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MGM Resorts hoping to demolish Las Vegas hotel tower soon

An unfinished hotel tower that was to be part of an ill-fated addition to the Las Vegas Strip should be torn down as soon as possible for safety reasons, the property’s co-owner says. MGM Resorts International, which was building the Harmon Hotel when construction was halted halfway through, is asking the Nevada Supreme Court to expedite its decision on whether the company can go ahead with the demolition.

We most recently discussed the commercial litigation surrounding the failed project, called CityCenter resort and casino, in our Dec. 7, 2012 blog post. As we wrote then, attached to the planned casino was to be a 46-story hotel called the Harmon Hotel. Among the problems that caused MGM and its partner Dubai World to abandon construction before its planned opening in 2009 was the discovery of flawed steel reinforcements in the hotel’s structure. Inspectors found that reinforcing steel was either improperly installed or missing in several areas. MGM is engaged in litigation with the project’s general contractor over $500 million in claimed damages related to the shutdown. Trial has been scheduled for 2014.

One issue that has arisen in the lawsuit is whether more testing should be done on the hotel’s structure before MGM is allowed to raze it. The question has reached the state Supreme Court. In a motion filed on Feb. 6, MGM asked the Court to speed up its decision. The company says that the unfinished hotel poses a safety risk to the public if it were to collapse in an earthquake.

Source: Las Vegas Sun, “MGM asks for quick decision on flawed Las Vegas hotel,” Feb. 7, 2013

John P. Aldrich
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