MGM Grand Las Vegas

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This article is about the current MGM Grand in Las Vegas. For the first casino hotel with that name, see Bally's Las Vegas.
MGM Grand Las Vegas
MGM Grand logo.svg
LasVegas-MGMgrand.jpg
Address 3799 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Las Vegas, Nevada 89109
Opening date December 18, 1993
Theme Entertainment
No. of rooms 6,852
Total gaming space 171,500 sq ft (15,930 m2)
Permanent shows
Brad Garrett Comedy Club
Signature attractions Hakkasan
David Copperfield
CSI:The Experience
Notable restaurants Joël Robuchon
L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon
Hakkasan
Emeril's
Michael Mina's Pub 1842
Craftsteak
Wolfgang Puck
Fiamma
Pearl
Shibuya
Casino type Land
Owner MGM Resorts International
Previous names Marina
MGM-Marina
Years renovated 1996, 2005, 2012
Website www.mgmgrand.com

The MGM Grand Las Vegas is a hotel casino located on the Las Vegas Strip in Paradise, Nevada. The MGM Grand is the second largest hotel in the world by number of rooms and the largest hotel resort complex in the United States, ahead of The Venetian.[1] When it opened in 1993, the MGM Grand was the largest hotel in the world.

Owned and operated by MGM Resorts International, the 30-floor main building is 293 ft (89 m) high. The property includes five outdoor pools, rivers, and waterfalls that cover 6.6 acres (2.7 ha),[2] a 380,000 sq ft (35,000 m2) convention center, the MGM Grand Garden Arena, and the Grand Spa. It also houses numerous shops, night clubs, restaurants and the largest casino in Clark County, which occupies 171,500 sq ft (15,930 m2).

Located on the Tropicana - Las Vegas Boulevard intersection, pedestrians are not allowed to cross at street level. Instead, the MGM Grand is linked by overhead pedestrian bridges to its neighboring casinos: to the south across Tropicana Avenue, the Tropicana, and to the west across the Strip, New York-New York.

Marina Hotel[edit]

The Marina Hotel, located at 3805 Las Vegas Boulevard, opened in 1975 as a 714-room hotel and casino. In 1989, Kirk Kerkorian bought the Marina Hotel and the Tropicana Country Club to obtain the site that would become the home of the MGM Grand. During that time, the Marina was known as the MGM-Marina Hotel.[3][4][5]

The Marina closed on November 30, 1990, and ground was broken for the new casino hotel complex on October 7, 1991. The Marina hotel building still exists as the western end of the main hotel building.[3][4]

History[edit]

When the latest MGM Grand opened on December 18, 1993, it was owned by MGM Grand Inc. At that time it had an extensive Wizard of Oz theme, including the green "Emerald City" color of the building and the decorative use of Wizard of Oz memorabilia. After entering the casino's main entrance, one would find themselves in the Oz Casino facing Emerald City. Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion were seen in front of the city. The Emerald City attraction featured an elaborate yellow brick road walk-through, complete with the cornfield, apple orchard, and haunted forest, as well as audio-animatronic figures of Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion, and the Wicked Witch of the West. It would end at the door of the city, leading inside for a performance of "The Wizard's Secrets". When MGM Grand began its extensive refurbishment in 1996, the Oz Casino was the first to go. The Emerald City was completely demolished, and the Emerald City Gift Shop was moved to a new shopping section of the casino. The store remained open until early 2003.

Originally, the main entrance on the Strip was inside the mouth of a giant cartoon-like version of MGM's logo, Leo the Lion, but this entrance feature was changed to a more traditional entrance. In 1998, a large bronze statue of Leo was added above the entrance to keep with the MGM Lion theme, while not scaring away guests. The statue weighs 50 tons, and at 45 feet (14 m) tall, on a 25-foot pedestal, is the largest bronze statue in the U.S.[6]

A statue of Leo, the MGM lion

When the MGM Grand opened, the intention was to create the first true destination hotel in the Las Vegas area by including the MGM Grand Adventures Theme Park behind the casino. The plan was to make the Las Vegas Strip more family friendly by providing activities for those too young to linger inside the casino. The theme park performed poorly and did not reopen for the 2001 season. On December 5, 2002, MGM Resorts International (then named MGM Mirage) announced that the former theme park would be developed as a luxury condominium and hotel complex called The Signature at MGM Grand.

