The Mirage

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The Mirage Resort and Casino
The mirage logo.svg
Mirage Las Vegas December 2013.jpg
The Mirage Resort and Casino is located in Las Vegas Strip
The Mirage Resort and Casino
The Mirage Resort and Casino is located in Nevada
The Mirage Resort and Casino
Location Paradise, Nevada, U.S.
Address 3400 South Las Vegas Boulevard
Opening dateNovember 22, 1989; 32 years ago (November 22, 1989)
No. of rooms3,044
Total gaming space100,000 sq ft (9,300 m2)
Permanent showsThe Beatles: LOVE
Signature attractionsThe Volcano
Dolphin Habitat
The Secret Garden
Notable restaurantsOtoro Sushi and Robata
Tom Coliccio’s Heritage Steak
Costa Italian
Casino typeLand-based
OwnerMGM Resorts International
ArchitectJoel Bergman
Coordinates36°07′16″N 115°10′31″W / 36.12111°N 115.17528°W / 36.12111; -115.17528Coordinates: 36°07′16″N 115°10′31″W / 36.12111°N 115.17528°W / 36.12111; -115.17528

The Mirage is a 3,044-room Polynesian-themed casino resort on the Las Vegas Strip in Paradise, Nevada, United States. The resort was built by developer Steve Wynn and is owned and operated by MGM Resorts International.

The resort is connected by a free tram to the Treasure Island Hotel and Casino neighboring the hotel's property to the north.



Built environment: The Mirage seen from The Venetian, 2008, showcasing the Beatles-themed Love show.

The Mirage was built on a portion of the site formerly occupied by the Castaways, which closed in 1987 to make room for the new resort.[1] The Mirage was built by developer Steve Wynn and designed by architect Joel Bergman[citation needed] and interior designer Roger Thomas.[2] Landscape architect Don Brinkerhoff worked on an artificial volcano located in front of the resort.[3]

The Mirage was proposed with an initial cost of $565 million.[4] Financier Michael Milken helped finance the project by selling $525 million worth of mortgage bonds.[5] The Mirage was the first resort that was built with the money of Wall Street through the use of junk bonds.[6] The project went over budget,[4] and was the most expensive hotel-casino in history, with a construction cost of $630 million.[7] The hotel's distinctive gold windows get their color from actual gold dust used in the tinting process.

The Mirage's construction is considered noteworthy in that Wynn had set a new standard for Vegas resorts, and is widely considered to be the father of today's Las Vegas. Prior to the Mirage's opening, the city was experiencing a decline in tourism that began in the 1970s, especially around the time that the state of New Jersey legalized gambling and tourists (in particular those on the East Coast) began to frequent the casinos of Atlantic City. Also, this was a time when Las Vegas was no longer considered a fashionable destination, so a new, high-profile, project was necessary to jump-start the ailing industry.[4] Wynn planned for the resort to feature boxing matches to compete against the Las Vegas Hilton and the adjacent Caesars Palace.[8]


The project's working name was the "Bombay Club".[9] Wynn initially considered naming the resort the Golden Nugget,[4] after his Golden Nugget hotel-casino in downtown Las Vegas. However, Wynn and others involved with the new resort knew that it would need a different name. Otherwise, they believed that the two properties would become known as "the old one" and "the new one". Wynn chose "The Mirage" because of the resort's South Pacific theme. In 1988, to avoid confusion, Wynn purchased the rights to the Mirage name from two other businesses, the La Mirage Casino and the Mirage Motel. Both businesses received $250,000 to change their names.[8][4]

Early years[edit]

A white tiger in the Mirage habitat.

The Mirage, initially scheduled for an opening in early December 1989,[8] was opened early on November 22, 1989.[4] At the time of its opening, the Mirage was the largest hotel in the world, with 3,044 rooms. The hotel tower, standing 29 stories, was built out in a Y-shape design, a concept that was later copied by Las Vegas' Treasure Island, Monte Carlo, and Mandalay Bay resorts. The hotel's top five floors were used exclusively for high roller rooms and penthouse suites. The Mirage was the first new resort to be built on the Las Vegas Strip in 16 years,[5] after the completion of the MGM Grand in 1973.[4] When it opened, the Mirage was the first casino to use security cameras full-time on all table games.[10]

Starting in February 1990, the Mirage was the venue for the Siegfried & Roy show, held in the resort's 1,500-seat showroom.[5] The two headliners combined magic and the use of wild animals. The show closed in 2003 after performer Roy Horn was critically injured by Montecore, one of the 650-pound white tigers used in the show.

In 1993, the Mirage hosted an extended run of the Cirque du Soleil show Nouvelle Expérience in a tent in the Mirage parking lot. It was during this time that Steve Wynn decided to invite Cirque to create Mystère for the soon-to-be-built Treasure Island resort next door. Finally returning to where they began in Las Vegas, Cirque du Soleil has a permanent production at the Mirage, Love.[11]

As of 1999, the Mirage had 6,000 employees. At the time, Wynn was investing $100 million into the resort to build two theaters and to add 130,000 sq ft (12,000 m2) of convention space. On March 7, 2000, MGM Grand Inc. acquired Wynn's company, Mirage Resorts, for $4.4 billion.[12]

In March 2000, Danny Gans started performing at the resort. Prior to that time, Gans performed at the Rio Hotel and Casino.[4] Gans took over the marquee in 2004, becoming the resort's main entertainment attraction. In December 2006, the Beatles-themed Revolution ultra-lounge opened. It was the first time Cirque du Soleil was involved in the development of a nightlife venue, operated by the Light Group.

