Conceived to bring a true center to The Strip, CityCenter will be much more than a collection of resorts and residences; it will rather be a true community – a welcoming environment for people to gather, relax and enjoy. Great pedestrian corridors, dynamic public spaces, authentic richness and diversity of experiences will voke the energy of the world’s most exciting places. 

CityCenter’s public Fine Art Collection will enliven the street and engage passersby. As if in a trolling gallery, guests will happen upon works by world-renowned artists such as Maya Lin or Nancy Rubins as they wander through CityCenter’s walkways, hotels and residences. 

Upon opening, CityCenter will be one of the largest sustainable developments in existence, bringing a new level of environmental consciousness to the world-famous Strip. The U.S. Green Building Council already has awarded Gold LEED(R) certification to ARIA’s hotel tower, convention center and theater; as well as Vdara Hotel. CityCenter’s remaining venues are poised to receive a combination of Silver and Gold LEED(R) ratings.

(Prior to this, Las Vegas Backstage Access has written many articles on specific venues.  Please use the search feature to find under, “CityCenter.”) 

CITYCENTER’S GRAND OPENING SCHEDULE: 

    —  Vdara Hotel – December 1, 2009

    —  Crystals retail and entertainment district – December 3, 2009

    —  Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas – December 4, 2009

    —  ARIA Resort & Casino – December 16, 2009

    —  The Harmon – Late 2010 

Residential occupancies slated to begin mid-January 2010.

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Las Vegas’ CityCenter Project Facing Collapse?

The very survival hangs in the balance for Las Vegas’ largest employer and the city’s largest construction project- and arguably one of the world’s largest and most expensive buildings.   MGM Mirage, operating nine Las Vegas Strip resorts and employing more than 61,000 workers, is now embroiled in a contentious lawsuit over the $9.1 billion, 76-acre CityCenter development with its half-shared partner, Dubai World through its Infinity World financial subsidiary.  dubaiworld

Analysts said the lawsuit filed Sunday casts a damaging dark cloud over the project and sends more negative signals on the overall financial health of MGM Mirage.   According to the lawsuit, Dubai World, a 50-50 joint venture partner in the CityCenter project, is seeking unspecified damages and wants to be relieved of its obligation under the companies’ agreement, which was struck in August 2007. 

Dubai World, a world-leading business conglomerate suffering from a two-thirds drop in their oil prices – leading some to question if the lawsuit is merely trying to sever their joint venture agreement or simply gain more project control – said MGM Mirage, which is CityCenter’s managing partner, is responsible for mismanagement and cost overruns with the project.  Dubai World further contends that statements by the MGM Mirage in the company’s financial filings last week with the Securities and Exchange Commission constitute a breach of the joint-venture pact and has put the project at risk. 

The lawsuit took the MGM Mirage reportedly by surprise, but theirspokespeople responded vehemently yesterday that they are doing everything they can do and are ready, willing, and more than able to meet all financial obligations and debt holder payments. 

Despite the lawsuit, CityCenter still plans to open in stages, starting in October with Vdara, a nongaming condominium and hotel tower, and Aria, CityCenter’s centerpiece 4,004-room hotel-casino, scheduled to open on December 16.  

MGM Mirage continues to accept job applications, having over 90,000 job applications for the CityCenter project and planning to hire 10,000 employees to boost the staganant Las Vegas economy. 

However, MGM Mirage and Dubai World are still seeking the remaining $1.2 billion in financing to finish the project. 

MGM Mirage received from its lenders last week a two-month waiver to avoid violating its loan covenants.   Some financial analysts believe that MGM Mirage might have to file a Chapter 11 bankruptcy to restructure their $13.5 billion in debt.

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Resorts Continue to Build in Las Vegas

Despite our economy, there still is much casino and hotel room construction going on in Las Vegas. In fact, nearly 13,000 hotel rooms remain under construction in 2009.

The $2.9 billion Fontainebleau mega-resort is planned to open late this year.  It features 3,815 rooms and suites; 27 restaurants and bars; a 7-acre pool deck with four pools; a 350,000-square-foot shopping area called the Runway; and a spa with 55 treatment rooms.  That’s a mouthful.

The Silverton Casino Lodge is undergoing a $130-million expansion including adding pools, a high-limit gaming salon and 800 slot machines.

The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino expects to add 950 guest rooms and expand the pool, while adding more meeting space.

The $1-billion M Resort is heading toward a March 1 opening of its 390 guest rooms and a 100,000-square-foot pool that gives the feel of being in a canyon.

Finally, construction continues on Las Vegas’ 900-lb gorilla, CityCenter, an $8.6-billion development slotted to open in late 2009.  Hotels in the project include the 4,000-room, 61-story Aria Resort & Casino; a 400-room Mandarin Oriental, the first in Las Vegas; and Vdara, an all-suite condo/hotel project with more than 1,500 units. Structural issues have delayed the opening of CityCenter’s Harmon Hotel.

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