Treasure Island Hotel and Casino
|Location||Paradise, Nevada, U.S.|
|Address||3300 South Las Vegas Boulevard|
|Opening date||October 26, 1993|
|No. of rooms||2,884|
|Total gaming space||95,000 sq ft (8,800 m2)|
|Signature attractions||Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N.|
|Notable restaurants||Gilley's Saloon|
Phil's Italian Steak House
Treasure Island Hotel and Casino (also known as Treasure Island Las Vegas and "TI") is a hotel and casino located on the Las Vegas Strip in Paradise, Nevada, USA with 2,884 rooms and 220 suites, and is connected by tram to The Mirage as well as pedestrian bridge to the Fashion Show Mall shopping center. It is owned and operated by Phil Ruffin.
The $430 million Treasure Island was opened by Mirage Resorts on the night of October 26, 1993. It included a casino, a 2,900-room hotel, and a free pirate show located in front of the resort. It opened under the direction of Steve Wynn and Atlandia Design (a Mirage Resorts subsidiary). The initial plans called for a tower addition to The Mirage, but later evolved into a full-fledged separate hotel casino resort. The resort was designed by architects Joel Bergman and Jon Jerde in collaboration with Steve Wynn along with Roger Thomas who designed the interior of Treasure Island Hotel and Casino. The resort included a roadside sign featuring an 8,000-pound pirate skull, made of fiberglass and measuring 27 1/2 feet.
Treasure Island opened with a focus on family fun, including the pirate show and a 25,000 sq ft (2,300 m2) arcade. However, shortly after opening, executives realized that the resort's heavy pirate theme did not appeal to people interested in a weekend getaway. Wynn began a long renovation of the resort to improve business, a project that had cost approximately $150 million as of 2003. The changes included a $65 million renovation of the hotel rooms. Other changes included relocating the front desk closer to the pool, approximately three years after the resort opened. In addition, the arcade was reduced to 1,200 sq ft (110 m2). The various changes improved business and were considered successful.
The Prairie Island Indian Community, owners of a Treasure Island casino resort in Minnesota, filed a $250 million damages lawsuit against Mirage Resorts in May 2000. The suit alleged that Wynn violated trademark law by using the "Treasure Island" name for his own casino resort. The suit also requested that Wynn be barred from using the name, which Wynn said he registered in 1993.
In April 2003, Treasure Island announced a major revamp to transform the resort into a more sophisticated property aimed primarily at adults, although children would still be welcomed. Treasure Island president Scott Sibella said, "We've evolved from a yo-ho-ho feel to a more sophisticated feel. We want to change the exterior to introduce the outside to what we've already done inside." Among the changes would include a new pirate show, described by Sibella as a "sexy and beautiful, adult Broadway-caliber show." Sibella described the original pirate show as something that would be expected at Disneyland. As part of the revamp, Treasure Island would begin using the abbreviated name "TI". Sibella described the new name as trendy and sexy, and said it was a name that residents and guests already used. Sibella compared the abbreviated name to the former Desert Inn, also known as "D.I." The resort's roadside skull sign would be replaced and donated to the Neon Museum. Sibella said, "It's a cool sign, but it needs to complement what we're doing inside."
Describing the resort's transformation, Sibella said, "We've seen a return of Las Vegas to its roots as an adult destination. As the city has evolved, so too has Treasure Island." MGM Mirage began a marketing campaign for TI in June 2003, including advertisements in various publications. As part of the transformation, the hotel building was given a darker paint color, using 6,200 gallons of terra cotta/"Salmon Stream" paint, replacing an earlier pink coloring.
The skull sign was removed on July 10, 2003, in a ceremony accompanied by fireworks. The skull portion was donated to the Neon Museum, while much of the remaining sign was scrapped. The sign was replaced by an LED neon "TI" sign with a modern and sophisticated design. The new sign measures 137 feet high and 84 feet wide. Various pirate memorabilia had been removed from the resort over the course of three years, and was auctioned in September 2003.
