Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2008 | 10:37 a.m.
With its rounded corners and gleaming exterior, the pill-shaped Harmon Hotel, the last of CityCenter's four buildings to take shape on MGM Mirage's densely urban campus, will fit right into the Strip's future skyline of ultramodern skyscrapers.
It's what will happen once guests step inside that will set it apart from this new wave of Strip megaresorts.
In a town where "What happens here, stays here" has become a running joke and casino high-jinks among the rich and famous end up circulating newspapers and on the Internet, the Harmon advertises a sanctuary away from paparazzi – or, for the merely wealthy, the crush of humanity.
With 400 hotel rooms and 207 comdominiums that went on sale Tuesday, the Harmon will open in late 2009 with access to registered guests and visitors only.
The main entrance is in the rear of the building, while lookie-loos will be kept at a safe distance from a public walkway that will rise up near the building a few stories above the Strip. In another distinctly un-Vegas move, the Harmon won't tolerate gawking hoi polloi in the lobby, either.
Customers staying at the Harmon will have access to services typically only available to high rollers – for less than the thousands of dollars a night charged for rooms typically reserved for "comped" gamblers. Harmon's perks will include personal shoppers, airport pickup and dropoff and midnight runs
to, say, In-N-Out Burger.
Concierges and valets will greet customers by name, like they do at the casinos' private, high-roller villas.
"Details that are tough to execute in a 4,000-room hotel we can offer at a 400-room hotel," said Andrew Sasson, principal of Light Group, the company that is developing and operating the Harmon for MGM Mirage.
"With the tabloid generation and the huge media explosion, celebrities come to Las Vegas to get press," said Sasson, who developed Bellagio's Light nightclub and now operates several clubs and restaurants.
Amid the crowds and bright lights of Vegas, many visitors are finding it tougher to relax in privacy and want the option of "stepping back into their sanctuary" after a night of public decadence, he said.