The Cosmopolitan – History

Construction

The Cosmopolitan’s design team is led by Friedmutter Group as executive architect, with Arquitectonica as the design architect for the building’s themed exterior. The building is engineered by DeSimone Consulting Engineers. The Interior design team includes the Friedmutter Group, The Rockwell Group, Jeffrey Beers, Adam Tihany, and Bentel & Bentel.

The resort was built on what used to be a small parking lot for a nearby midrise timeshare building called the Jockey Club. Because the Cosmopolitan occupies much of the parking lot, it was agreed that the Club residents could use part of the Cosmopolitan’s parking garage.

The project was begun by developer 3700 Associates, LLC, headed by Ian Bruce Eichner. The Cosmopolitan is the second Las Vegas hotel, after The Palazzo, to feature an underground parking garage underneath the hotel. As a result, the parking garage was built first. In December 2007, work finished on the 70-foot (21 m) hole for the parking structure, while other foundation work remained in progress. The hotel was originally planned to open and be operated by Hyatt as the Grand Hyatt Las Vegas.

Original plans called for the casino to be on the second floor, but this was later changed and the casino was built on ground level, like most other Las Vegas hotel-casinos. Planned condo units were cancelled and replaced with studios and other hotel rooms.

In January 2008, it was reported that the $3.9 billion project faced foreclosure, as Eichner’s company defaulted on a $760 million construction loan from Deutsche Bank when the developer missed a payment after failing to secure refinancing for the project. Construction moved forward as the developers searched for new financing. In late February 2008, Global Hyatt Corporation and New York-based Marathon Asset Management agreed to recapitalize the condominium-hotel project. however, one month later the developer said Deutsche Bank AG would begin foreclosure proceedings. They bought the hotel for $1 billion during the summer and hired The Related Cos., developers of Time Warner Center in New York, to re-position the asset, manage the development process and assist in leasing the retail and restaurant collection. Related recommended many revisions, including bringing the casino entrance onto the strip.

In June 2008, Hearst Corp filed a trademark suit against the owners of the casino. Hearst owns the trademark to Cosmopolitan magazine. In March 2010, the suit was settled, and the resort was renamed Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

In August 2008, it was announced that MGM Mirage, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Hyatt and Hilton were in talks to acquire the property. It was speculated that MGM Mirage would integrate the project into Bellagio and CityCenter; Starwood were to establish its W and St Regis brands; and Hyatt would have continued with its plans to operate a Grand Hyatt. In April 2009, the Sun reported that the hotel would be managed by Hilton and would become the Hilton’s first in their new Denizen hotel line. Later that month, however, those plans changed; Starwood sued Hilton, claiming trade-secret theft and essentially killing the Denizen brand.

In June 2009, 400 homeowners filed a lawsuit against the developers, claiming breach of contract and seeking refunds for their deposits. They believed that the projected finish date of June 2010 was unrealistic and expressed fear that the developers might turn the condo rooms into hotel rooms only or “finish the building as a shell and not do any interior work.

In April 2010, it was announced that the Cosmopolitan would open in stages, beginning in December and ending in July 2011. It was the only hotel-casino to open on the Strip in 2010. The project officially opened on December 15, 2010, and became part of Marriott International’s Autograph Collection, a collection of independent hotels with access to Marriott’s enormous reservation and rewards system. Cosmopolitan is also partnered with the Ritz-Carlton, which is Ritz’s first presence on the Las Vegas Strip and their second property in the Las Vegas area.

Controversy

On April 27, 2011, Cosmopolitan security staff removed a transgendered guest named Stephanie from a womens’ restroom, photographed her, and said that she would be banned for life if she didn’t leave the premises. Shortly after the incident, the hotel-casino was flooded with complaints on its Facebook page, which prompted the hotel-casino to issue an apology to the LGBT community and to Stephanie that they would “welcome her back to the resort anytime.” The incident also prompted the hotel-casino to train its staff on awareness initiatives involving the sensitive issue.

 

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article “The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas”, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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