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Dr. Dave Dissects ARIA's First Hundy

By Chuckmonster on Friday, 26th March 2010 4:12am
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 5


If you aren't reading the fabulous new weekly local Las Vegas magazine VegasSeven - either the glossy paper in your hands version, the online version or enhanced flashtacular flipbook - you are seriously missing out.

This week, VT friend Dr. Dave Schwartz has commandeered the cover of the joint (cropped above) with an extremely objective, yet incredibly questioning dissection of ARIA's first 100 days.

Yeah yeah yeah, there is a puketastic "I love ARIA!" quote from the uber cheepskate Las Vegas Advisor guy AND a coupla canned PR answers from MGM Mirage brass, but the rest of the article is foot to the fire class.

In researching the article, Dr. Dave met with MGM Mirage CEO Jim Murren, CityCenter boss Bobby Baldwin (the guy who managed building the joint) and ARIA honcho Bill McBeath, and asked every single one of them the questions we've all been asking ourselves.

From the lack of cellphone service to solutions to Aria's low lighting to stuffing our room rate study under Bobby Baldwin's nose for explanation, Dr. Dave gave ARIA's brain trust a thorough yet gentile 'turn your head and cough' inspection.

This one is essential reading folks. The First 100 Days.



Comments & Discussion:

Kudos to Dr. Dave. It's a good read on CityCenter, and IMHO has been one of the few fair takes on the new kid on The Strip. At first CityCenter was hailed as our "economic messiah", then it was lambasted as the "evil pariah" out to cannibalize everything else. In reality, it's a project conceived in a different time that's having to adjust to a changing world and changing Las Vegas to survive. And ultimately, CityCenter itself will be changing Las Vegas some more as our economy recovers and more new construction resumes.

Whoops! Posted in the wrong story...

So far, Julian Serrano has been one of the breakout hits of the CityCenter restaurant collection... And for good reason. La comida es muy deliciosa. And when I was there, I didn't have any service problems. I guess they still have some work to do on that end, but the food is great and most definitely worth the trip to Aria. :-)

The initial concept of City Center was different -- to be like a real, world class city with offices and a significantnumber of actual residents. Maybe it will evolve toward that. Right now, however, I don't get how it is all that different. It is a complex of hotels, uber high-end retail, a casino and a pebble sized "pocket park." It's a great addition to Las Vegas but it will have to change to live up to it's original promise. The world has changed a lot more in 5 1/2 years than the idea and reality of City Center. I'd love to see something really creative in Crystals -- not more $1,000 handbags and $400 shirts. I'd love to see them open some of it to developers that are not within the parent company. It would be interesting if it included a non-tourism employer. It will change and it may be "different" someday but from what I saw of City Center it looks like the end of an era, not a new beginning. It may have to collapse economically before it is reborn.

CC is still a work in progress and can't be evaluated until the residential portion is developed (even though it currently looks like a disaster). It is still possible that in 5-10 years there will be a vibrant residential feel to CC. However, MGM is still not coming to grips with the disaster of their condo sales. I can today buy a condo at Signature for $150k from realtor.com, while MGM is still trying to sell condos in the same building through realtor.com at $750K.

Very good article, but I had to shake my head at one of the MGM PR staff's quote, "CC is a game changer" as parched pointed out 'maybe' in 5-10 years with residential units up and sold (if that happens). But I still don't think it will, to me there isn't enough there to be residential and at the end of the day they can talk all they want about reinventing the casino/resort/hotel or whatever the hell they want to call it, but it's another shade of the color, not a game changer.

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