Unfinished Harmon Hotel at MGM CityCenter may never open

LAS VEGAS The troubled Harmon Hotel & Spa at MGM Resorts International’s CityCenter Las Vegas is unlikely to ever open, and company executives believe the partially-finished building may not be salvageable.

In its third quarter earnings statement, MGM reports a US$279 million impairment charge related to Harmon, saying “it is unlikely the Harmon will be completed using the building as it now stands.” And in an interview with Las Vegas Review-Journal, CityCenter CEO Bobby Baldwin says two sets of structural engineers are in the process of determining if the building needs to be demolished.

“Right now, I have a building I can’t do anything with,” Baldwin says. He calls Harmon “the poster child for nonconforming work worldwide.”

Intended as a nongaming boutique hotel within the sprawling CityCenter, Harmon was to be operated by The Light Group. MGM stopped work on Harmon in late 2008 after county building inspectors discovered construction defects, including the improper installation of rebar after 15 stories of the building had already been erected. The error led MGM to reduce the project from 49 stories to just 28, and the planned 207 residential units were eliminated.

The future of Harmon is tied up in litigation until at least 2012, Baldwin says. Until then, the building will serve essentially as an advertising billboard.