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   MGM's Kingdom

     This page was updated 2/4/10

This page covers all the MGM MIRAGE properties; Mandalay Bay, Luxor, Excalibur, New York New York
Monte Carlo,
CityCenter, Bellagio, Mirage, Circus Circus
Signature at MGM Grand and MGM Grand.

See our CityCenter page for all the details on this amazing project.
See our Signature at MGM Grand page for all the details on this project.




12/15/08  MGM MIRAGE Sells Treasure Island to Phil Ruffin

MGM MIRAGE struck a deal with Phil Ruffin for $775 million for Treasure Island. Ruffin (former owner of the New Frontier) is cash-fat after the $1.24-billion sale of the New Frontier to Elad in 2007.

This will shore-up the funding for CityCenter which is rumored to have financial issues.
The deal should close in the middle of 2009.

This also breaks up the sisters (Mirage and Treasure Island) which were both built by Steve Wynn on the same property. Currently, there is a small tram, linking the two resorts (I wonder how long that will last). In giving up the TI, MGM MIRAGE looses a 17.5-acer lot at the corner of the Strip and Sands Ave. shared by Fashion Show Mall, Wynn, and Palazzo.   

It will be interesting to see what (if anything) Ruffin does with TI. He was hell-bent on bringing "real jazz" to the Strip when he announced the (now failed) plans for Montreux, it would be nice if those plans translate to TI - we'll see.

   8/22/07   Dubai World buys a piece of the Lion

Today, Dubai World (a major investment holding company), has invested about $5.2 billion in MGM MIRAGE. $2.7 billion of the total was invested in CityCenter, which gives them a 50/50 joint venture in that project. They also purchased $2.7 billion in MGM MIRAGE common stock, giving them a 9.5% equity stake.

This could mean many more, better, and bigger projects for MGM MIRAGE in Las Vegas and elsewhere. This opens many doors for MGM MIRAGE.

Read the press release here 

NEWS   6/20/07   MGM MIRAGE and Kerzner International to Develop New Resort

MGM MIRAGE is entering into a 50/50 deal with Kerzner International to build a major resort on 40 of its 78 newly acquired, undeveloped acres on the north end of the Las Vegas strip. The land used will be the new 25.8 acres and about 14 acres of the existing RV park.

Kerzner International developed the amazing Atlantis resort in the Bahamas and will be the imagineers of this project. They are promising something wonderful for the site.

The planning of the proposed resort is expected to take one year with three years of construction after that. They expect a late 2011 opening.

NEWS   6/20/07   Kirk Kerkorian Backing-Out of Proposal

MGM MIRAGE announced that Kirk Kerkorian, had dropped his bid of 5/24/07 to purchase the Bellagio and CityCenter project and take it private. The announcement of 5/24 caused MGM MIRAGE stock to skyrocket.

NEWS   5/24/07  Kirk Kerkorian Wants to Take CityCenter and Bellagio Private

Kirk Kerkorian; visionary, philanthropist, father of the mega-resort, and owner of 56.3% of MGM MIRAGE, wants to clip CityCenter and Bellagio from the MGM MIRAGE collection and take the two properties private.

There have been many theories as to why the 90-year old Kerkorian wants to do this. Stay tuned for further developments.

NEWS   4/27/07 MGM MIRAGE to invest in a 50% stake of Marnell's M Resort

NEWS   4/19/07  MGM MIRAGE Purchases Two Parcels

$444 million for "The Big Lot" (the long vacant 25.8 acres across the strip from the Sahara) from Gordon Gaming Corp. (the current owners of the Sahara).

$131 million for a 7.6 acre parcel from Concord Wilshire Partners, who were planning the Maxim Resort for that land.


Together with Circus Circus and its land, MGM MIRAGE now has 101.84 acres of contiguous land anchoring the north end of the strip. This surrounds Hilton Vacation and Sky. The Travelodge is the only possible NIMBY (hold-out) which I'm sure they're after.

MGM MIRAGE will be working on a master plan for the site and reports say they will keep Circus Circus (although it will be thoroughly renovated). The plans for the remaining 78 acres (which include the doomed RV park) may be something on the scale and scope of CityCenter.

