Thursday, Dec. 3, 2009 | 2:05 a.m.
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After a night of grand opening festivities, Vdara’s first public guests checked into the hotel Wednesday and while the hotel has only sold out for one night in the next few months, Vdara’s general manager is predicting strong occupancy through the month.
“We originally forecasted (an occupancy rate) in the mid-70s, but we are actually going to end the month of December in the mid-80s,” Vdara General Manager Angela Lester said. “We are doing extremely well and I think it’s because we didn’t come into the market place at a high rate."
Rates for Vdara’s suites will begin at $159 to $2,000 a night, according to an MGM Mirage release about the hotel. Rates begin at $129 for a weekday stay in one of Vdara’s 582-square-feet deluxe suites through January.
Weekend rates begin at $159 during December, but Vdara’s availability calendar seems to reflect a typical average weekend rate of $199 through January.
Vdara priced its rooms to give guests a luxury value and as a gateway to other MGM Mirage properties, Lester said.
The non-gaming hotel is connected to Bellagio’s casino floor through a covered walkway and is located on the north side of Aria.
So far, Vdara’s availability calendar shows that the hotel is only sold out on the night of Dec. 16 — the opening of the 4,004 Aria Resort and Casino — but Lester said she expects the hotel to be at full occupancy during New Year’s Eve, like most other hotels in the Las Vegas.
Vdara’s suites range from 582-square-feet, one-bedroom suites to 1,447-square-feet, two-story, two-bedroom penthouses.
Each suite will include a full-service kitchen, a feature that Lester believes will be a draw for international clients who are looking for a non-gaming property.
The suites will also double as condos, if anyone chooses to purchase them. The hotel has 400 rooms open and will continue to open more as the demand increases, Lester said.
While Lester didn’t give numbers of how many condos are under contract, she said sales are going well. Condo sale closings aren’t expected to begin until March.
“MGM Mirage is considering doing financing and, plus the 30 percent price reduction, I think that will really help,” Lester said.
The 57-story, 1,495-room hotel celebrated its grand opening Tuesday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and a private Vanity Fair party, giving invited guests a first glimpse at the property.
The unveiling of Vdara marked the first of CityCenter’s openings, with Crystals and Mandarin Oriental opening later this week.