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Nevada Regulators Recommend Casino License for Aria | Gaming News

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Nevada Regulators Recommend Casino License for Aria
Gaming News

The head of MGM Mirage says CityCenter will be the catalyst that turns the Las Vegas economy around. He made the statement after the Nevada Gaming Control Board approved a gaming license for Aria, a 4,000-room hotel-casino at the heart of the project.

CityCenter is a 50-50 partnership between MGM Mirage and Dubai World. That means representatives from both sides had to face gaming regulators Friday.

Jim Murren now runs MGM Mirage. He says CityCenter’s opening boils down to one thing. “Jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs. This is the biggest job creator in the country, right now -- 12,000 jobs in one shot,” he said.

Nine thousand job offers have been extended. So far, 95-percent of those people accepted. All of them are banking on the Gaming Control Board's approval of a non-restricted gaming license for Aria Hotel and Casino, the central focal point of CityCenter.

“The economy is healing. Las Vegas is healing. Our company is healing. I really believe that CityCenter will usher in a new era -- a better era for our company and for the state,” said Murren.

That era begins with an international partner. Dubai World's subsidiary, Infinity World, owns 50-percent of the $8.5 billion resort. “We are an international company, but we want to feel local as well. The fact that we are able to employ a bunch of Americans through this project feels very, very good for us,” said Infinity World President & Chief Executive Officer Chris O'Donnell. “We have always been excited. Unfortunately, the last 12 months or even the last two years, there has been a lot of ups and downs in the world economy. What you have to do is start these projects in the good times and you have got to push through. You need to understand there is always going to be economic cycles.”

O'Donnell thinks his company will be a link to the Middle East to attract more new visitors to Las Vegas. Murren put a number to it saying 2.5 million new visitors will come, just because of CityCenter.

Still, Murren would not commit to keeping all of the 12,000 new hires employed through 2010 and 2011. “My crystal ball does not go that far out. I can tell you a lot more people will be employed today because of CityCenter,” he said.

And the job numbers don’t end there. Because of contractors, one CityCenter job creates 2.5 other jobs.


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