On December 15, 2008, MGM Mirage announced the resort would be sold for US$775 million to Phil Ruffin, former owner of the New Frontier Hotel and Casino. Ruffin took full ownership of the hotel and casino resort on March 20, 2009.
On October 21, 2013, the Sirens of TI pirate battle show closed in order to add a new multi-level shopping and entertainment center which opened in April 2015 with a 24-hour CVS as the anchor tenant along with the Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. exhibit, which opened May 26, 2016. The ships used for the show remained in front of the resort.
Film and television history
- In 1994, shortly after the hotel's launch, a promotional TV movie, Treasure Island: The Adventure Begins debuted on NBC. The film, starring Jason Beghe, featured the implosion of The Dunes.
- The sign for Treasure Island is shown in the 2003 film Looney Tunes: Back in Action
- In the 2004 movie Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, while Steve the Pirate is walking down Fremont Street, someone drives by yelling "Go back to the Treasure Island". An alternative ending to the movie was that the Average Joes lost the dodgeball tournament, but got their money back when Steve won it at Treasure Island.
- The resort was a major filming location for the 2005 film Miss Congeniality 2. Filming included the Sirens of TI pirate show.
- In the movie Beavis and Butthead Do America, the original Treasure Island sign, along with the pirate ship outside the hotel, are briefly seen as Beavis and Butthead are driving down the Las Vegas strip in a limo.
- Treasure Island appears in the video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. In the game it is called "Pirates in Mens Pants" (a pun referencing Pirates of Penzance).
- In the movie Knocked Up, Ben (Seth Rogen) and Pete (Paul Rudd) see Mystère by Cirque du Soleil at Treasure Island during their road trip to Las Vegas.
- In the video game Driver 2, Treasure Island can be seen in the Las Vegas level where it's been named "Pirates Island".
- In the manga and anime "Eyeshield 21", the Deimon Devil Bats end their 2000 km "death march training" from Houston, TX by reaching and staying at Treasure Island.
- In the NBC television show Las Vegas, the ending of the season 2 premiere episode was filmed at the hotel. Many shots of the show are also filmed as though they are in Treasure Island.
- Treasure Island is often seen during fly-over images of the Las Vegas Strip in the television drama series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.
The resort is home to Cirque du Soleil's Mystère, which introduced the entertainment style of Franco Dragone. The show opened in 1993 as the original Cirque du Soleil production in Las Vegas. Mystère has been voted nine times as the best production show in the city by the Las Vegas Review-Journal reader's poll. With the sale of TI, it is the only hotel on the strip to host a Cirque du Soleil show that is not affiliated with MGM Resorts International.
Treasure Island opened with the free "Battle of Buccaneer Bay" show in a large man-made lake fronting the resort along the Las Vegas Strip. Presented several times nightly with a large cast of stunt performers, the show depicted the landing and subsequent sacking of a Caribbean village by pirates, serving to attract gamblers from the strip and into the casino after each show in the same fashion as its predecessor, the Wynn-conceived volcano fronting The Mirage casino. Notable special effects included a full-scale, manned British Royal Navy sailing ship that sailed nearly the full width of the property, a gas-fired "powder magazine" explosion, pyrotechnics, and the sinking to the bottom of the sailing ship "Brittania" along with its captain. Battle of Buccaneer Bay held its final performance on July 6, 2003, with a total of 16,334 shows performed over the course of nearly 10 years.
TI debuted the new Sirens of TI pirate show in October 2003, marking the resort's 10th anniversary. "Buccaneer Bay" was replaced with "Sirens' Cove" and the new show utilized many of the technical elements of its predecessor. The live, free show was intended to appeal more to adults by including singing, dancing, audio-visual effects, bare-chested pirates and attractive women in the large outdoor show produced by Kenny Ortega. The original two ships were kept for the new show but repainted and altered, as well as some special effects.
The Sirens of TI was closed on October 21, 2013. The closure was initially intended to be temporary, but in November, it was made permanent, to the dismay of the show's actors. The reason cited by Treasure Island was the construction of new retail space nearby.
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