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The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Last night at 11:50pm, CityCenter got its gaming license and opened its doors to the public.  We have mixed opinions on the property as shown below, but the major concern continues to be whether this property has enough of a differentiated appeal to drive visitation beyond the room/casino supply it is adding.  We remain skeptical.

The Good:

  • Different, modern feel for those who, well, like the new and modern feel
  • Lots of exciting new dining options
  • Several new clubs and bars
  • Great artwork and like Wynn/Encore there are lots of nuances to the property that will likely take many stays to discover
  • Central location on the Strip

The Bad:

  • The modern feel may not appeal to many gamblers 
  • Despite the “natural light”, on overcast days or in the mornings, the casino feels very dark with its “earthy” colors
  • There are already lots of overpriced dining options in Vegas, many of which are now offering discounted pre-fix that the budget-strapped consumer or the “trade-up” customer can afford
  • While the central location is nice, you still have to walk several blocks off Las Vegas Boulevard to get to Aria. So it may not get the same foot traffic as many center-strip properties get with easier egress

The Ugly

  • The rooms are very small... or as one person euphemistically put it “urban chic”.  Unfortunately, this isn’t New York and the finicky Vegas “higher end” guest that typically stays at Wynn/Encore, Venetian/Palazzo, or Bellagio is used to more space.  The tower suite was, at most, 300 square feet.  There’s only one chair next to the bed and, directly beside that, a desk with a flat screen mounted over it.  I think that this property will have a real challenge charging rates at a premium to Wynn and some of the other premium properties.
  • The Elvis show was a total flop.  Hopefully they can improve it over time, The experience felt like attending a bad Elvis musical.  Many people we spoke to felt the same.