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ATLANTIC CITY-A year ago, Las Vegas-based MGM Mirage revealed plans for a $5-billion casino hotel project, the MGM Grand Atlantic City, for 72 acres in this city’s Renaissance Point section. Now, company officials have put that project on hold for the time being, citing the economy.

“Current economic conditions and the impact of the credit market environment have caused the company to reassess the timing for the project,” says MGM Mirage chairman and CEO Terry Lanni, in a prepared statement. “Accordingly, the company has postponed additional development activities,” reads the statement, which notes that, “the company has made extensive progress on design and other predevelopment activities”

“Arguably, we have entered into a global recession, and how long and deep it will be is uncertain,” Lanni told analysts during a conference call yesterday. “While we have postponed our Atlantic City project, we still believe that it is a key market for development when the economy and the credit markets rebound.”

MGM Mirage’s now-postponed plans call for a 3,000-room hotel, with those rooms equally divided among three themed towers proposed to be this city’s tallest. The MGM Grand Atlantic City would also have the city’s largest casino floor, plus a 1,500-seat theater and 500,000 sf of retail, entertainment and related space. The site is adjacent to the Borgata, which MGM Mirage co-owns with managing partner Boyd Gaming.

MGM’s is the second major project to go on hiatus here this year. In February, Pinnacle Entertainment said it was putting off a $1.5-billion casino hotel proposed for the now-vacant site of the former Sands Hotel. And MGM’s announcement comes a day after Coastal Marina LLC and Trump Entertainment Resorts revealed they had revised their sale contract for the Trump Marina Casino Hotel, including a 15% sale price reduction from $316 million to $270 million.

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