Las Vegas Perspective: Cindy Ortega

Las Vegas Perspective: Cindy Ortega

MGM International’s chief sustainability officer discusses Tony Hsieh, the city’s renaissance, and what she learned from the recession

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Pictured here: Cindy Ortega, Senior Vice President & Chief Sustainability Officer of MGM Resorts International

Tuesday, September 16, 2014 - 11:00am

CAMPAIGN: Green Advantage

CONTENT: Article

Interview by Timothy A. Schuler

“The biggest change Las Vegas has undergone is having to learn how to handle a crushing blow and get up and build yourself into a better community. And you can see it,” says MGM chief sustainability officer Cindy Ortega. “It builds resolve.”

gb&d: City Center helped elevate the status of Las Vegas architecturally, as well as in terms of sustainability. How have the buildings performed post-occupancy? 

Ortega: The most important thing City Center did in the world was, in a very big way, dispel that myth that there has to be a trade-off. But we’re not resting on our laurels. It’s great that we did it, but we continue to calibrate, and City Center continues to be a shining example of energy and water efficiency. We’ve also used it as a platform for education. We’ve had the head of facilities for the school district here and many others. We’ve opened our arms to teaching them and collaborating with them on energy efficiency. 

gb&d: With such a large footprint in Vegas, you have the opportunity to affect some pretty serious change at a municipal level. 

Ortega: We’re the largest employer and the largest private taxpayer in the state of Nevada. On the state and local, and even federal platform with Harry Reid, we have the opportunity to participate in crafting environmental policy. The fact that we’re so deliberate and that our roots are in finance really gives us credibility in those arenas. We also try to work through our public-private partnerships here in the Las Vegas area to take the passion and intelligence of the people on my team and connect it with other organizations that can use it.

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About MGM Resorts International

MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM) is one of the world's leading global hospitality companies, operating destination resort brands including Bellagio, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay and The Mirage. The Company also owns 51% of MGM China Holdings Limited, which owns the MGM Macau Resort and Casino and is in the process of developing a gaming resort in Cotai, and 50% of CityCenter in Las Vegas, which features ARIA Resort and Casino.  For more information about MGM Resorts International, visit the Company's website at


Rey Bouknight
+1 (702) 891-1846
MGM Resorts International
CATEGORY: Environment