Recent years[edit]

Gans left the Mirage in February 2009 to star in a show at the Encore Las Vegas.[13] In 2009, ventriloquist and 2007 America's Got Talent winner Terry Fator began a five-year run at the hotel.[citation needed] Also in 2009, the Mirage was featured on The Amazing Race 15, where one team member had to bungee the other into the air to grab a bouquet of flowers presented in the Love theater.

In November 2012, the Mirage casino became the second Las Vegas casino to offer Geoff Hall's blackjack variant Free Bet Blackjack, after the Golden Nugget Casino.[14] In 2014, the Mirage was featured in The Amazing Race 24, where teams had to replace the lightbulbs in the letter I in Mirage.[15]

In 2015 MGM Resorts International announced that it would place the Mirage and other properties into a real estate investment trust. MGM would continue to operate the Mirage.[16]


Love entrance at the Mirage

Notable features include:

  • Siegfried & Roy's Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat. The Secret Garden was designed by Manny Caamano. During July 2017, the habitat announced the successful birth of a dolphin calf.[17]
  • An artificial volcano along the Strip that "erupts" nightly at 8:00 pm, 9:00 pm, and 10:00 pm. After sister property Bellagio opened, the design firm WET Enterprises improved the technology behind the volcano effect to make it more spectacular, in 1996. To avoid the smell of uncombusted natural gas odorant, the mercaptan is stripped from the natural gas and a pina colada fragrance is added to the natural gas stream. The Volcano closed for a second and more elaborate renovation in February 2008 and reopened on December 8, 2008. A new soundtrack, complete with the sounds of actual volcanoes erupting, and featuring the work of Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart,[18] has been included for an even more enhanced experience.
  • An atrium at the hotel entrance features a large number of palm trees, water features, and other "rainforest" flora.
  • The 53-foot-long (16 m), 8-foot-tall (2.4 m) aquarium behind the registration desk is home to nearly 1000 specimens.
  • Love, a Cirque du Soleil theatrical production involving remixes of The Beatles.
  • "1OAK", a 16,000-square-foot (1,500 m2) nightclub with a New York theme.[19][20] The venue features two separate areas and regularly hosts events.[21]
  • "Bare", a poolside lounge where female toplessness is allowed.[22][23] One must be 21 years or older to enter.[24]

Sporting events[edit]

In popular culture[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Teary-Eyed Dealers Bid Casino Farewell". San Jose Mercury News. July 20, 1987. Retrieved November 19, 2019 – via NewsLibrary.
  2. ^ Abramovitch, Ingrid (July 8, 2014). "A Las Vegas Casino Design Mastermind Shares His Secrets". Retrieved February 27, 2017.
  3. ^ Moore, Thomas (September 26, 2016). "Volcano's creator to be inducted into Gaming Hall of Fame". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved November 19, 2019.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h "Wynn credits staff for success". Las Vegas Review-Journal. November 22, 1999. Archived from the original on December 26, 2002.
  5. ^ a b c Smith, Hubble (November 22, 1999). "The Mirage Was For Real". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Archived from the original on December 20, 2002.
  6. ^ Swardson, Blaine Harden; Anne (March 6, 1996). "HIGH STAKES RIDE ON CASINO GROWTH". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved March 23, 2021.
  7. ^ Joyce Kim, Jung-Eun. "Sunrise, sunset? Comparing the Las Vegas and Macao gaming markets in 2010". University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
  8. ^ a b c "$500,000 gambled on a name: Casino executive pays heavily for a 'Mirage'". The Palm Beach Post. December 11, 1988. Retrieved February 27, 2017.
  9. ^ "Las Vegas resort plans announced". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. May 28, 1987.
  10. ^ Arnold M. Knightly (February 25, 2007), Blink and you'll miss him, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Page 1E.
  11. ^ Norm Clarke (June 17, 2003). "'Mystere' worker recalls uncertain times during show's birth". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved June 28, 2008.
  12. ^ Pollack, Andrew (March 7, 2000). "MGM Grand to Acquire Mirage Resorts for $4.4 Billion".
  13. ^ "Yahoo Finance - Business Finance, Stock Market, Quotes, News".
  14. ^ ThePOGG (November 25, 2012). "ThePOGG Interviews - Geoff Hall - creator of Blackjack Switch".
  15. ^ Bacle, Ariana (May 19, 2014). "The Amazing Race season finale recap: Flying High". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 9, 2020.
  16. ^ Stutz, Howard (October 29, 2015). "MGM Resorts to form REIT using 10 properties". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
  17. ^ "Las Vegas Casino-Resort Announces Birth of Dolphin Calf | Nevada News | US News". Archived from the original on August 2, 2017.
  18. ^ "Volcano Las Vegas".
  19. ^ "1OAK at The Mirage page". Retrieved January 30, 2015.
  20. ^ "1OAK at The Mirage page". Retrieved January 30, 2015.
  21. ^ "1OAK Website page". 1OAK,com. Retrieved January 30, 2015.
  22. ^ Snow, Michelle. "Bare Pool Opens at The Mirage". Las Vegas Travel Guide. April 2, 2007.
  23. ^ "Mirage’s Bare Adult Pool Opens Tomorrow". March 11, 2009.
  24. ^ "Bare Pool Lounge | The Tropical Lounge | Las Vegas Pools".

External links[edit]