Dubai-backed casino operator to demolish tower

MGM halts work on $8.5bn project after experts deem tower unsafe

The City Center will be demolished within the next six months, say developers. Photo: Getty.
The City Center will be demolished within the next six months, say developers. Photo: Getty.

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MGM Resorts International, the Las Vegas casino operator part-owned by Dubai World, is to demolish a 27-storey tower that was to anchor its $8.5bn CityCenter Aria Resorts and Casino after experts said there was a risk it could collapse in the event of an earthquake.

Officials and engineering experts in Las Vegas had expressed concerns that the 27-storey hotel and condominium Harmon Tower was not structurally safe and halted construction work.

MGM this week said it would be too costly and time consuming to correct the “faulty construction” and submitted an application to have the unfinished building demolished.

“Based on…expert advice, CityCenter is recommending that the structure be demolished by implosion,” said Gordon Absher, vice president of public affairs for MGM Resorts International.

The demolition is likely to take place within the next six months.

Dubai World holds a 9.5% stake in MGM and is a joint partner in the Las Vegas-based CityCenter casino project.

MGM this month reported better than expected second-quarter earnings, as revenue rose 17 percent to $1.81bn, beating the $1.61bn analysts forecast by analysts.

Resort Ebitda at the $8.5bn CityCenter joint venture of hotels, condominiums, a casino and mall on the Las Vegas Strip was $64m in the second quarter, on revenue of $275m.

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