March 23, 2009 - 2:14 pm
A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Monday the Nevada Democrat has tried to help MGM Mirage raise some of the $1.2 billion needed to complete the $9.1 CityCenter development.
On Sunday, the Review-Journal reported in the Inside Gaming column that Reid and MGM Mirage majority shareholder Kirk Kerkorian were calling financial institutions to seek the final piece of the CityCenter financing puzzle. The information came from a Wall Street analyst.
Reid and Kerkorian, a 92-year-old billionaire and MGM Mirage founder, are long-time friends.
“Sen. Reid has simply been asking banks to take a fair look at MGM’s CityCenter project to ensure that sound banking analysis is driving credit decisions, not irrational temerity over what is sometimes portrayed as a controversial industry,” Reid spokesman Jon Summers said in an e-mail.
He said the lack of available credit nationally had created a hardship for several businesses and industries, including companies in Nevada and especially in the casino industry.
CityCenter, said Summers, would give a large boost to job creation.
“At a time when the state’s unemployment rate is higher than 10 percent, it makes sense that Sen. Reid would take appropriate steps to try to help Nevada’s biggest employer complete the state’s biggest new project,” Summers said.
MGM Mirage spokesman Alan Feldman said Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., has taken actions similar to Reid’s.
Contact reporter Howard Stutz at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-477-3871.