Your lowly Gleaner is not a financial guru (but then neither, apparently, are the financial gurus), but with the CityCenter project reportedly poised on the precipice of a bankruptcy filing perhaps as early as this weekend, one or two admittedly off-the-cuff gleanettes come to mind.
1. Whatever else is going on with MGM's litigious Arab Emirate partner, Las Vegas isn't Dubai World's only problem. The Arab peninsula seems to be littered with assorted Dubai World projects, each of them perhaps every bit as ill-advised as CityCenter -- if not more so (one plan involves a 46-mile canal with a whole new city of 2.5 million people on its banks.)
2. Just out of curiosity, did anybody ever say that maybe it wouldn't be such a great idea if MGM were allowed, first, to pick up Mirage Resorts and then, later, merge with Mandalay Resort Group, thus more or less ultimately subjecting the fate of Southern Nevada to the decisions of a single octogenarian? Just wondering. Oh. That's octogenarian in question Kirk Kerkorian at right, as represented in one of those charming Wall Street Journal woodcut thingies. The business press -- you know, the folks who have spent the last several years wondering why you aren't rich like everyone else -- along with the investor class like to call Kerkorian "Captain Kirk." Alas, as Scotty explained time and again, sometimes patiently and sometimes not, you can't change the laws of physics, Captain.
3. Every new wave of Las Vegas megaresort construction for the last two decades, each of course more over-the-top than the one that preceded it, was met with hand-wringing from some market analysts and others concerned that there simply wasn't the capacity to fill all the properties and Las Vegas was being overbuilt. But this this last time, eh, not so much -- or if there were any cautionary voices, everyone had grown very, very tired of listening.
4. On the one hand, selling a high-end property like Bellagio or Mandalay Bay might raise enough money to get CityCenter through another few weeks, while selling low-end properties like Circus (not Caesars as I originally and blunderingly typed while trying to rush out the door) or the Excal might not. On the other hand, without cash flow from Bellagio and Mandalay Bay, maybe MGM Mirage has, um, no point? So maybe an intermediate megaresort should go on the immediate emergency chopping block -- perhaps the eponymous ant farm itself.