Demolition of Vegas’ never-opened Harmon Hotel to begin in two weeks


Demolition of the Harmon, a 26-story Las Vegas hotel that was supposed to be one of the gems of the CityCenter mega-development, is set to begin in two weeks.

The Harmon was part of the $8.5-billion CityCenter, a glitzy hotel, retail and restaurant complex on the Las Vegas Strip that opened in December 2009. But the Harmon, with its striking blue glass exterior, never opened, the victim of construction issues.

Legal troubles ensued. MGM Resorts International, a co-owner, argued in court that construction errors were so serious that the building could collapse during a major earthquake.


Earlier this year, a judge granted permission for the tower to be taken down.

That demolition work won’t include imploding the hotel, as has been done with other Vegas hotels. The Harmon is close enough to other buildings, including Crystals shopping center, that experts decided against that.

Instead, it is being dismantled floor-by-floor from the top down. It is expected to be gone by May.

The tower has been wrapped in netting intended to protect passersby on the adjacent sidewalk along Las Vegas Boulevard during the demolition work.

What will take the place of the Harmon apparently has yet to be decided.

“It is a small piece of land on a very busy corner here in Las Vegas,” said Gordon Absher, MGM Resorts’ vice president of public affairs. “Right now we are focused on removing this building, and there no plans that I am aware of.”

The Harmon was originally to have risen 49 floors as a showpiece of CityCenter, which opened just as Nevada was entering the depths of the recession. The 4,000-room Aria Resort & Casino along with the Mandarin Oriental (with fewer than 400 rooms) and the all-suite 57-story Vdara opened within a month of one another, but the Harmon stayed shuttered.

It wasn’t the recession but construction issues that kept the Harmon closed. Its construction plan was eventually scaled down by almost half, but even then, concerns remained that it would topple in an earthquake.

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