City Center Considers Bankruptcy Filing
In January, it was announced that MGM Mirage was planning to scale back their City Center project, now the project seems to be in even deeper trouble. The $8.6 billion project has hired a law firm in order to prepare for a potential bankruptcy filing. The project is the Las Vegas Strip's most ambitious development, a 67-acre sprawl of hotels including a Mandarin Oriental property, residences, a casino and a huge retail and entertainment complex.
The developers, MGM Mirage and Dubai World, are expected to miss a $220 million debt payment due Friday and the project could file for bankruptcy within days unless an agreement is made. Dubai World has already filed suit against MGM Mirage, saying that its shaky finances put City Center at risk. MGM Mirage reported a $1.15 billion fourth-quarter loss this month and is said to be more than $13 billion in debt. Earlier this week the deal to sell MGM's Treasure Island casino to Phil Ruffin for $775 million was finalized.
As the Wall Street Journal mentions, even if the project does end up in bankruptcy it is likely that construction could continue or be restarted once agreements are made. No one wants to leave this massive complex of partially completed buildings unfinished and both MGM Mirage and Dubai World have sunk billions into the project. Also the city of Las Vegas needs the project to work both because of the potential jobs it creates as well as for the statement it makes that Las Vegas tourism is still thriving.
UPDATE: MGM Mirage has made a $200 million payment to the City Center project to keep the project afloat.