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CityCenter hoping for a presidential cameo

30 Nov 2009

By Benjamin Spillman
LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- Might President Barack Obama make time for a quick visit to Las Vegas' CityCenter during the holiday season?

The possibility is dancing in the heads of Obama's business and political allies at MGM Mirage and in the office of Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev.

Sources connected to the hospitality company and the senator's office have said they're hopeful Obama will drop by to acknowledge the opening of CityCenter, the biggest private construction project in the United States, which is creating jobs despite a woeful recession hammering Nevada.

CityCenter is opening in phases beginning this week. The opening for Aria, the project centerpiece, is scheduled for Dec. 16, a Wednesday in the middle of a week that the Washington Post says "at this point appears wide open on (Obama's) schedule."

If not that week, Obama is scheduled to head west to Hawaii for the Christmas holiday, a trip that could easily include a quick stop in Las Vegas.

A presidential visit could provide a morale boost to the struggling Las Vegas hospitality industry as it seeks to rebound from the recession with help from the massive CityCenter project.

A visit would also remind Nevada voters that Reid isn't just another senator, but is instead the most influential member of the Senate and has the ear of the president.

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