My two cents: This will be a very interesting project. With building height restrictions looser on the north strip (like the slots are, for now),  I expect a tall project. Something the Stratosphere will need to get on its toes to see over. I am curious to see how they will make this project look good, considering the vastly different architecture styles of the adjacent Sky and Hilton Vacation projects, around which this will be built.  

The Travelodge land will most likely be absorbed into the overall plan.

I also foresee that only some of Circus Circus will be saved. I doubt they will keep it a low-roller joint, considering all the high-end resorts that are being built in that area.

Perhaps an upscale Cirque theme will make CC the entertainment neighborhood of the overall plan. I could see expanding the Adventure Dome and adding yet another Cirque show. The older rooms towers will surely go, as their infrastructures are aging and the rooms are small. Now we wait and see.




CityCenter NEWS

Visit our extensive page on MGM MIRAGE's CityCenter



Wet Republic at MGM Grand

Wet Republic, Vegas' first "Ultra-Pool", opened in late April of 2008. Wet republic is an adults only, 53,000-square foot addition to the existing pool area. Wet republic is an all-day pool party, featuring a club, cabañas, waterfalls, eight pools (including two salt water pools), a restaurant and an open air lounge. Wet Republic is open to the public (for a fee) and free for hotel guests. 
Sorry guys, there will not be a topless area.
Wet Republic is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Read the press release here  


Wet Republic Renderings





Fish Tank Makeover
Rumors have been circulating on the internet about MGM removing the wonderful fish tank from the lobby of the Mirage. Let me squash this rumor. The Mirage has drained and draped the tank as it's undergoing a remodel/renovation. The much respected salt water tank will be back sometime in October '07 with an "improved" look.


Sneak peek video of new volcano

Volcano Makeover
MGM closed and is renovated  the Volcano.
The improved volcano (by WET Design) has much more fire, water and sound.
The new volcano debuted on December 8th, 2008 at 5 p.m



Fake rock caps are being installed
over the gas jets.
Photo 8/24/08 by Aaron Auxier


Work is progressing nicely on the new uber-volcano
photos 6/20/08 by Jonathon Williams


The photo (far-left), 2/18/08 from our friends at RateVegas.com,
shows the project in progress.

The photo (near-left), 5/5/08 by Clint Bautz
Shows the progress



Aurora, just off the lobby, replaced 
Nefertiti's lounge
Photo 7/30/07 by Mark Adams

The CatHouse replaces the Sacred Sea
photo 2/4/10 by Mark Adams


$300-million de-themeing of the Luxor in progress

The Luxor is losing its Egyptian theme to attract the nouveau-hip crowd. The name of the resort will remain Luxor and the uber-mega-watt light beam on top will still permeate the night sky. 80% of the interior of the resort will be renovated.

Changes will include:

  • LAX nightclub replacing Ra. (Completed)

  • Liquidity an exclusive bar in the center of the casino with a watery theme. (Completed)

  • CatHouse, a restaurant and ultra-lounge replaces Isis and Sacred Sea. (Completed)

  • Flight, a new nightclub. (Completed)

  • Noir Bar, an ultra-exclusive nightspot designed to cater only to elite clientele. (Completed)

  • Nefertiti’s Lounge replaced by the more modern Aurora Lounge. (Completed)

  • Criss Angel will join Cirque du Soleil in a new theater (completed)

  • The guest rooms in the pyramid will be remodeled by 2009.(completed)

  • The casino will loose the hieroglyphics for a water motif. (completed)

  • The Sphinx outside may be removed (rumored).

  • Both the pool area and the Luxor Steakhouse will be remodeled in 2010.

  • The atrium level will become more adult with the addition of more restaurants, lounges and entertainment venues.

MGM Grand was the first to partake in this de-themeing and started the trend by dumping the Wizard of OZ theme. Treasure Island followed by getting the yo-ho-ho out. The Mirage replaced most of its lounges and restaurants and removed the Tiki Hut ceiling-decor from the casino.  Planet Hollywood was next with its de-arab-ing of the former Aladdin into a hip, chic resort. Vegas is growing up mentally as well as vertically.



