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Gaming Guru

Tim O'Reiley

Three contractors release liens on Skyvue project

26 January 2013

LAS VEGAS -- The Skyvue giant Ferris wheel project gained breathing room on Thursday as three contractors released their liens for unpaid bills with the promise that others will follow suit.

However, a statement by developer Skyvue Las Vegas LLC noted that it could still take several months to line up the loans to finish construction of the 500-foot-tall wheel and the retail center at the base. Little or no work has happened on the site, across the Strip from Mandalay Bay, for six months. Skyvue has attributed that at least partly to having to wait while components of the wheel are manufactured by companies in Belgium, Germany and Arizona.

The Skyvue statement said it had "settled all construction debt and has no outstanding liens" through an unidentified source of financing. When the county recorder's office closed on Thursday, three companies - Fisk Electric, Pacific Coast Steel and Brand Energy & Infrastructure Services - had filed discharges that said they were paid in full. The amounts listed totaled $181,000 for Fisk and Brand, with nothing put on the Pacific Coast discharge.

Last week, MMC Inc. filed suit in Clark County District Court to ratchet up the collection pressure concerning $1.1 million in unpaid bills for work on the Skyvue foundations. MMC was one of eight companies that had liens on record, including general contractor Ledcor Construction Inc., for amounts totaling $5.4 million. It was unclear how many of the claims duplicated each other.

The Skyvue statement noted, "We were required by the title company to go through this process to be able to ensure first priority for our construction loan." Top priority means that the lender would have the highest claim on Skyvue's assets should it go into default and not have to stand in the repayment line behind the contractors.

Skyvue said that the parts for the wheel will start to arrive for final assembly in May or June, when a new crane will be brought on to the site. The previous crane was disassembled in September, although Skyvue promised in a statement that a replacement would be installed in mid-October.