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MGM may jettison tower from CityCenter

Dec 30, 2008 5:04 PM
Gaming Insider by Phil Hevener |

MGM’s CityCenter development may open next year without one of its anticipated core components – the 47-story Harmon Hotel, Spa & Residences.

The problem: structural steel or rebar issues that have so far resisted the kind of realistic solution that would allow construction to continue. You cannot build a project the size of the Harmon if the steel is not where it is supposed to be, and in this case, it is not.

Unofficial but well-placed sources say MGM and county officials have not yet reached an agreement on a plan that will allow the Harmon to come to life as a luxury hotel and residence with about 600 rooms and units.

The Light Group, which is best known on the Strip as an operator of nightclubs, was to be the Harmon’s operator but has reportedly bailed out of the project without publicly citing any list of specifics.

MGM officials have made public reference to cost savings that might be possible for CityCenter. "Wrapping" the Harmon structure in some fashion may be part of what they have in mind.

My insider confided, "There was some talk of blowing it up and starting over but that is obviously not very practical … probably a reflection of the frustration this situation has generated."

Not completing the Harmon may be one of the sources of cost savings referred to by MGM executives who previously discussed efforts to open CityCenter on time and close to budget – whatever that is.