The most expensive joint on the Las Vegas Strip finally opened to public on Wednesday night. Christened the Aria Resort & Casino, this 4,000 room resort is located at the heart of the $8.5 billion CityCenter complex. CityCenter owners, MGM Mirage and Dubai World thanked the architects and the employees at a morning ceremony at the resort’s main valet, hours before an evening gala and Aria’s public opening before midnight. The 61-story Aria Resort & Casino was to be publicly unveiled with fireworks and fanfare. According to research analysts, once Aria opens, its rooms, along with those at CityCenter’s Mandarin Oriental and Vdara hotels, will increase room capacity on the Las Vegas Strip by 8.5 percent.
The room increase has competitors worried, as Las Vegas has seen a decrease in tourists and the amount of money people are willing to spend on gambling in the past two years. But Murren and other MGM Mirage officials predict CityCenter will help Las Vegas as a whole, spurring visitation and bringing a catalyst for long-term prosperity. I guess we will have to wait and watch to see the kind of effect this new joint has on its neighbors.