Failed Harmon Hotel One Step Closer to Demolition in Las Vegas

MGM Resorts International had high hopes for the Harmon Hotel Tower at CityCenter, in the heart of the Las Vegas Strip. Soon, however, those hopes will be officially dashed, as a Nevada state judge last week gave the company permission to implode the never-opened property.

Imagined as a non-gaming "lifestyle hotel," Harmon originally was scheduled to open in 2010 with 400 hotel rooms and approximately 207 condominium residences on 49 floors. In 2008, however, work on the $275 million project ceased when inspectors discovered construction defects in the form of improperly installed steel reinforcements. Significant delays and design changes followed, forcing the project to downsize to 26 floors and no condos. Although the building's exterior was completed in 2009, the interior remains unfinished as owner MGM duels with contractor Tutor Perini Building Corp. in court.

The latest development in that duel came on July 19, when Clark County District Court Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez ruled that MGM can demolish the Harmon, despite objections from Tutor Perini.

"When Clark County demanded that CityCenter abate the potential hazard created by faulty construction at the Harmon, we determined that demolition is the surest, safest and fastest way to do so," MGM said in a statement.

Although Gonzales gave her legal blessing, demolition won't take place immediately, as Tutor Perini — which wants to repair the building rather than raze it — plans to appeal the decision to the state Supreme Court before the dispute goes to trial next year. That could take months, according to local media reports.

"After two years of litigation, MGM has now conceded that the Harmon Tower could be repaired if MGM chose to do so," the company said in a statement. "Tutor Perini remains confident that it will prevail when the issues of safety, repairability and responsibility for the issues facing the Harmon Tower are considered."