Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog

September 12, 2010

Vegas Gang #51 - September 12th, 2010

Posted by Hunter

This time on the show:

Podcast-a-palooza - Oct. 30th, 2010. Be there.

* CityCenter CityCenter CityCenter
* Vegas Gang 'Sure Bets'

Check out the show:

Feel free to leave your comments below. If it's a question that you want asked on the show, please make that clear in your post. You can also send those to


Read archived comments (10 so far)
September 12, 2010 3:02 PM Posted by detroit1051

Wow, an hour 20 minute Vegas Gang. Great stuff which was a perfect complement to, and wrap up of, Hunter's 3-part CC blog and Chuckmonster's CC discussion at VT.
I especially liked the focus on the impact of the condo collapse on CC and the easy way out approach CC took on its restaurants, primarily bringing over the tried and true from Bellagio and other MGM properties. As the podcast pointed out, this opened the door for Cosmo to really attract attention (and foodies) with its exciting line-up of chefs and dining choices.

The last question on whether Murren or anyone else might be in jeopardy because of CC's challenges brought some discussion of Kirk Kerkorian still being active in decision making. I'm sure he is, and I wish him a long and healthy life, but he did turn 93 in June. As alert as he is, I have a hard time believing he is still on top of his game. If he were younger, I think he'd already be taking some sort of management action. I've always thought of Baldwin as a good soldier who knows the casino business. I doubt the Board would let Murren make Bobby the scapegoat. If the Board members are really involved, imo it's got to be Murren who has the most to lose, not Bobby or McBeath.
Still believe at the one year anniversary point, something will happen.

September 12, 2010 8:07 PM Posted by Paolo

I wonder if Murren was given the top spot because he was best suited to patch MGM's balance sheet up, given his background. By this measure, for now, he's been a success; but I think that if things slide more from here, Murren has got to go.

It's striking how much better Steve's re-arrangement of City Center is compared to what we have now. It just makes complete sense.

I think that one of the reason's why City Center wasn't opened in phases is because the entire project's allure was its "wow" factor. If it was opened in phases, it would have lost that. That said, if opening the project in phases made better financial sense (and it probably would have), then it would have been a better choice.

Maybe this was my wild imagination, but I could have sworn that when City Center was announced, it was supposed to have a grocery store, more shopping and more of the things that would have made it more like a real self-contained city. When it finally opened, it had none of these things, so of course people wouldn't want to live there full time. Like Hunter said, you can't just create a city and a culture from scratch.

Would you ever consider taking calls from listeners? I keep finding myself wanting to jump into the conversation and dammit, it's frustrating.

Oh, one more thing. Angry Birds is more addicting than crack. I too was hooked on it by my significant other.

September 13, 2010 3:27 PM Posted by BeeeJay

thanks for another great episode. these really keep me going between vegas trips. interesting and validating of my first impressions of Aria last December. No cocktails in sky suites lounge! Where can I find the 3 part series on CC?

September 13, 2010 4:07 PM Posted by queenfrostine

Re: Mandarin Oriental, I'm really not surprised that, despite its good buzz, it's earned the top place of money-suckers for CC. One of my closest friends works for the the MO in DC and is familiar with the Vegas management team through her boss who took part in training the spa staff pre-opening. She said management has been adamantly opposed to adjusting the rooms rates at all because they feel that doing so would cheapen MO's high end image. That sort of attitude may be all well and good in other markers were there's less competition for the high end market, but Vegas has no shortage of quality brands competing for the same guests. Mandarin Oriental is a great brand, all of their hotels are excellent, but inflexibility on pricing because of concern for your brand image during a hard recession is suicidal.

September 13, 2010 4:35 PM Posted by Hunter

Hi Beejay - the article is here:

September 14, 2010 5:56 PM Posted by Paolo

I think my comment got eaten =(

September 15, 2010 5:33 PM Posted by Matt K

re: the question of why Murren was opposed to phasing. I think the classic answer to why you don't phase a project like this is that if the viability of the revenue generating components of the resort are predicated on 7,000 heads in beds nightly, you can't reduce the hotel capacity in half and expect those outlets to make the same money. If the convention center is only profitable on paper with all the towers full, then it makes no sense to open it if only Aria and MO will be operating.

You can phase in restaurants and retail tenants over time, but you can't open a theater with half the seats, or a casino you know will only get half the traffic. I'm guessing Murren realized that it was an all or nothing proposition.

November 3, 2010 2:08 PM Posted by mark

were is Steve's re-arrangement of City Center, thanks

November 4, 2010 7:10 PM Posted by Hunter

Sorry, no comprende.

November 6, 2010 3:36 PM Posted by stevecovington (steve_c)

here ya go, Mark..