Golden Gate Hotel and Casino
The Golden Gate Hotel & Casino is located at One Fremont Street in Las Vegas, United States. A part of the Fremont Street Experience, it is the oldest and smallest hotel on the Fremont Street Experience. John F. Miller opened a temporary tent hotel – the Miller Hotel – on the property in 1905, while he planned to construct a permanent hotel structure, which opened as the Hotel Nevada on January 13, 1906. A casino operated within the hotel until a statewide gambling ban took effect in 1909. In 1931, the property was renamed as Sal Sagev; the casino reopened that year. In 1955, the casino was renamed as the Golden Gate; the entire property was renamed as the Golden Gate Hotel and Casino in 1974. The Golden Gate was known for its cheap shrimp cocktails, served from 1959 to 2017. John F. Miller was among the first to come to Las Vegas in 1905. An auction for property in the city's future downtown area was held in May 1905. Miller purchased a $1,750 parcel at the southeast corner of Fremont Street. On the property shortly thereafter, he established the Miller Hotel, a temporary tent hotel, known as the Hotel Nevada.
In August 1905, Miller had plans to construct a permanent two-story hotel structure on the property. Construction on the new hotel was to begin as soon as the Kuhn Mercantile Company could vacate the property. In September 1905, the Miller Hotel became the first lodging establishment in Las Vegas to receive plumbing. In December 1905, plans were underway for a two-story retail and apartment building, to be constructed adjacent to the Hotel Nevada; the front of the new building was to be cemented to blend in with the hotel. Miller planned for the hotel to be modern, with amenities that included heating, a telephone system; the two-story Hotel Nevada, located at 1 Fremont Street, opened on January 13, 1906, becoming the first hotel structure in Las Vegas, the only concrete hotel in southern Nevada. The hotel rooms measured 10 feet square, cost $1 per day, were referred to by a local newspaper as "first class". Due to the hotel's popularity, Miller announced in June 1906 that he would soon have a third story added to the property, expected to be finished by September 1, 1906.
In October 1906, construction was underway on the addition, which consisted of brick and measured 20 feet by 30 feet. The addition added four bedrooms. In 1907, Las Vegas' first telephone was installed at the Hotel Nevada, with the number 1; the hotel's casino operated until 1909. The casino's blackjack and poker tables were subsequently put into storage. By March 1918, Miller was considering a large addition to the hotel that would consist of reinforced concrete and would include 40 feet of frontage along Fremont Street; the hotel gained additional popularity beginning in 1925, when city officials had Fremont Street paved. The Hotel Nevada reopened its casino in 1931; that year, the property was renamed as the Sal Sagev. In July 1955, Abe Miller – the property's longtime operator and the son of John F. Miller – was approved for plans to lease the Sal Sagev's ground floor to a 23-man group, which would sublease the floor for $25,000 per month to eight Italian-American men, nearly all of them from Oakland, California.
The eight men planned to open the Golden Gate casino on the ground floor of the Sal Sagev. Renovations on the new casino were underway that month and were being financed by the 23-man group, with an estimated cost of $330,000. Abe Miller was to receive $2,300 per month, as well as five percent of the gambling profits; the Golden Gate casino, named after the Golden Gate Bridge, opened on the ground floor in 1955, while the hotel retained the Sal Sagev name. Italo Ghelfi, one of the eight partners, operated the casino for nearly 40 years. In February 1957, John F. Miller died during a nap at his apartment, located within the Sal Sagev hotel, he was 92 years old, had experienced a substantial period of declining health. Abe Miller continued to operate the Sal Sagev into the 1960s. In 1964, the hotel was expanded to include a total of 106 rooms. In 1965, the hotel's exterior was covered in aluminum siding, which remained until its removal in 1990; as of 1969, Abe Miller operated the property with Helen Nugent.
In 1974, the entire property was renamed as Casino. Abe Miller and his sister had died by 1985, his sister willed her small ownership of the property to nuns at The Convent of the Good Shepherd of Las Vegas. Ghelfi's family purchased the property from the partnership in 1990, removed the metal-screen façade that had earlier been applied to the structure; the Golden Gate's 90th anniversary was marked by numerous celebrations in late May 1996, including Las Vegas mayor Jan Laverty Jones proclaiming it to be "Las Vegas' Most Historic Hotel."The 106-room, four-story hotel was renovated in 2005. By that time, the property was managed by Ghelfi's son. Brandenburg became the owner. In March 2008, Brandenberg sold a 50% interest in the property to Desert Rock Enterprises, the investment company of Derek and Greg Stevens, who owned the Las Vegas 51s baseball team and a 19% stake in the Riviera casino. With new money infused by the Stevens, the Golden Gate undertook casino upgrades and hotel room renovations.
