Excalibur Hotel and Casino
|Excalibur Hotel and Casino|
3850 Las Vegas Boulevard South
|Opening date||June 19, 1990|
|Number of rooms||4,008|
|Total gaming space||100,000 sq ft (9,300 m2)|
|Permanent shows||Tournament of Kings
Australia's Thunder from Down Under
The Australian Bee Gees
|Owner||MGM Resorts International|
Excalibur, named for the mythical sword of King Arthur, uses the Arthurian theme in several ways. Its facade is a stylized image of a castle. Until 2007, a wizard-like figure representing Merlin looked out from a high turret (since replaced by a figure advertising Dick's Last Resort).
Excalibur is situated at the Tropicana - Las Vegas Boulevard intersection. The hotel is linked by overhead pedestrian bridges to neighboring casinos to the north (New York-New York, across Tropicana Avenue) and to the east (Tropicana, across the Strip). There is a free tram that connects Excalibur to its sister MGM Resorts International properties to the south, Luxor and Mandalay Bay.
The land on which the Excalibur sits was originally the proposed site of the Xanadu Resort envisioned in the 1970s. The 1730 room Asian-tropical themed resort would have been the first mega resort in Las Vegas. The project was never built when the developers could not secure a deal with the county on the sewer infrastructure such a large project would have required.
Excalibur opened on June 19, 1990 and was originally built by Circus Circus Enterprises, which was purchased in 2005 by MGM Resorts International. When it opened, Excalibur was the largest hotel in the world with over 4,000 rooms and covering over 70 acres. As of 2009 it was the fifth-largest hotel (by total number of rooms) in Las Vegas, and the seventh-largest hotel worldwide.
Excalibur was originally designed in line with the "theme resort" strategy popular among some casino operators during the 1990s which included the traditional Las Vegas gaming experience coupled with family-oriented elements. However, since 2006 most of the medieval themed statues and scenery have been removed as part of a four-year renovation and modernization project. As of 2010, few of the themed wall murals still remained as Excalibur was updated to include more modern and understated elements, including contemporary furniture and flat-screen plasma TVs in 2,000 renovated guest rooms.
Facilities and attractions
The 100,000-square-foot (9,300 m2) gaming area at Excalibur consists of both table games and over 1,400 slot machines. In addition to casino space, the Excalibur resort includes a renovated pool area, a 13,000-square-foot (1,200 m2) spa and fitness center, eight restaurants and a food court, the Chapel at Excalibur, and the Octane Lounge & The Lounge with live music on the weekends. 
Excalibur is home to three permanent shows: the all-male revue Thunder From Down Under, The Australian Bee Gees Show, a tribute to the Bee Gees and the medieval themed dinner show Tournament of Kings. Thunder From Down Under moved to Excalibur in July 2001 and since then has received recognition as one of the best all-male strip shows in Las Vegas. In 2006, the performance space was renamed the "Thunder From Down Under Showroom" in honor of the troupe. Tournament of Kings is a medieval jousting tournament performed with 12 breeds of horses and 32 cast members in a 925-seat amphitheater called King Arthur's Arena. The show includes a banquet feast served by a costumed serf or wench and is meant to be eaten without utensils. Tournament of Kings debuted along with the opening of Excalibur in 1990.
Dick's Last Resort restaurant opened at Excalibur in June 2007. Dick's is known for its unusual dining experience in which servers purposefully act obnoxious towards guests. Employee "Taco" is considered Dick's mascot and entertains guests with his own version of the Bellagio fountain show using water dispensers behind the bar.
In popular culture
Excalibur has been featured in several video game and television productions since opening in 1990. Excalibur itself or a hotel resembling Excalibur makes appearances in the video games Driver 2 and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. In television productions, Excalibur was the setting for a stunt on the Las Vegas edition of Fear Factor and was featured in an episode of South Park called "It Hits the Fan". Also, season six of Top Chef contestant Jennifer used Excalibur as the inspiration for one of her meals.
- Paradise Misplaced: Cost Approach to Value
- Koch, Ed (June 19, 1990). "Strip jousting begins". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved 2008-04-02.
- Macy, Robert (28 May 1990). "Excalibur is new center ring for Circus Circus" (Abstract). Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 10 November 2010.
- Sehlinger, Bob; Deke Castleman; Muriel Stevens (2009). Unofficial Guide to Las Vegas. John Wiley and Sons. p. 103. ISBN 978-0-470-46029-0. Retrieved 11 November 2010.
- "Company News; 30,000 Jam New Las Vegas Casino". The New York Times. 20 June 1990. Retrieved 10 November 2010.
- Padgett, Sonya (11 March 2008). "Comfort is Key: The Feel of Luxury". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved 10 November 2010.
- Geary, Frank (22 March 2003). "Megabucks player wins $39.7 million". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved 10 November 2010.
- "Excalibur Fact Sheet". Retrieved 10 November 2010.
- "Excalibur Website".
- Leach, Robin. "Thunder From Down Under celebrate nine years on The Strip". Las Vegas Weekly. Retrieved 10 November 2010.
- "Thunder From Down Under". Retrieved 10 November 2010.
- Brown, Patricia Leigh (21 October 1990). "Fantasy Hotels: Excess Is All". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 November 2010.
- "Palin, Lowden likely will not cross paths". Las Vegas Review-Journal. 22 May 2010. Retrieved 10 November 2010.
- "Pure Management Group to Celebrate Second Anniversary of Dick's Last Resort". Dick's Last Resort. Retrieved 10 November 2010.
- Katz, Bobbie. "Dick's Last Resort: where wacky is on the menu". Hello Vegas. Retrieved 10 November 2010.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Excalibur hotel (Las Vegas).|
- Excalibur Hotel and Casino website
- "Roy Vegas" - photos showing the Dick's Last Resort promotion that replaced Merlin