Multi-billion dollar attraction hits the Vegas Strip - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Multi-billion dollar attraction hits the Vegas Strip

Bobby Baldwin Bobby Baldwin
Bill Smith Bill Smith
Cindy Ortega Cindy Ortega

By Stephanie Lum - bio | email

LAS VEGAS (HawaiiNewsNow) - If they build it, they will come. That's what MGM Mirage and Dubai World believe when it comes to an 8.5 billion dollar attraction set to open on the Vegas strip. It's a lot of money to invest during this tough economic time but developers say it's a gamble they're willing to take.

Located just behind the Monte Carlo resort, the brand new City Center is being built where the old Boardwalk Hotel once stood. More than 10,000 construction workers went to work in June 2006 to get the massive attraction up and ready for the grand-opening. It's starting to take shape into an urban environment similar to the bustling city of Manhattan where everything is built within walking distance.

Here, you'll find hotels and condos with fancy names like "Vdara" and "Aria", attractions including a center called "Crystals" that'll be home to shops like Lui Vuitton and Tiffany, fine-dining restaurants like "Beso" by actress Eva Longoria and shows including one that celebrates the legacy of the king of rock -n- roll, Elvis Presley.

Spanning 67 acres, almost one and a half times the size of Ala Moana Center, this is one massive city but developers say it's carbon footprint, not so much.

"What we were going to be doing was going to be different. there were no sustainable buildings not one in Las Vegas or the state of Nevada," said Bobby Baldwin, President and CEO of City Center.

Built with "green" in mind, 80% of the building materials are recycled.

"We were able to take it apart and pulverize the concrete and use it as backfill with the site, take the rebar and send it back to a plant that would meld it and use it again," said Bill Smith, President of MGM Mirage Design Group.

From a water cooling tower, to an on-site natural gas plant, City Center will be the largest sustainable urban development in the world.

"One of the things we're most proud of at the City Center is the care and effort that went into the design and façade of the Pelli Tower and through the selection glass that's very high efficient glass and doesn't transport heat through the glass inside," said Cindy Ortega the Senior Vice President of Energy and Environmental Services at MGM Mirage.

Sales of the new residential units have been brisk. Out of 2400 total units, so far, 60% have been sold. The most units have been sold at the luxurious Mandarin Oriental. In September, there were only about 7 to 10 units left with the most expensive one priced at 12.3 million dollars. If you can't afford it, not to worry, you're free to visit when the City Center opens its doors on the Vegas strip this December.

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