The Las Vegas Sun has an interesting article about the design challenges facing CityCenter that are inhibiting the complex’s pedestrian traffic. CityCenter’s strip frontage is dominated by Crystals, Harmon, and the massive CityCenter Place Driveway. Since CityCenter Place is the only road that serves the developments self park, Aria’s Main Valet, Veer Towers, and Mandarin Oriental, it had to be wide to accomodate all the expected traffic. To keep traffic moving, a pedestrian bridge was also built over the driveway. As a result, pedestrians are left inconvenienced by the zig zag maze like array of stairs, escalators and bridges with little to no signage beckoning them to come and explore any of CityCenter’s attractions.
Some have called the design and density intimidating to casual passerby’s. Others feel that the exterior is “cold”, and “too office park like.” Whatever the case, MGM is going to have to figure out a way to draw more foot traffic into the complex.
Here’s a thought, instead of planning to spend $20 million to create a new Strip front marquee for CityCenter, use that money to create a marquee designed exclusively for pedestrian traffic. Merely adding more greenery and signage is the equivalent of placing a bandaid on a broken bone. If CityCenter wants to be the epitome of sound urban planning, MGM Resorts International should focus on the pedestrian realm rather than creating another gigantic LED auto-oriented billboard. That means creating a more inviting streetscape along Las Vegas Blvd. Adding outdoor cafes, restaurants, shops, carts, etc will add energy and excitement to an otherwise sterile, uninviting stretch of the strip. Color Changing light shows, live music, ANYTHING! C’mon MGM, you own hotels that have dancing fountains, erupting volcanos, and live pirate battles… but I guess you didn’t build those did you? Anyways, heres the link to the Sun article. Enjoy!