MGM Mirage CEO Jim Murren called CityCenter’s opening a “game changer.” So did Bill McBeath, the president and CEO of Aria and Vdara. Rick Fedrizzi, the founder and CEO of the U.S. Green Building Council, called it “transformative.” CityCenter CEO Bobby Baldwin called it an “evolutionary destination” and McBeath added it was a “paradigm shift in resort destinations.”

The superlatives may prove true, at least by the sheer scope, beauty and uniqueness of the $8.5 billion project, which is spread out over 67 acres, two hotels and a signature casino called Aria. In addition to 6,000 high-end hotel rooms, the massive development also features 500,000 sq. ft. of luxury retail and fine dining as well as the tilting twin 37-story Veer Towers with 670 condominium units.

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