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Howard Stutz

MGM Mirage halts Jean project

5 August 2008

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- MGM Mirage on Monday officially pulled the plug on a planned mixed-use development in Jean, blaming the sour economic climate.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, MGM Mirage said it formally terminated an agreement with developer American Nevada Corp. for a 166-acre site covering both sides of Interstate 15.

Plans had called for a development that would have included affordable housing, businesses, shops and a new hotel-casino.

In May, a spokesman for MGM Mirage said the project had been placed on hold.

"Most people thought this was dead for quite a while," said Deutsche Bank gaming analyst Bill Lerner. He said the project was "nonmaterial" to the company's earnings.

Plans for the site were announced in February 2007. No timeline or cost estimates were given, but MGM Mirage closed the 303-room Nevada Landing. The building, themed after a Mississippi River-style paddle wheeler, was closed in March 2007 and demolished this year. All that remains on the site is the Nevada Landing sign.

The company kept open the Gold Strike on the south side of Interstate 15.

Last week, MGM Mirage said it had run into delays securing more than $3 billion in financing it was seeking for the $9.2 billion CityCenter development on the Strip. Company officials said it expected to complete the financing by the end of August and didn't expect any delays in construction or opening of the CityCenter project, scheduled for the last part of 2009.

MGM Mirage's decision on the Jean project comes on the heels of Friday's announcement by Boyd Gaming that it was delaying construction of the $4.8 billion Echelon for up to a year due to the souring credit markets. The project has been under construction for more than a year on the site where the Stardust stood.

MGM Mirage halts Jean project is republished from