The coverage is rolling - http://www.ariaopening.com.
Also, I just uploaded 190 photos from inside ARIA to Flickr:
Got to sample some of the restaurant cuisine - so far great stuff. Lots of details to come but the staff here seem happy and excited - fun!
Update: Photos of two rooms at Vdara (I was moved to a suite due to 'issues'). http://www.flickr.com/photos/lasvegas/sets/72157623015555862/
Update 2: More photos of ARIA and opening night festivities: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lasvegas/sets/72157623025422570/
I love big cities. I'd much rather ride a subway than sit on a beach. I love museums and cultural events, great restaurants and urban activity.
New York is one of my favorites. If I had to live outside the US, I'd probably settle in London. I've been lucky enough to see Cairo, Jerusalem, Rome, Paris, Chicago, Istanbul and much of the rest of the world. Great cities are complicated, charming, messy, crowded, contradictory... and wonderful.
MGM Mirage is trying to replicate the best bits of those experiences in a new project opening soon on the Las Vegas Strip - CityCenter.
This past week, your humble host was given the opportunity to tour part of this new hospitality complex - 67 acres at the heart of the Las Vegas Strip, located between Bellagio and Monte Carlo.
My experiences on that tour are after the jump - enjoy. CityCenter will be a hot topic of discussion for months if not years. I can't wait until you all can share your own thoughts.
Update: We're not allowed to publish the actual map but Chuckmonster traced a copy and posted it on VT. This is the casino level and includes much of the stuff I saw on this tour. His version looks identical to the 'real' one. Enjoy. http://www.vegastripping.com/news/news.php?news_id=3019
On Monday, we got a tour of PH Towers, the condo-hotel-fractional-ownership building set to open in December on the Planet Hollywood property.
My photos are here: PH Towers Gallery
Thanks to @phVegas for organizing the event for Vegas Podcast-a-palooza attendees. As for that event, I'll have a post about it and the audio of the shows up as soon as humanly possible.
High rise condos are the subject of a story in the RJ. The concluding paragraphs summarize what many others have been saying:
"What is the end game for Las Vegas? Returning to its roots as an affordable and diverse entertainment destination, Nichols said.
"We became too much of the $500 bottle of vodka and multihundred-dollar room," he said. "We increased capacity at a higher price point when there was no demand for that. There's a direct relationship between price point and market share. If entertainment, rooms, and food and beverage get back in line, just like any service or commodity, that's when the town will rebound."
To read more:
High-Rise Plans Go Flat In Las Vegas
A story today in the RJ about how MGM Mirage saved City Center.
Despite painting a rosy outlook at the time, things were very close to catastrophe.
This is a topic we touched on during a Vegas Gang show - I speculated that Murren and Co really pulled off a near-miracle in keeping the project intact. Knowing now that they did it without having to sell any additional Strip properties is even more amazing.
Another week, another report of building problems left undiscovered by officials. Instead of City Center, now we have the neighboring Cosmopolitan, the property that can't seem to find a permanent owner having been taken over by its financiers after the developer defaulted last year.
The RJ reports: http://www.lvrj.com/news/41078077.html
With all of this talk about buildings not being properly checked during construction, I can't help but to recall these issues with Harrah's a few years back:
Stories in the Sun and RJ today have word that Cosmo owner Deutsche Bank have decided to re-design the interiors of some floors, resulting in work stoppage.
Also, there's word that the bank may have signed a deal with Hilton to operate the hotel and/or casino portions - Deutsche does not have a Nevada gaming license and a recent deal with MGM Mirage seems to have fallen apart.
It seems that the embattled Cosmopolitan Hotel project on the Strip has found a buyer after the bank foreclosed on the original developer.
Thanks to Mark D for pointing this out.
Also, some coverage in the RJ:
Here's yet another report where I sample some amazing food, nightlife, and the new Palms Place. Enjoy!
KVBC is reporting that Trump Tower in Las Vegas, the condo project from The Donald, is laying off 20% of its workforce.
This comes shortly after an article from Steve Friess where he predicted doom and gloom for the golden clad property.
I stayed there this Spring and while I'm not interested in going back, we had a nice time.
Thanks to Mike for shooting me the story this AM.
Vegas Gang #11 is online here: http://www.vegasgangpodcast.com
This time we feature:
* Encore at Wynn Las Vegas Opening
* Cosmopolitan Sued Over Its Name
* MGM Mirage Using Social Networking
* Harrah's Pays Debt With Debt
* Adelson Profiled in New Yorker
Feel free to add comments below...
Well, it looks like things have gotten just a little bit worse for the Cosmopolitan:
Hearst says they own the name. Ouch.
How about a little due diligence when you start a project, huh?
The rumor floating around today is that The Related Cos has purchased/taken over the Cosmopolitan project on the Las Vegas Strip and it will be an outpost of the 'W' hotel chain. Time will tell...
As speculated, the name 'ARIA' is official.
MGM Mirage's press release had a bit more info than I've seen published elsewhere. I don't usually just publish these things but I think this is of interest so continue reading after the jump.
For my first stay in a condo-hotel, I picked the Trump International Tower, right off the Strip in Las Vegas. This is a short write up of our experience this past weekend.
Continue after the jump for more...