CityCenter President and CEO Bobby Baldwin hosted a conference call with Wall Street analysts last month, with the top of discussion being MGM MIRAGE’s second quarter earnings results.
Here are Baldwin’s salient comments regarding the progress of the CityCenter development on the Las Vegas Strip.
"Good morning, everyone. CityCenter construction continues to be on track as planned. There are currently only two tower cranes remaining on the site, 9,500 construction workers are actively involved in the finalization of the construction of CityCenter. The opening this December will be phased with Vdara opening first on Dec.1 of 2009. This is followed shortly by Mandarin, Veer Towers and Crystals on Dec.3, and finally the Aria Resort & Casino is scheduled to open on Dec. 16 of this year."
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"To date, CityCenter has received over 153,000 applications of which 87% have been external applications, with 13% coming from our employees at other MGM MIRAGE properties. Over 72,000 HR reviews have been conducted, with 45,000 departmental interviews having already taken place. We will begin our job offering process for Aria and CityCenter in early September."
"At Aria, we continue to see a steady pace of room bookings, with over 132,000 room nights on the books, over 41,000 of these room nights have been contracted with convention groups. This is a 67% increase over what Bellagio had five months prior to its opening. Booking rates for Aria are at a premium compared to Bellagio rates over the same period. We also have over 61,000 room nights on the books for Vdara."
"At our Crystals Retail District, we have executed 39 leases to-date, including two stores that CityCenter will own and operate. We have executed leases with a number of international luxury brands, including Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Company, Prada, Tom Ford, Christian Dior and Cartier."
"We have also signed on several dining concepts, including Eva Longoria-Parker’s Beso, Mastro’s Ocean Club and two new Wolfgang restaurants. We are currently on track to open Crystals on Dec. 3. Construction of the core and shell is close to completion, and 32 tenants have received possession of their space, to perform their own interior fit out work. We anticipate 48% of the square footage to be open in December, and have 84% of the square footage available, open at least by April of 2010."
"In terms of residential update, we are working on our closing plan to safeguard a smooth transition for our residential buyers. We are planning to begin closing on condo units at Mandarin Oriental starting in December followed by Veer in January, and finally Vdara in February of 2010. We have had a productive dialogue with the residential financial advisors, and will be prepared to discuss closings with our customers."
"As it relates to CityCenter budget, CityCenter’s budget of $6.9 billion has been funded to-date, and we have about $1.6 billion left to complete CityCenter, based on the budget of $8.5 billion. We have approximately $950 million remaining to be drawn on our CityCenter credit facility, an additional $400 million from pre-funded sponsor equity and the remaining funds will come from closing proceeds from condo sales of about $250 million."