Two Years On, $8.5B CityCenter Seeks to Reach its Potential

Two years after opening in the midst of an economic downturn, MGM Grand’s $8.5 billion CityCenter project is still seeking to reach its potential as a game changer for Las Vegas. To begin with, the investment added 5,900 hotel rooms to the city’s inventory at a time when visitors declined 2.85 million over two years, the Las Vegas Sun reports.

Two years after opening in the midst of an economic downturn, MGM Grand’s $8.5 billion CityCenter project is still seeking to reach its potential as a game changer for Las Vegas. To begin with, the investment added 5,900 hotel rooms to the city’s inventory at a time when visitors declined 2.85 million over two years, the Las Vegas Sun reports.

The Sun also points out that out that CityCenter also gambled on luxury, yet in a relatively subdued economic environment, hotel operators were required to offer discounted room rates;  meanwhile, some upscale condominiums continue to sit on the market at reduced asking prices.

Crystals, a 500,000-square-foot retail center, has an 88 percent occupancy rate as the recession has curtailed leasing activity.  Other major components of CityCenter include the Aria Resort & Casino, the 500,000-square-foot Crystals retail and entertainment district, the Mandarin Oriental hotel and condo tower, the Vdara hotel condo tower and the 37-stoy Veer Towers condo complex.

Still, as the Las Vegas market tries to find a way to surmount high-profile mishaps like the stalling of the Harmon tower complex—the subject of a legal battle between MGM Grand and its contractor—a new emphasis on the arts and the resurgence of Downtown likely bodes well for the long term.

Image courtesy of citycenter.com