MGM Cutting Losses by Literally Imploding Harmon Tower

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor The Harmon Hotel tower has only brought grief to MGM Resorts International and it looks like the company has had enough. Following a number of legal battles which have been discussed in the Las Vegas business [...]

The Harmon Hotel tower has only brought grief to MGM Resorts International and it looks like the company has had enough. Following a number of legal battles which have been discussed in the Las Vegas business press during the early part of 2011, it has become increasingly clear that the entertainment giant is ready to cut its losses.

According to a recent report that has surfaced in several online publications as well as in printed editions, MGM is set to demolish the unprofitable 28-story behemoth that was once envisioned as the jewel of the Strip’s CityCenter. The project has been problem-ridden since its completion, with several technical errors making it unusable without a major consolidation. This, along with the blow the market took from the recession, has left Harmon as a prime example of how bad timing and execution can ruin a massive real estate endeavor.

Now that it has been turned into a symbol of failure, it inches towards demolition. MGM is most likely fed up with the drama (not to mention bad business) its grand project has generated. The massive structure was first cut down from 49 to 28 stories after defects prevented the project from being feasible at a larger height. It then had to abandon the condo unit idea because of a lack of space before its core and shell were finished at the end of 2009.

Now MGM and builder Perini are locked in a legal battle over the property which stands as a beacon of everything that was wrong with the real estate boom that caused the global economic fiasco.