Thursday, April 15, 2010

The LVW Col: Some Heart CityCenter

Here's this week's column, all the more poignant given that MGM Mirage yesterday acknowledged that Aria's occupancy was a measly 63 percent in its first quarter and that it has lodged itself firmly in the mid-market. Still, some people are enthralled and I happen to be related to two of them. Read on. -sf

The other CityCenter
Talking with a couple of out-of-towners who think
MGM Mirage’s latest gamble
is—wait for it—the best place in town


In the run-up to the grand debut of CityCenter, MGM Mirage CEO Jim Murren said a lot of stuff. As a journalist, I focused on the absurdity of so much of it, from the claim that there was something analogous to Central Park somewhere in the 67-acre, $8.5-billion complex to the suggestion that there is anything novel, nine years after the Palms opened, about the concept of a themeless Vegas resort.

One of the strangest claims was when Murren told me CityCenter would draw in a whole new class of clientele from all over the world who had yet to discover Las Vegas and all the high-end offerings it had in store.

Who, I wondered, were these creatures? Who could possibly be left out there unaware of Vegas? Who on any level of social strata hadn’t at least given it some thought as a potential vacation destination? Who would hear of CityCenter and finally be persuaded that they could have a good time on the once-tacky Strip?

And then, late last month, I found two such people. As it turned out, I didn’t have to look any farther than my own family. And I realized that, for fairness’ sake, I owed Murren and his gang this column.

Read the REST at LasVegasWeekly.Com