Las Vegas Gambles on Green Glam
Las Vegas, that city of sin - and celebrated excess - going green? In a word, yes - at least, in one concentrated area, writes Shermakaye Bass in Green Right Now.
The soon-to-debut CityCenter, a seven-building luxury development created by MGM Mirage and Infinity World Development Corps (a subsidiary of Dubai World) is slated to open in stages beginning in December 2009; the complex is expected to be fully "live" some time in 2010. Each building - in all there will be four hotel/residences, a two-tower residential-only project, and a retail/restaurant/entertainment complex - will be LEED Silver or Gold certified. Of course they’ll all be beautiful as well- each has been designed by top international architects.
"CityCenter represents what we feel is a significant new direction for our city and our company," MGM Mirage CEO Jim Murren said in a recent press statement. "...Las Vegas is on the fast track to becoming a major urban center in the western United States."
Dubbed variously "one of the world’s largest sustainable developments," "a city within a city" and "a Strip within the Strip," the water-and-energy-conserving playground is located between the Bellagio and Monte Carlo resorts. The project encompasses more than 65 acres- 18 million square feet of construction.
According to MGM/Mirage, the colossal campus will include more than 5,000 "green your stay" guest rooms, nearly 2,400 residences, plus showrooms, casinos, exhibit halls, restaurants and watering holes - all with a green slant. Casino slot machines, for instance, will double as floor air-conditioning units, cooling guests from the ground up, saving money and energy.
In fact, developers claim that CityCenter’s sustainable initiatives will save the energy necessary to power 7,700 households yearly, versus a similar non-green complex of its size. In addition, the new urban center is purposely densely developed, so visitors can walk or ride a tram between venues.
The "campus" also will include a substantial recycling operation, capable of recycling or reusing more than 230,000 tons of construction waste - including 80 percent from the imploded Boardwalk Hotel, formerly located on the site.
Having shown gamblers the green for decades, Vegas apparently yearns to explore its other green side - combining show-stopping architecture with the latest eco-conservation methods.
Here are a few highlights of what the development will include, LEED-wise. Just think, this time next year eco-travelers will get to hit Sin City with a slightly less guilty conscience!
Hotels & Spas
For more information on CityCenter’s sustainable design, click here.
Jason Salzenstein is a writer and editor; design, image, and marketing consultant; and professional shopper. His work has appeared in numerous national and international publications and he has clients around the world. For more information :: www.JasonSalzenstein.com