Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog

We wake up to a story about MGM taking $1.1 billion in charges against CityCenter.

No big surprise, this is required by the accountants and no one could argue that the value of these assets hasn't fallen... though 31% is a big number. Kerkorian is even looking to potentially reduce his stake.

In other more interesting news, I was able to take a gander at a few shots of Aria's interiors (see Chuck's take here). I won't be publishing these photos but like VT, I'm happy to give my impressions.

Continue after the jump...

Update: Not to pimp this too much but this offer for Aria came across from MGM Mirage - $160 for some nights. 26584&m=0

Also, I'm happy to answer questions about the stuff I've seen, if you have any.

Chuck's spent some more time analyzing the materials and has some more thoughts.

In a nutshell, and I think Chuck mentions this too, the design appears to be very reminiscent of Red Rock or M Resort - dark paneling, crystal chandeliers and lots of dark accents.

Now, the place isn't finished and it is important to remember it hasn't been properly lit inside yet, which makes any kind of real verdict on design very premature.

I see aspects of previous MGM Mirage design (the outside of Sensi, parts of the Mirage overhaul) but also some new touches - and lots of different inspirations. There are some very interesting touches and some that I'm not crazy about, including a sculpture that looks to be outside the poker room featuring a bunch of cards built into a 10 foot piece, sort of Alice In Wonderland meets Las Vegas.

For signage geeks, it looks well lit and easy to read.

The carpet is pretty dull and from these tidbits, perhaps a little bit of a disappointment after really nice carpets at Wynn, Encore, The Mirage and Bellagio.

The conference center hallways have great views of the pool deck area through beautiful glass walls. Massive banks of escalators connect the various floors.

Tons of glass, impressive stone, natural light - it's heavy on the elements and while it's hard to tell from pictures, it looks like no expense was spared on these materials.

If I had to sum up the glimpses from these shots, the words I would use are grand, soaring, modern and tomorrow. Many of the outer walls are made of glass and overlook gardens, the pool deck and the Las Vegas skyline. I can only imagine how impressive it must look to be standing in those spaces.


Read archived comments (9 so far)
October 20, 2009 9:31 AM Posted by Brian Fey

I will reserve judgement until I see the place in person. But as I've stated countless times before, it just seems like MGM is stuck in a rut, they take a very similar look, and use it over and over. Its almost like, that's all they know how to do. This has more to do with interior design, than the actual architecture itself. I'm sure the building and structure are fine, but perhaps MGM should have used a whole new and completely different set of interior designers. Even Wynn brought in several new ones for Encore, yet I still think the place rocks. So its not just Roger Thomas, others can achieve greatness also, I'm just not sure MGM can, with its current group.

Hopefully CC is not another MGM Grand, a hotel that cost $1 Billion to build, and then was followed up by a complete $700m remodel just a few short years later, to bring it to where it should have been from the start.

October 20, 2009 9:49 AM Posted by jinx

This article had me thinking, how would things have looked if Tracinda had taken Bellagio and CC private. Would MGM have weathered the storm easier and would CC be in a state similar to F'Bleau?

October 20, 2009 12:18 PM Posted by detroit1051

Hunter, you reassured me with your reference to Sensi. Imo, Sensi is one of MGM's best executions in recent years with its stone and wood. Contemporary but still very inviting.

October 20, 2009 2:16 PM Posted by John

Can't wait for the opening!

October 20, 2009 6:35 PM Posted by Jeff in OKC

I love MGM, and I think Jim Murren is the greatest, but it does seem like these properties are being forced into the same style. Even worse, they remind me of that snob relatives house where you can't touch anything and they never have any fun because they're too busy being significant. Are these guys ashamed of being Vegas casino Barons?

November 12, 2009 6:27 AM Posted by detroit1051

CENTERpiece is CityCenter's art gallery and retail shop. The story in the LV Sun shows MGM is trying to build synergy between Bellagio's Fine Art Gallery and CityCenter.

November 14, 2009 6:13 AM Posted by detroit1051

Aria's website has added a little information on restaurants (very little). Fine and casual dining restaurants are identified and briefly described. I need more information to get enthused, but Union is the most intriguing with its "... edgy American dim sum style concept..."
The artist's rendering of one of the dining rooms leaves me cold. It looks like an airport restaurant.. Which one is it? For those who have previewed Aria, will that space look better with people in it? It's here:

November 14, 2009 12:55 PM Posted by Anthony

To add to detroit1051's post CENTERpiece is part of CRYSTALS Place

November 17, 2009 5:19 PM Posted by detroit1051

Is CityCenter/Aria merely an extension of Bellagio? Many of the restaurants are just new outposts by Bellagio chefs. Now, Chihuly is opening at Crystals: