Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

MGM, Dubai Scale Back CityCenter, Seek More Funds | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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NEW YORK, (Reuters) – The developer of CityCenter, the biggest new development on the Las Vegas Strip, said on Wednesday it has delayed construction on one of the hotels in the complex and canceled plans to sell some residential units, as the city faces a slump in its casino and housing markets.

The $11 billion project is still set to open late this year, according to developer CityCenter Holdings, a joint venture between casino operator MGM Mirage and a unit of investor Dubai World

MGM shares fell 9 percent to $14.51 on the New York Stock Exchange. They are down 80 percent over the past 12 months, as the recession has punctured the three-year Las Vegas casino boom.

MGM and Dubai World are both “actively pursuing additional financing” for the project, according to CityCenter, as they try to scale back their own development costs.

CityCenter said construction on the 400-room Harmon Hotel & Spa is being deferred for one year, postponing the opening of the hotel to late 2010, and the residential condominium component of the Harmon has been canceled.

The original plan called for about 200 residential units in the hotel; 88 are already under contract to be sold. Those buyers will be entitled to refunds of their deposits, CityCenter said.

The Harmon is just one part of the CityCenter complex, which will also include the 4,000-room ARIA casino resort tower, a Mandarin Oriental hotel, and a 500,000-square-foot retail and entertainment complex.

All those parts of CityCenter remain on schedule for a December 2009 opening, the developer said.