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Gaming Guru

Rod Smith
 

Inside Gaming: MGM Mirage May Continue to go Condo

27 March 2006

With the hotel-condominium units in Signature at MGM Grand nearly sold out at nearly $1,000 per square foot on average, MGM Mirage is proceeding to look at developing the adjacent 15 acres. Why not? The additional foot traffic from the 1,600 units in the first three towers in Signature will be a big boost for the company. But MGM Mirage President Jim Murren said his company is still weighing its options of more hotel-condos, time share projects or condominiums. He and industry insiders, however, say condominiums have the inside track.

Since we reported that buyers whose condominiums have been canceled are threatening lawsuits, real estate brokers have stepped up saying they may just litigate also. Agents who sold units in projects such as the Related Cos.' Icon stand to lose millions in commissions. Such projects often pay

3 percent on sales, but when developers walk away, they leave the brokers and the buyers holding the bag. Local real estate brokers, who aren't used to being stiffed, are mad as well as poorer.

The Strip as Broadway-west -- or even off-Broadway -- isn't cutting it with New York producers. They say the recent run with "Avenue Q" at Wynn Las Vegas -- which closes May 28 -- proves Las Vegas audiences are not up to Broadway sophistication. Laugh lines in "Avenue Q" that brought the house down in Manhattan drew silence here. "We Will Rock You" had audiences nodding off and "Saturday Night Fever" flopped. Plus, producers say the demand here to cut the shows down to 90 minutes is killing production values. "Mamma Mia!" seems to be the exception.

Unlike 18 other major airports, McCarran International will have to rely on local authorities to quarantine suspected bird flu victims, federal Centers for Disease Control sources say. Even cities with federal quarantine centers are criticized for being unprepared. Seven other major airports are under consideration for a federal quarantine center, but not Las Vegas. Local authorities here have said they, nevertheless, are prepared.

Kudos to Boyd Gaming Corp. Its Sam's Town hotel-casino recently was named tops in customer satisfaction in an Expedia.com survey of users. The Boulder Strip landmark narrowly beat out Wynn Las Vegas, which came in No. 2. Besides Sam's Town, Suncoast (No. 3) and The Orleans (No. 6), also owned by Boyd Gaming Corp, finished in the Top 10. MGM Mirage, however, had the most winners, including Monte Carlo (No. 4), Bellagio (No. 7), New York-New York (No. 9) and The Mirage (No. 10).

Inside Gaming: MGM Mirage May Continue to go Condo is republished from Online.CasinoCity.com.