Thursday, March 15, 2012
Vegas Implosion Plan Sparks Legal Fireworks
Las Vegas really must like to blow up buildings.
Remember the Sands? Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and the rest of the “Rat Pack” helped put it on the map.
Explosive devices were used to take it away.
Ditto the Aladdin, the Stardust, Desert Inn, Castaways…
Castaways? I must have been marooned on an island for awhile, as this one doesn’t ring a bell.
What the heck, they even had fireworks when the Stardust bit the dust in 2007; see Stardust implosion.
But now they’re doing it one better: there’s an argument going on in court about plans to implode a Vegas hotel where construction was never finished, a slot machine has never separated a tourist from his cash, and a room has never been booked.
And what’s ironic is, the owner of the unfinished hotel wants the court to allow the demolition, which is opposed by Perini Building Company, the general contractor for the construction of the Harmon, and subcontractors.
The Harmon is part of the gargantuan, multibillion-dollar CityCenter hotel/casino complex on the Vegas Strip. MGM Resorts International, CityCenter part owner and manager, wants to demolish the building, saying it is unsafe. The court battle involves alleged building defects and bills for construction work, to the tune of nearly $300 million.
The Harmon was under construction when work was stopped in 2010 when the building defects were reportedly discovered. It was supposed to be 47 stories high, but only reached 26 stories when construction halted.
|The unfinished Harmon Hotel in Las Vegas’ CityCenter project lives on for another day in court.|
Engineers and other representatives of the warring parties traded expert opinions on the situation this week in Clark County District Court, but the judge listening to the testimony delayed a decision, pending additional hearings next month. (See Thorny Issues in Harmon Case).
Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez said she needed more information on several issues before issuing any kind of a ruling, including the matter of evidence in the event the building is imploded and a jury is later asked to consider the extent and nature of building defects alleged by MGM Resorts.
The delay might give PETA more time to get some mileage out of the Harmon. The group—People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals—asked MGM to at least use the building’s face to display a PETA advertisement saying “Don’t Let Your Health Implode. Go Vegan.” (See Vegas Chatter.)
Chew on that, MGM Resorts!
Meanwhile, hold the fireworks, for now. The Harmon gets another day in court before it goes the way of the Sands, Aladdin, or Castaways.