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Best of Howard Stutz

Gaming Guru

Howard Stutz

The strip: Slice of the high life

2 January 2007

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- The $24 million sales pavilion for the residential components of MGM Mirage's $7 billion Project CityCenter isn't your average model home community.

The nearly 30,000-square-foot pavilion, which opens today, is on the Strip between New York-New York and Monte Carlo.

With a spacious design, two different scale models of the CityCenter site, high-tech features and information about the project's four residential developments, the sales pavilion is designed to give potential CityCenter owners a taste of what life will be like inside the 66-acre urban village.

"We're using a number of audio visual tools and state of the art technology that will put the perspective buyer inside their residence and present to them information about CityCenter that they might not know," said Tony Dennis, executive vice president of CityCenter's residential division.

The sales pavilion, which is a temporary structure, has individual boutiques dedicated to CityCenter's four residential developments; Vdara Condo Hotel, The Residences at Mandarin Oriental, Veer Tower and Residences at The Harmon. In total, CityCenter will encompass 2,700 residences.

The sales pavilion includes model units, floor plans, unit locations, interior design options and other details.

The Harmon's boutique is still under construction but model rooms and partial models are available for the other three developments.

One of the high-tech features in the sales pavilion allows a potential resident to see what the views will be like from any condo unit of the four CityCenter developments.

"This facility will really help someone understand CityCenter," Dennis said.

"If they are a potential buyer, then we can help them find the right development and right floor plan to fit their needs. Our pavilion shows customers that CityCenter is indeed happening and the residential component is a reality," he added.

CityCenter condominium prices start at $500,000 for the smallest unit. The Mandarin has the highest prices of any of the developments with the smallest unit starting at $1.5 million, rising in price up to $12 million for the 4,100-square-foot penthouse offerings.

Dennis said reservations for the different developments will be taken at the pavilion. Sales are expected to begin later this year. The sales pavilion will employ about 85 people, including sales executives and support staff.

The most visible aspect of Project CityCenter now under construction is a 60-story, 4,000-room hotel-casino designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli, that will be the centerpiece of a retail, dining and entertainment district. Seven world-renowned architects helped to design aspects of CityCenter.

MGM Mirage opened a small Project CityCenter preview gallery inside Bellagio last fall. Dennis said the space has attracted an average 500 people a day. More than 10,000 have already registered their names for additional information once the condominium sales begin. A second preview gallery is being planned for The Mirage.

Meanwhile, a "friends and family" special in which MGM Mirage employees, their family members, and other guests, were given a chance to place their names on a reservation list for the CityCenter residential components, had a better-than-expected response, Dennis said.

"We haven't made a big noise yet and we're happy with the response so far," Dennis said. "The pavilion is the next step in that process. We designed this building to be representative of what life will be like in Project CityCenter."

The Vdara, a 1,543-unit condominium-hotel with units ranging from 500 square feet to 1,850 square feet, will be built between Bellagio and the CityCenter hotel-casino.

The Mandarin Oriental Hotel will have approximately 227 condominium units above the 400-room hotel tower.

A second boutique hotel, The Harmon, will be operated by The Light Group. It will have 228 condominiums above its 400 hotel rooms.

In both hotels, condominium owners will have use of the hotels' amenities.

The Veer Towers, twin 37-story condominium high-rises, will be CityCenter's only pure residential-only development with units ranging from 500 square feet to 2,600 square feet.