MGM in Vegas has the luxury of hiring during a recession

In this era of pink slips, the prospect of a new four-star hotel, retail, entertainment and residential complex in Las Vegas hiring thousands seems like a mirage in the desert. Yet, the MGM Mirage (NYSE: MGM) CityCenter complex is seeking more than 12,000 permanent employees, in addition to over 8,000 others working at the peak of construction.

The entire development project, a joint venture with a subsidiary of Dubai World, is billed by MGM as "the largest privately financed development in U.S. history." Recently, however, MGM delayed until late 2010 the launch of one of the four hotels, the Harmon (400 rooms), and scrapped entirely that property's condos -- but only because of construction issues, the company insists. Clark County has required the project's engineer of record to develop a plan to assure the soundness of inspections done by Converse Consultants, the special inspection firm that fell short in detecting the mistakes at the Harmon.