Casinos were in an "arms race" to construct the next bestdestination resort, spending capital "like drunken sailors,"Loveman said. Since the economy collapsed casino companies havebeen desperately seeking liquidity, halting under-constructiondevelopments, slashing overhead and even selling off some assets.Boyd Gaming's multi-billion dollar Echelon project, halted earlierthis year, marked the first time in decades that a project on theLas Vegas Strip had been shut down after breaking ground.

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Also speaking at the conference was MGM Mirage Inc. CFO DanD'Arrigo, who predicted no new developments will come to Las Vegasfor at least five years. A source with MGM who confirmed thestatement tells GlobeSt.com that some estimates are much highergiven the economic slowdown and the additional supply that will becoming on line in 2009 and 2010.

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Among the Las Vegas projects expected to be delayed for severalyears are the multi-billion-dollar Plaza Hotel project on theformer site of the New Frontier casino, redevelopments of theRiviera and Tropicana casinos, and MGM's planned integrated resortadjacent to its Circus Circus casino resort at the north end of theStrip. An executive with Wynn Resorts did not return a phone callseeking that company's take on the future of development inVegas.

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The day before the Nov. 4 election, Wynn Resorts chairman andCEO Steve Wynn described Las Vegas to analysts as "a little murky,"which he said is to be expected.

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"It would strike me that if you were a rational, educatedperson, certainly somebody who had the accomplishment and successin life to be a customer of ours, if you were watching TV orreading the newspapers you would have to be half nuts to spendmoney instead of waiting around and checking things out to see howthe world is going to shake out," he said. "In terms of theconsumer spending I think what we are seeing now is almost a freezeand like a muscle that is flexed you can't hold it for very long.People will relax and return to their habits sooner, I think, thanlater. That is not to say I think revenue is going to skyrocket orgo through the roof or return to other levels, but I think rightnow Las Vegas is seeing pretty much some of the worst of it."

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