MGM Mansion debuts, features 29 villas

LAS VEGAS -- A bit of Tuscany and the Mediterranean has come to the MGM Grand Hotel Casino here. On May 15, the property opened its Mansion at MGM Grand.

The mansion, modeled after a 200-year-old Italian villa, features 29 villas ranging in size from 2,400 square feet to 12,000 square feet on the property's northwest side.

The villas will not be marketed to the public, according to a spokeswoman for the resort. Instead, they will be reserved for high rollers and other preferred guests.

"We want to position this as the [MGM Grand's] crown jewel," the spokeswoman said. "The mansion does not exist within any other property within our industry. We consider it one of the ultimate products within the hospitality industry," according to the spokeswoman.

In other MGM Grand news, the MGM Grand Marriott project, which had been announced at the same time as the mansion plans, has been canceled. The project, a joint venture of MGM Grand Inc., and Marriott International Inc., was to include the construction of a 1,500-room Marriott Marquis hotel adjacent to the existing casino property.

According to MGM Grand, Inc. officials, the company decided to cancel the project because of the number of new hotel rooms coming on line in Las Vegas by the end of the year. In addition, the officials indicated the company would direct its resources to other growth opportunities such as MGM Grand's new casino project in Detroit.

However, officials haven't ruled out entirely the possibility of adding another hotel to the Las Vegas property. "Depending on market conditions, we intend to build a hotel adjacent to our highly successful conference center in the future," Alex Yemenidjian, president and chief operating officer of MGM Grand Inc., said in a statement.

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