Centerpiece casino of CityCenter opening in Vegas

Dec 16, 2009 8:10 PM

Casino executives are preparing to open the newest and most expensive joint on the Las Vegas Strip, a 4,000 room resort at the heart of the $8.5 billion CityCenter complex.

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The 61-story Aria Resort & Casino was to open late Wednesday with fireworks and fanfare, fitting for the heart of a project that has taken center stage in the struggling casino industry.

Officials say executives from CityCenter owners MGM MIRAGE (MGM) and Dubai World plan to remotely ring the closing bell of the New York Stock Exchange after a morning ribbon-cutting ceremony.

MGM MIRAGE CEO Jim Murren told employees in an e-mail that Aria's opening will let tourists experience CityCenter as it was envisioned, instead of in bits and pieces.

Other parts of the 67-acre CityCenter opened earlier this month.