Poker Room in the MGM Grand

The Las Vegas Monorail was built to connect MGM Grand to Bally's in 1995. The coming-out party for the monorail, on behalf of Bally's, consisted of showgirls and guys from Bally's famed show, Jubilee!, helping groups to the monorail. Characters from the Wizard of Oz greeted the groups on the MGM side. The track was later updated to become the southernmost section of the Las Vegas Monorail. The station was refurbished, the trains were replaced with Bombardier M-VI's, and the track was extended beyond the southern station to provide for track switching for the trains, as well as a starting point for a potential future southern extension to the monorail line.

MGM Grand, with sign promoting it as The City of Entertainment,now removed

In 2000, in an attempt to appeal to a more "mature" clientele, the hotel underwent a major renovation, and almost all traces of the Oz theme were removed. The theme is now more of the Art Deco era of classic Hollywood, and the hotel started billing itself as The City of Entertainment. More recently, the resort has used the phrase "Maximum Vegas", referring to the vast amount of activities MGM Grand offers its guests.

On April 26, 2000, MGM opened a new satellite registration/hotel check-in center at McCarran International Airport. This was the first of its kind opened by a hotel company at any United States airport.[7] However, this airport check-in center appears to have closed in late 2013.

In 2005, MGM opened the West Wing, a renovation of the original Marina Hotel rooms.

In October 2011, MGM began a renovation in which all of its rooms and suites in the main tower were fully renovated, along with the casino floor and other public areas. This has provided the hotel with a more contemporary room design. The work was completed in September 2012.

Film history[edit]

  • The MGM Grand was featured prominently in the 1996 boxing comedy The Great White Hype.
  • The MGM Grand was one of the casinos that Danny Ocean and his crew robbed in the 2001 film Ocean's Eleven. A staged unification match between heavyweight champions Lennox Lewis and Wladimir Klitschko was prominently featured in the film.
  • Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) and his family play a game of Keno in the final scenes of Vegas Vacation alongside a character played by Sid Caesar. Keno is no longer offered at the casino.
  • The MGM Grand's Wizard of Oz theme is referenced in the 1996 film Swingers as the friend of the waitress that Trent picks up works as "a Dorothy".
  • The MGM Grand, with its old entrance, was featured at the close of Casino as an example of the "new" Las Vegas.
  • The MGM Grand was featured in The Amazing Race 15, and The Amazing Race 24

Media[edit]

A parody of the MGM Grand was featured in the BMX video game Mat Hoffman's Pro BMX 2. Leo the Lion was replaced with dragons.

The MGM Grand was among many casinos at which the MIT Blackjack Team gambled in the book Bringing Down The House.

The MGM Grand is the home base of David Whele in Dominion.

Attractions[edit]

The Lion Habitat in the MGM Grand
  • MGM Grand featured a glass-sided lion habitat inside the casino area, in which up to six lions were shown daily since 1999. A see-through tunnel ran through the habitat for close-up viewing, where the lions would frequently lounge on top of the glass, allowing visitors to walk under them. The lions were owned by Keith Evans, a trainer of exotic animals, and did not live at the habitat, but at his ranch 12 miles (19 km) outside Las Vegas.[6] The lion habitat closed permanently in February 2012 as part of MGM Grand's renovation.[8]
  • CSI: The Experience opened in the Studio Walk in September 2009. Here, guests try to solve one of three murder cases interactively, guided by touchscreen stations, cast member videos, and realistic recreated evidence. The first stop is a debriefing room where Gil Grissom introduces the "new recruits" to their assigned cases. After observing the evidence at the crime scene, visitors go to lab areas where they analyze the gathered evidence. They then present their findings in Grissom's office, answering a test based on their analysis of the evidence. Finally, visitors receive a case summary and a CSI diploma.[9]

