A lot of photos today – still bunches on my camera to take off and edit but it seems other things come around. These are from our recent trip to City Center a few weeks ago to have lunch at Mozen. First is the check in desk for the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. It’s up on the 23rd floor, which seemed a little strange, but it does provide a bit of security, and all hotel guests have to go past the check in desk to get to the room elevators, so kind of planned. There is a nice view out of the big windows behind the desk, so as you wait to check in you have something to look at. The staff can also turn around at slow times and look down on City Center and the Strip to keep amused.
Back down on the first floor there is access to the Mandarin Oriental meeting rooms. The carpet was rather dull, but the halls were lined with wood paneling and I liked all of the glass balls hanging from the ceilings.
Back on the 23rd floor near the tea room are some public restrooms. Everything inside was black, something seen at a few other ‘modern’ hotels (such as at Mix at Mandalay Bay). The sink was interesting, a long trough with those hand sensing faucets you don’t have to touch. This was one of the few open restrooms that had cloth hand towels instead of paper – you can see them nicely rolled and stacked at the end of the sink.
In the other direction were little frosted glass doors leading to the toilets – a trend in some of the better hotels, instead of a row of dividers everyone gets their own little room.
Back to the windows of the tea room, which is next to the check in desk above, you get a nice view of the Strip, looking down on the roof of Crystals shopping center, one of the few in town that doesn’t have a roof full of air conditioners and exhaust vents. You can still see the world’s most expensive billboard, which used to advertise the Cirque Elvis show but now advertises Zarkana, its replacement. I said most expensive because the building, which was supposed to be a 60 story hotel and condo tower, had construction halted in the middle so now it just sits empty awaiting court hearings. So it’s basically a $230,000,000 billboard. The construction company and MGM are in litigation over construction defects, it seems the steel rebar reinforcing stuff was put in wrong and the place could fall down at any time. After two years in court a local judge just gave MGM permission to tear down the building. Engineers are trying to figure out how to do that, as it’s in the middle of other buildings which are really close. And it was put up as a LEED certified green building, so there are restrictions on recycling of the entire structure as it comes down. The court case on who will pay for everything is about to come to trial, with a two year trial expected. I wonder who they will find to sit on the jury for two years just to stay awake much less remember it all to make a judgment. The court case will take longer than the construction took.
Looking to the right and down you can see Las Vegas Boulevard (the Strip). There are the Polo Towers condos and in front an old three story motel. I’m impressed that it is still there, with on-Strip property at one time going for $23,000,000 an acre the land alone is worth a fortune. There should be a fifty story tower and casino there, not a low motel. Yes, it’s open for business and you can stay there probably pretty cheaply compared to this place. The brown roofs to the left cover the Miracle Mile shops, a very large shopping center that is part of Planet Hollywood.
Down at the restaurant Mozen, which is on the third floor, the view is about the same, looking north towards the Eiffel Tower in front of Paris. The Aria vertical electronic sign is rated one of the nicest in the city, with some pretty impressive graphics. It’s two hundred feet high and all electronic display, a pretty massive TV set.
Close by is the main entrance to City Center, with the roofs of Crystals above. If you couldn’t tell, there is a big Gucci store up front. All of the stores in there are rather high end, I’m impressed that they can stay in business with as few customers as I see in them. But there are always people with store shopping bags around, so someone is purchasing $30,000 handbags and $50,000 watches.