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Xanadu on the strip gets ready to open

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Well, this should be pretty interesting to watch over the next few years. The giant CityCenter project in Las Vegas is set to open in a week and, while business conditions are clearly better than a year ago, amid heavy discounting of hotel room rates and all sorts of promotions to get people out to the middle of the desert to gamble, it's not the best of times to be making even more hotel rooms available.

As should be clear from above, one of the distinguishing characteristics of CityCenter is that gambling isn't the major draw - there's just one casino in the whole development.

According to CityCenter officials, the emphasis on art and high-end living is "the next step in the evolution of Vegas" and, as such, it shouldn't be too surprising that they are expecting a lot of visitors from China.

There are lots more details in this report at USA Today.
Some of the world's top architects and designers have taken a fresh deck of cards and created a Xanadu on the Las Vegas Strip.

CityCenter's half-dozen glass-and-steel towers – including two condo high-rises that lean 5 degrees instead of standing upright – add a futuristic look to this desert destination.

Inside, it resembles a modern art gallery and mind-boggling design showcase more than themed Vegas resorts. Pieces include an 84-foot silver serpentine sculpture depicting the course of the Colorado River, designed by Maya Lin of Vietnam Veterans Memorial fame. That hangs above the front desk of the Aria Resort & Casino.

The $8.5 billion hotel/living/dining/entertainment/shopping destination is billed as the largest privately funded construction project in the USA and is considered Vegas' big gamble. Its lack of emphasis on gaming (only Aria has a casino), edgy style and city-within-a-city layout are "the next step in the evolution of Vegas," says CityCenter CEO Bobby Baldwin– unlike anything yet seen in the USA's adult Disneyland.
With big-spending and superstitious Chinese gamblers in mind, Aria lacks floors 40-49. "The number four in Chinese when said sounds like the word for death," MGM Mirage spokeswoman Jenn Michaels explains. "The superstition is strongest in a gaming environment."
As was the case in a well-known movie, it's long been said in Las Vegas that,"If you build it, they will come". That will certainly be put to the test with CityCenter.

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Anonymous said...

With that crappy "art", they deserve to go bankrupt, big time.

Dan said...

Having lived in NYC and LA, I've learned not to underestimate the international aspect. As long as the international crowd spends their money in big cities, they will continue to exist, perhaps not "thrive" from a local perspective, but the beat will go on.

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