New Casino - CityGrand Opening

Published December 5, 2009 by OCR Editor

New Casino - CityGrand Opening

Gambling action opens up to rapturous applause.

Las Vegas is about to officially welcome the CityCenter mega casino resort to its new home. The massive project - undertaken by MGM Mirage and Dubai World - is days away from its grand opening and already pundits' tongues are wagging.

The complex cost an estimated $8.5 billion and includes hotels, classy stores, fine-cuisine restaurants and an absolute hive of gambling activity. The much anticipated opening of the Aria Resort Casino - on December 16 - is going to add another 4004 rooms to Las Vegas' existing 125,000 room count.

Good news for gambling patrons and workers
In spite of the economic slowdown and difficulties faced by competing casinos in Las Vegas, gamblers are going to benefit. The reason is simple: more competition means cheaper prices. With all the price-slashing that's been going on in Las Vegas over the past two years, things are only going to look more attractive to players.

For those seeking casino jobs, there are going to be thousands more rooms to service, many more stores, restaurants and entertainment facilities to be staffed. This is going to have a positive knock-on effect. The only concern for CityCenter's financially ailing owners relates to the sustainability of this truly massive venture.

An uphill battle
CityCenter owners MGM Mirage and Dubai World feel cautiously optimistic about the long-term profitability of the venture. With so many foreclosures, and projects being put on hold, it's difficult to gauge the true sentiment of the market, beyond the short-term fears.

Doing the number-crunching
Nevada is reeling from a staggering 13.3% (September) unemployment rate, and of the 40 projects scheduled for completion in Las Vegas, most have not determined completion dates. At least 9,390 rooms have yet to be confirmed as go-options.

The opening of CityCenter is indeed a bold move, given the realities on the ground. Including condominiums, the CityCenter complex will have nearly 6,800 units open early in 2010 with 400 more hotel rooms planned.

Concerns versus Realities
Gambling tycoons and economists alike are worried that until the unemployment rates drop, spending on luxury hotels will not increase. However more competitors may just drop prices enough to lure gamblers back into Sin City.

MGM Mirage and Dubai World are billions of dollars in debt. And barely a week ago had Dubai World requested from its creditors a six-month break on payments of the 60 billion dollars it owes. CityCenter's 18 million square feet, six glass towers and a retail paradise is themed as a metropolis of bustling activity - the dice have been cast!

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