Above are shots of the Luxor's casino after renovation. All shreds of Egypt are completely vanquished.
The casino has a rather hazy look (almost blurry).  With the faded-looking carpet to the pale blue ceilings
the place lacks contrast. These photos don't reflect the true atmosphere. Although it is better than what it replaced, I (for one) do not care for this remodel. The lobby and entrance areas are untouched, lets hope they stop the renovations and leave those areas alone. 

Photos 2/4/10 by Mark Adams

Old Carpet                       New Carpet (yawn)

Carpet photos courtesy of The Die Is Cast
Let's discuss this on the blog




Out with the old
In with the new
Photos 3/6/08 by
Christopher Hall

New York New York Slowly shaking the family out of their theme

New York New York is undergoing a full renovation of the casino floor. The casino is going to be very chic and up-scale.

These changes include:

  • a full re-do of the Gaming Pits and casino pathways (in progress)

  • the removal of the bridge and stream (completed)

  • new carpeting  (in progress)

  • a new high-limit gaming area where the big Apple Bar was (in progress)

  • the casino cage is being moved to the old high-limit area (in progress)

  • the old main cage is being replaced with a Center Bar (in progress)

  • the street lamps and trees will all be removed (completed)

  • A new nightclub called Rok Vegas replaces the Cabaret Theater

The news-stand is being remodeled. The convention spaces have been re-done and the 1/2 of the arcade space is now executive offices and expanded convention space.



 Expanded Pool Area       

Excalibur is getting two new (small) adult pools an adult Jacuzzi and a poolside restaurant and bar.  Construction is well under way with completion scheduled late spring (2008).





2/16/08 Repair Work Completed

A patch-job and a complete paint-job are in progress at the Monte Carlo.
The resort will reopen on 2/15/08.  Photo 2/9/08 by Scott G. Click photo to enlarge

1/25/08  Fire at Monte Carlo

1/27/08   Thousands of guests were allowed access to their rooms today to gather personal belongings. The building has been deemed safe by authorities. The Monte Carlo will remain closed until the charred EIFS panels are removed. The repairs will be done quickly this week and we will cover the process.

1/27/08 The dramatic shots (below) were sent in by Eric Levitt


Mark Diederichsen captures the fire and the aftermath (below). The fire (most likely caused by welders on the roof)
started just before 11:00 a.m. and was fully contained by noon. The bulk of the fire was the exterior material
of the tower which is EIFS
(synthetic stucco). There are no reports yet as to the interior damage.





   Diablo's at Monte Carlo

For those of you who are wondering what's being constructed in front of the Monte Carlo, it's going to be Diablo's Cantina.

The Light Group (who brought us Stack, Fix, Light and Jet) have added another venue to the Las Vegas Strip. Diablo's is a 10,000-square-foot multi-level entertainment complex including a full service restaurant on the first floor with a bar/club on the second floor, featuring live entertainment. Open to the strip, this will be a great spot for people watching.

Diablo's shaping up -
photo 6/17/07 by Aaron Auxier


Construction Photo 3/25/07 by Mark Adams





Click images to enlarge


Mandalay Bay Beach Casino
(Opened June 2007)

Mandalay Bay has one-upped the competition with a $30-million-dollar Beach expansion.

A new three-story, climate-controlled, glass-fronted casino with sliding glass panels provides open-air access to the beach while still allowing guests to beat-the-heat.

On the first level of the building, beach-goers may dine (though no shirt and shoes requirements here!) or grab a quick snack to enjoy back on the sand.

The second floor features beachside gaming with great views of the water. Blackjack, roulette, and craps with no dress code.

The third floor has five private villas ranging in size from 250 to 500 square feet, these villas will accommodate up to 16 guests and have access to the new private third-level pool.

THEPlace at Mandalay Bay CONDO / HOTEL

NEWS  8/3/06:  Similar in design to its namesake, THEHotel, THEPlace is a condo-hotel project that will occupy a portion of the land in front of and to the south of the Luxor (currently being used as Luxor's valet parking lot). It will connect with the Mandalay Bay at Mandalay's shopping venue, Mandalay Place. THEPlace will have one 520-foot tower with 1,344 units.

No timeframe or other detail are available


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