Downtown Las Vegas Gambling on New Look
Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman looks at his town during the recession and thinks what the place needs is expansion. He may be the only one, as the town's multi-billion dollar casino industry teeters on the edge of bankruptcy, caused by leveraging for expansion. Yet Goodman insists its right for Downtown Las Vegas.
The city will arrange land swaps, lease-back agreements, and yet still have to borrow almost $300 million to erect a new city hall, office and retail space around a new casino resort. Goodman hinks the project would draw more customers to Downtown, despite the troubles filling existing rooms at Strip hotels.
The Las Vegas Journal was told by Goodman, "I think we would be cheating our future if we stopped projects because of tough economic times." He doesn't mention cheating the present by borrowing to build a future which might never come.
The MGM Mirage CityCenter project lies half complete, as searching ciontinues for funding to finish the complex. Meanwhile, architects are busy lopping off branches to save money.
Other Strip casino projects are suspended or cancelled. At least four major casinos were dropped as not worth gambling on by the would-be operators. Yet Oscar fancies it time to expand. After all, it's only public money.
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