Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Casino News: How to Open City Center? $1.5 Billion to Finish F-bleau?

So apparently MGM Mirage doesn't quite know how to tone down the grandeur for City Center's "grand opening". After all, 2009 hasn't been so grand for them. They just barely avoided bankruptcy earlier this year. They just lost another board member. City Center's often been in the news for all the wrong reasons, such as construction worker deaths, controversy over the quality of the construction work, and Dubai World nearly bolting from this joint venture project.

And when we combine all these woes with the overall craptastic economy, we can see why MGM Mirage might feel it's inappropriate to party like it's 1999.

Meanwhile on the north side of The Strip, The Fontainebleau just looks more and more like a total hot mess. Baby F-bleau in Vegas may not be faring nearly as badly as all of Mommy F-bleau's destitute Miami neighbors, but that isn't all that much of a consolation prize. After all, "suitor" Penn National Gaming doesn't even want to pay $300 million for a building that's already cost $2 billion to build so far and may require up to $1.5 billion just to finish. But of course, that's because Penn's done its homework and knows that they'll immediately need to start cleaning up F-bleau's hot mess by settling all those unpaid bills.

Let's hope Penn or someone else can rescue F-bleau before it becomes yet another barren North Strip skeleton a la Echelon Place.

So we have more doom and gloom today... But also a few signs of hope. Perhaps if MGM Mirage can pull it off with City Center, maybe it can be the start of a real turn around for our economy. And maybe if F-bleau finds a buyer to finish that damn casino and get it opened, maybe it will be a harbinger of good news to come for the hard hit North Strip.

But of course, it all depends on whether these two projects can finish and attract more tourists upon opening. Let's hope a couple miracles happen. We know our town needs some.

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