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MGM Mirage to build a city on Las Vegas Strip
Plans include a 4,000-room hotel and casino, three 400-room boutique hotels, 1,650 condominiums and 550,000 square feet of a retail, dining and entertainment area.
The "Project CityCenter" as MGM officials call it, will stand on the 66-acre site located between Belaggio and Monte Carlo, on Las Vegas Strip. The Boardwalk hotel now occupies part of this area.
The project will be developed in phases. The first phase, to begin in 2010, is expected to create over 7,000 construction jobs and 12,000 permanent positions. This will be the largest employment opportunity in the history of Las Vegas.
For comparison, "Project CityCenter" is the size of New York City's Rockefeller Center, SoHo, and Times Square combined.
The history of Las Vegas began a hundred years ago, with a land-parcel auction. With MGM Mirage laying down the cards for its future project, the next question to arise is: How long will it be before a competitor puts forward a similar scheme?
"We hope they do, but I doubt it," says Jim Murren, president and CFO of MGM Mirage. Having the idea is one thing. It is far more important to have access to this kind of capital outlay, and a suitable property. Today, an acre on Las Vegas Strip is valued at $20 million. The estimated cost of the project is $4 billion.
The "Project CityCenter" seems to have put an end to themed resort-building in Las Vegas, and to open a new era in the history of Sin City. It is now clear that Las Vegas is moving towards becoming a major urban center in the US. "It's changing lifestyles," MGM Mirage chairman and chief executive officer Terry Lanni said.
Over the next 18 months, MGM Mirage will look around the world for a master architect, as well as for residential and hotel partners.
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