Mega Development or Mega Disappointment?

CityCenter in Las Vegas is the most expensive development in U.S. history. As it settles into it surrounds, will the project attain visionary status, or will it be just another casino?
June 17, 2010, 6am PDT | Nate Berg
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This article from The Wall Street Journal looks at the megadevelopment and the man who created it, and wonders what both of their legacies will be.

"Jim Murren, the creator of this spectacle, works deep within a labyrinth of ornate passageways and conference halls. There's no sign on his office door, and a security guard in a red uniform stands rather aimlessly in a corner. You wouldn't think it was the nerve center of a multibillion-dollar empire, where Murren, CEO of MGM Mirage, runs 11 major resorts, including Bellagio, MGM Grand and Mandalay Bay, not to mention this, the just-opened CityCenter, the largest privately funded construction project in U.S. history. The $8.5 billion mixed-use complex, with its staggering 18 million square feet of usable space, is laid out like a city within a city, rising vertiginously from its 67-acre site along the Strip.

Murren presents himself as an idealist in a land of fabulists. He wears a white rubber bracelet that reads "Improve the World," and he's attempting to do just that by steering his company toward a more sustainable kind of development. He aspires to create a model for green city planning and his company is already at work duplicating it in China-but is it truly urban or just a new kind of Vegas theme resort, one that uses good taste as its come-on to well-heeled tourists from around the world?"

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Published on Wednesday, June 16, 2010 in The Wall Street Journal
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