LAS VEGAS (TheStreet) -- Its grand opening is just over a month away and its much-publicized New Year's Eve concerts with Jay-Z, Coldplay and a yet-to-be-named third artist are already sold out. But given the lackluster performance of City Center parent MGM Resorts International (MGM) - Get Report, will the future be brighter for Cosmopolitan Las Vegas just next door?
Even on first sight, Cosmopolitan Las Vegas seems to have a lot in its favor. Its location couldn't be better -- halfway between the
and Mandalay Bay and a convenient walk anywhere on the strip. But many were uncertain if Cosmopolitan would open.
acquired the property in 2008 after original lender Ian Bruce Eichner "wasn't able to finalize a deal for new financing amid the credit crunch" according to The Wall Street Journal. Rumors surfaced that the property might be tied into the neighboring Bellagio or City Center before Deutsche Bank went forward with finishing the property and, in August, signed a partnership agreement with
relatively unknown Autograph Collection, which will handle the bookings of this mostly independent luxury casino resort.
The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas hotel plans a staggered opening through mid-2011, with the first of the David Rockwell-design guest rooms and condos available Dec. 15.
The plan now is for a staggered opening for the hotel, meaning some of the restaurants and 2,995 guest rooms won't be ready to open until early to mid-2011, prolonging its opening buzz factor and pacing itself for a rebounding travel market.
Some worry that the additional rooms will exacerbate already dropping room rates. According to Cosmopolitan Las Vegas CEO
, "the Cosmopolitan is about creating a resort experience that is truly different than anything that exists right now in Las Vegas." The resort aims to lure a crowd looking for a luxury aesthetic free of gilded cherrywood furnishings, geographical themes or suites with their own stripper pole.
It promises to be a true luxury hotel, with east and west towers and three-story poolside bungalows that blend into the skyline of the neighboring City Center -- as well as an architectural reminder to the Bellagio that Vegas is no longer about faux Tuscan high-rises and synchronized waterfalls. Today, Vegas wants uber-amenities such as lavish pool parties by international DJs and indoor-outdoor architecture accessible from lobby to guest room. So far, Cosmopolitan ticks all those boxes.
The guest rooms and integrated residential condominiums of the Cosmopolitan are different for Las Vegas. Interior designers such as David Rockwell, who remodeled landmarks including New York's Greenwich Hotel and The Carlton, were given reign. All rooms have a kitchenette or gourmet kitchen with Miele and SubZero appliances, trendy living areas and lofty bathrooms with a mix of white marble floors and less-lux mosaic tile showers. There's also a private outdoor terrace off every room in the house -- a first on the Las Vegas strip, which was once famous for virtually banning fresh air and natural daylight.
The Cosmopolitan will be home to three pools, including a surfer-meets-yacht-club Boulevard Pool facing the strip and accompanied by stages for musicians and weekend DJs. The plan is for performances to spill over into an evening nightclub managed by New York's Tao Group, which is also running a nightclub at the Venetian.
The hotel has 60,000 square feet of shopping space that will host such high-end boutiques as Retrospecs & Co., Beckley and an eagerly awaited Vegas outpost of U.K.-based AllSaints. But given that the iconic Crystals at City Center is just down the block and the Shops at the Bellagio still feature the logos of Chanel, Bottega Veneta and
, getting stores to sign lease agreements in the current retail environment must be tough.
What the Cosmopolitan lacks in shopping, it makes up for in restaurants. The hotel will be home to an impressive 14 eateries opening over its first three months, many from celebrity chefs making their Las Vegas debut. First up is the Tihany-designed edition of Los Angeles' Comme Ca, a French brasserie with lounge, dining room and patio overlooking the Las Vegas strip; brothers Bruce and Eric Bromberg will debut Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill; Jose Andres will showcase Chinese and Mexican cuisine at China Poblana and Jaleo (including Spanish-inspired tapas); and Scott Conant will follow with an installment of Scarpetta to round out a marquee of chefs you won't find anywhere else on the strip.
You'll have to wait until Dec. 15 for a taste of the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas. Room rates are $175 to $250 per night during the hotel's opening week, or as low as $125 per night in early January.
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Michael Martin is the managing editor of JetSetReport.com, a luxury travel and lifestyle guide based in Los Angeles and London. His work has appeared in InStyle, Blackbook, Elle, U.K.'s Red magazine and on ITV and the BBC.