MGM Grand Las Vegas in Las Vegas
The MGM Grand Las Vegas is a hotel casino located on the Las Vegas Strip in Paradise, Nevada. The MGM Grand is the third largest hotel in the world and largest hotel resort complex in the United States in front of The Venetian. The MGM Grand was the largest hotel in the world when it opened in 1993.
Owned and operated by MGM Resorts International, the 30-floor main building is 293 ft high. The property includes five outdoor pools, rivers, and waterfalls that cover 6.6 acre, a 380000 sqft convention center, the MGM Grand Garden Arena, CBS Television City, and the Grand Spa. It also houses numerous shops and night clubs, 19 restaurants, and the largest casino in Clark County, which occupies 171500 sqft.
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, the New York-New York.
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.
On February 23, 1993, MGM celebrated a "topping off" ceremony with the placement of the last panel of emerald green glass hoisted onto one of the 30-story hotel towers. A total of 5,005 green balloons were released, each containing a gift certificate valid for one complimentary stay in one of the rooms.
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 and facing the "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 a cornfield, an apple orchard, the haunted forest as well as audio-animatronic figures of the Scarecrow, Dorothy, the Wicked Witch of the West, the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion. It would end at the door of the city, leading inside for a performance of "The Wizard's Secrets". When the 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.
The MGM Grand was the home of the long-running production show EFX from 1995 until 2002.
Originally, the main entrance on the Strip was inside the mouth of a giant cartoon-like version of MGM's mascot, Leo the Lion, but this entrance feature was changed to a more traditional entrance; many Chinese gamblers avoided the casino or entered through the back entrance, due to the feng shui belief that entering the mouth of the lion was "bad luck." In 1998, a large bronze statue of Leo was added above the entrance to keep with the MGM Lion theme, while not scaring away their more superstitious guests. The statue weighs 50 tons, and at 45 ft tall, on a 25-foot pedestal, is the largest bronze statue in the U.S.
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 children who were too young to be allowed to linger inside the casino. The theme park performed poorly, and did not reopen for the 2001 season. On December 5, 2002, MGM Mirage announced that the former theme park would be developed as a luxury condominium and hotel complex called The Signature.
A monorail was built to connect the 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 Jubilee helping the groups to the monorail. Characters from the Wizard of Oz greeted the groups on the MGM side. The track was later updated to became 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.
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 guest.
On April 26, 2000, MGM opened a new satellite registration/hotel check-in center at the McCarran International Airport. This is the first of its kind opened by a hotel company at any United States airport.
In 2005, MGM opened the "West Wing," a renovation of the original Marina Hotel rooms.
- 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."
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 the MIT Blackjack Team gambled at in the book Bringing Down The House.
- MGM Grand features a glass-sided lion habitat inside the casino area, in which up to six lions are shown every day. A see-through tunnel runs through the habitat for close-up viewing. The lions are owned by Keith Evans, a trainer of exotic animals, and do not live at the habitat, but at his ranch 12 mi outside Las Vegas. including the SKYLOFTS at MGM Grand with 51 lofts located on the top two floors of the hotel building.
- The three The Signature at MGM Grand towers each with 576 suites (designed by Bergman Walls Associates)
- The Mansion at MGM Grand with 29 villas
It is one of the three large hotels in Las Vegas that has a 13th floor.
SKYLOFTS at the MGM Grand
SKYLOFTS occupies the top two floors of the MGM Grand's main building. While it operates semi-independently of the main hotel, it effectively serves as the Grand's ultra-luxury penthouses. It is independent enough of the main hotel that the AAA Five Diamond Award was bestowed exclusively on SKYLOFTS rather than on the MGM Grand as a whole. In 2009 the SKYLOFTS also received the coveted Forbes 5 Star Award which made it one of 44 hotels in North America to achieve such rating. SKYLOFTS also received the Forbes 5 star award again for the year 2010 which makes it one of 3 5 Star 5 Diamond resorts on the Las Vegas Strip. SKYLOFTS is also independently a member of The Leading Small Hotels of the World. Amenities include a private elevator, a personal concierge and butler, a large entertainment system that extends throughout the loft, and a luxurious bathroom including a spa-like bathtub and a steam shower.
The Signature at MGM Grand
The Signature at MGM Grand is a condo hotel project, at the MGM Grand, 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 ft tall structures have 576 units each and were priced from $450,000 to more than $1.5 million. Signature is located on the property where the MGM Grand Adventures Theme Park once stood. Each tower will have access to MGM Grand pools included.
- Crazy Horse Paris Theatre
- Hollywood Theatre
- Kà Theatre
- MGM Grand Garden Arena
- MGM Grand Las Vegas Hotel, Resort & Casino
- MGM Grand Nightlife
- SKYLOFTS at MGM Grand
- The Signature Condos at MGM Grand