City Centre-Aria

Las Vegas’ Sensational Resort Development

The newest Vegas sensation is City Centre-Aria. If you haven’t visited Las Vegas for a while, you are in for a surprise. Remember where the folksy Boardwalk Hotel used to sit? Well, it, and a few adjoining smaller buildings have disappeared in an implosive whoosh! Nestled on that quarter-mile stretch of the Las Vegas Strip between Bellagio and Monte Carlo is City Centre, a harmonious group of buildings of various heights and commodious shapes that seem to flow around each other.

The project’s center is the 61-story ARIA Resort & Casino with 4,000-rooms, 16 restaurants and 10 drinking holes, three pools stocked with 50 cabanas plus a pool for grown ups only. If your neck aches from playing the machines, or your arm freezes up from throwing the dice, a treatment at Aria’s spa might restore you to good playing form.

Slots abound in Aria’s 150,000 sq. ft. devoted to gaming. You’ll find games starting at one cent for the cautious all the way up to a $5,000 wager for the rich or reckless. Machines can be fed one coin per spin, or up to 500 coins. For slot players, ARIA mixes in traditional “reel” slot machines alongside the newest video offerings. Players looking for more adventure can take their chances on single-machine progressives or try for the big bucks on machines with a multi-million dollar top award.

Stepping into the casino is akin to entering a special world. Your first impression is of peace and privacy. Business was bustling while we were there, starting with many more players than we had seen in other casinos. But the overpowering noise that you expect in a large casino was missing, possibly due to the wide aisles and well spaced machines and tables.

You can inhale a deep sigh of relief and settle back to play the way you want. You do not sense that management is trying to capitalize on every square foot of space by squeezing in machines. The place is massive enough to supply anything you could possibly want to play and still keep the environment stress-free. Now it you lose all your money plus a month’s rent, we don’t guarantee you will experience no stress!

The casino is a blend of exotic earthiness. Bronze and copper walls descend to into black and gray marble floors inset with terra cotta tiles. Dark wooden beams overhead are an effective counterfoil to its brushed stainless walls. Thin spiral rods the color of pirate’s gold, are suspended like fringes from the ceiling. Austere good taste everywhere.

Phase one, which opened in December 2009, is billed as the most expensive privately funded construction project in U.S. history ($9 billion and counting). What did all the financing build? Here’s what you will find at CityCentre:

  • ARIA Resort & Casino: 4,004 rooms 61-storys
  • Pelli casino: 165,000 sq. ft.
  • Mandarin Oriental Hotel/Residences: 400 rooms + 227 condos
  • Harmon Hotel/Residences 400-room + 207 condos
  • Vdara Condo/Hotel tower: 1,543 units
  • Veer twin luxury condo towers: 337 units
  • Crystals Mall: 500,000 sq. ft. of retail and entertainment space
  • Modern sculptures and art: $40 million worth
  • Convention and meeting facilities: 225,000 sq. ft. back-of-house operations: 900,000 sq. ft.
  • Theater: 2,000 seats
  • Spa: 70,000 sq. ft.
  • Garage: 7,500 parking spaces

And if this isn’t enough, add in trams to scoot people around the complex , anon-site power plant and even a fire station. The project created 12,000 new permanent positions when it opened.

Spearheaded by MGM Mirage, phase one of the CityCentre project straddles 68-acres. Phase two, economy permitting, will eventually occupy the space behind and between Monte Carlo and New York New York.

To watch how every building that was imploded in Las Vegas from the Dunes to the Boardwalk (which was demolished to make room for CityCentre). from CityCentre-Aria to Wynn-Encore-Resorts