Gaming[edit]

The MGM Grand has one of the largest gaming floors in all of Las Vegas, measuring 171,500 square feet (15,930 m2). There are more than 2,500 machines for gaming as well as 139 poker and table games.[10]

The slot machines at the MGM Grand range from 1¢ to $1,000 and include progressive slots, video poker, and multi-game machines. There is a special High Limit Slots area, featuring slot machines with payouts up to $500,000.

The race and sports book is a state of-the-art betting area that features thirty-six 60-inch plasma TVs, along with twenty-four 42-inch plasmas. Bets are offered on a range of sports including soccer, football, boxing, MMA and more. They are also the first room to offer what they call "SkyBoxes". These boxes can hold up to ten guests and come with beverage servers and complimentary food.[11]

Hotel[edit]

The hotel rooms are located in several buildings including:

  • The main hotel building, with 5,044 rooms (4,293 rooms ranging from USD $79 to USD $499 per night and 751 suites ranging from USD $275 to USD $2,500 per night.)[6]
  • SKYLOFTS at MGM Grand, a AAA Five-Diamond, Forbes Five Star hotel, occupies the top two floors of the main building. The hotel has 51 lofts ranging from USD $2,000 to USD $10,000 per night and is a member of The Leading Hotels of the World. [12]
  • The three The Signature at MGM Grand towers, each with 576 suites ranging from USD $170 to USD $599 per night. (designed by Bergman Walls Associates).
  • The Mansion at MGM Grand with 29 villas reserved for VIP's and casino invited guests only ranging from USD $5,000 to USD $15,000 per night.

It is one of the three[citation needed] large hotels in Las Vegas that has a 13th floor.[citation needed]

The Signature at MGM Grand[edit]

The Signature at MGM Grand is a condo hotel project by MGM Mirage and Turnberry Associates teamed up to build the first three Signature at the MGM Grand towers which are now open. A maximum of five towers will be constructed on the site. The 38-story, 475-foot (145 m) tall structures have 576 all-suite units each and were priced from $450,000 to more than $2.0 million. Signature is located on the property where the MGM Grand Adventures Theme Park once stood. Each tower has their own private pool with cabanas as well as access to MGM Grand pools. Additional guest/owner amenities at The Signature include a Starbucks, meeting rooms, exercise room, bar and restaurant. Each tower is connected with walkway including moving walkways for the connection to the MGM Grand.

Show venues[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Rivlin, Gary (January 20, 2008). "Casino owner is tycoon most have never heard of". The Seattle Times. 
  2. ^ MGM Grand review. LasVegas.com.
  3. ^ a b "The Marina Hotel was Never Destroyed". vegastodayandtomorrow.com. Retrieved 2008-10-18. 
  4. ^ a b "Marina Hotel and Casino". lasvegasmikey.com. Retrieved 2008-10-18. 
  5. ^ "History of MGM Las Vegas Hotel". earlyvegas.com. Retrieved 2008-10-18. 
  6. ^ a b c Press Release Info. mgmgrand.com.
  7. ^ Airport Check-In mgmgrand.com.
  8. ^ "MGM Grand lions, on display at casino habitat for the last time today". Las Vegas Sun. Jan 31, 2012. 
  9. ^ "CSI:The Experience". mgmgrand.com. Retrieved 2011-12-22. 
  10. ^ Casino Games. mgmgrand.com.
  11. ^ SkyBox. mgmgrand.com.
  12. ^ [1]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 36°06′08″N 115°10′10″W / 36.102220°N 115.169516°W / 36.102220; -115.169516