$775 Million Deal Continues CityCenter Construction

The mammoth $11 billion CityCenter project in Las Vegas prompted more OSHA and Nevada OSHA attention to construction in the city before the economic slump slowed down the frenzied pace of building, and a widely praised Las Vegas Sun series has kept the topic in the headlines. Now, the need for more capital to continue financing the 16.8-million-square-foot project so it can begin opening in phases next year has forced MGM Mirage to sell its Treasure Island Hotel & Casino on the Las Vegas Strip to billionaire Phil Ruffin for $775 million.

MGM Mirage's press release on its investor Web page says the deal will pay it $500 million in cash and $275 million in secured notes bearing interest at 10 percent. The company acquired Treasure Island in May 2000 as part of a merger of MGM Grand Inc. and Mirage Resorts Inc.

MGM Mirage owns the MGM Grand, Bellagio, Mandalay Bay, the Mirage, and the Luxor properties in Las Vegas. The company announced in September that CityCenter will be the most technologically advanced U.S. hotel when it opens, with guestrooms equipped with one-touch control of room features and scenes, keyless locks using RFID technology, wireless Internet access, and automated choice of a "green" stay that limits linen changes and conserves water and energy use.

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