LAS VEGAS—MGM Mirage’s $7 billion City Center project, an 18-million-square-foot development that will encompass 76 acres of the Las Vegas Strip between the Bellagio and Monte Carlo resorts, is moving closer to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification one big bucket of dirt at a time. Construction has been underway for nine months now and foundations have been poured for each of the project’s seven towers.
Set to open in late 2009, the mixed-use project will include the following: a soaring 60-story, 4,000-room hotel tower, casino and convention center; a five-star, 400-room Mandarin Oriental; 400-room Harmon Hotel & Residences, and 50-story Vdaro Condo Hotel with approximately 1,543 units.
In addition to the hotels, condo hotels and other residences, the project will include a high-end retail district featuring shops, dining and entertainment venues. As envisioned, CityCenter represents the most significant privately financed project in the United States. CityCenter will create 7,000 construction jobs and 12,000 more permanent positions when it opens. More than 18,000 parking spaces are being incorporated into the design.
According to MGM Mirage, CityCenter should be the first project in Nevada to receive LEED certification and the largest project of any kind in the United States to get it. So, what will be green about such a massive resource-consuming project?
Gordon Absher, v.p. of public affairs for MGM Mirage in Las Vegas, says many of the details still have to be worked out but the CityCenter project certainly will include water reclamation systems, energy-efficient lighting, recycling programs and sourcing of materials that meet LEED standards. Thanks to a $100 million deal with Siemens, a 9MW cogeneration facility will be located at the site. Recaptured heat from the system will take care of the project’s hot water heating needs. Only wood from sustainable forests will be used.
BoardWalk Casino Recycled
Eighty percent of the material from the Boardwalk Casino, which previously was on the site, is being recycled or reused. Mortar and bricks are being recycled into new mortar or asphalt. Discarded carpet will be reused as packing material.
Absher says the pursuit of LEED is a continuation of MGM Mirage’s commitment to sustainability. The company recently formed a Department of Energy and Environmental Resources. It has been charged with managing all of the company’s green initiatives, including the CityCenter’s LEED certification process.
“A year ago, our chairman and CEO (J. Terrence Lanni) said in the shareholders meeting that sustainability should be a central element in every new development in Las Vegas in the future,” Absher says. “We are not new to this. It is something we have felt strongly about. We are looking at how we can make a positive impact.”
In addition to low-flow water systems and water reclamation, existing company property is undergoing retrofits of energy-efficient lighting. In its parking garages, for example, 10,000 lighting fixtures were recently replaced, saving 8 million kWh of electricity. The new lighting consumes just one-third the power of the old lighting.
Absher says more details on CityCenter’s LEED-related green initiatives will be unveiled in the coming months. Look for future coverage here at Green Lodging News.
Go to CityCenter.
Glenn Hasek can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.