The following year, the Stevens raised their stake to 60%, Derek took over as CEO, with Brandenburg as president. In 2010, a Du-par's restaurant opened inside the Golden Gate. Du-par's operated as a leased tenant of the Golden Gate. In 2012, the Golden Gate began its firs
Park MGM Monte Carlo Resort and Casino, is a megaresort hotel and casino on the Las Vegas Strip in Paradise, United States. The hotel, with a height of 360 ft, has 32 floors, featuring a 102,000-square-foot casino floor with 1,400 slot machines, 60 table games, 15 poker tables, it is operated by MGM Resorts International. The hotel offers 2,992 guest rooms, including 259 luxury suites; the Monte Carlo was converted into Park MGM between late 2016 and 2018, with the upper floors being converted into a boutique hotel, NoMad Las Vegas. The hotel named to invoke the Place du Casino in Monte Carlo, featured chandelier domes, marble floors, neoclassical arches, ornate fountains, gas-lit promenades; as of 2010, Monte Carlo had a AAA-Four-Diamond rating. The original Monte Carlo included 22,000 sq ft of retail stores, plus convention facilities, a spa, fitness center, a hair salon, a 2,000-square-foot exercise room, a pool area, which includes a wave pool lazy river, the Street of Dreams shopping area collection of retail stores which includes Optica, Marshall Rousso, Harley Davidson of Las Vegas and Art of Music.
A 21,000 sq ft pool area includes a wave pool with changing wave patterns, a "Lazy River" feature. The CityCenter Tram offers access to the Bellagio and Crystals retail district in the CityCenter complex, with service every 5 minutes. On October 7, 2010, the JabbaWockeeZ began performance of their residency at Monte Carlo, entitled "MÜS. I. C"; this show was performed five nights per week at the 1,224-seat Monte Carlo Theater, which under its previous name hosted magician Lance Burton, who performed there between June 21, 1996 and September 4, 2010. In 2012, the JabbaWockeeZ show moved to the 800-seat Monte Carlo Pavilion. On October 11, 2015, Blue Man Group discontinued their show at the Monte Carlo and moved back to the Luxor to open a new show, which opened on November 18, 2015. On October 18, 2018, Britney Spears announced a new residency show at the Park MGM opening in February 2019 titled Britney: Domination; as of 2009, the Monte Carlo print advertising campaign featured humorously misspelled French words coupled with glamorous images.
The campaign's tagline was "Unpretentiously luxurious". Park MGM is located on part of the former site of the Dunes golf course. Mirage Resorts purchased the Dunes in 1992 and closed it in January 1993. In May 1994, Mirage and Gold Strike Resorts announced a joint venture to build a $250-million casino targeted at budget-conscious visitors, on 43 acres of the Dunes site. Ground was broken for the hotel in March 1995. Circus Circus Enterprises acquired Gold Strike in June 1995 and took over its role of managing the project. Gold Strike had hoped to name the project as the Grand Victoria, the same name as the casino being developed by the company in Illinois, but that idea was discarded because of potential confusion with the MGM Grand. "Victoria" and "Victoria Bay" were reported as names for the property. Details about the property were revealed in July 1995, including that it would be named the Monte Carlo and feature Belle Époque architecture, based on the Monte Carlo Casino in Monaco; the Monte Carlo opened to the public at midnight on June 21, 1996, following an invitation-only pre-opening celebration, including a fireworks show.
The project cost $344 million to build. On January 25, 2008, at 10:57 AM, a three-alarm fire was reported on the exterior of the top six floors and roof of the casino. Portions of the hotel facade's Exterior Insulation Finishing System burned with some debris falling off and starting smaller secondary fires on ledges three floors below; the fire was contained an hour after it began. It was an exterior fire; the Hotel & Casino reopened to guests on February 15, 2008. MGM Mirage officials put the total losses due to fire damage and loss of business at just under $100 million. Fire investigators interviewed witnesses and investigated the scene, determined the cause of the fire was the improper cutting and welding operations by contractors who were installing a steel catwalk; the 5,200-seat Park Theater at the Monte Carlo was built and opened on December 17, 2016. The theater has had residencies by Ricky Cher; the theater will be holding a 2 year residency by Lady Gaga from 28 December 2018 until further notice called Enigma as well as the first concert residency by Janet Jackson beginning in May 2019 titled Janet Jackson: Metamorphosis.
In June 2016, MGM announced a joint venture with Sydell Group that the Monte Carlo would be renovated and rebranded as the Park MGM, named after the adjacent dining and entertainment district, The Park, that opened in April 2016, the NoMad Hotel would occupy the top floors. It will feature the new Eataly restaurant. Both hotels began construction at the end of 2016, with completion planned for 2018; the property was renamed Park MGM on May 9, 2018. ‘’’Hotel32’’’ was an ultra-luxury, boutique hotel located on Monte Carlo's top floor. The new extension opened on August 10, 2009; the hotel had 50 lofts ranging in size from 850-square-foot studios to 2,000-square-foot penthouses and could only be accessed via a private elevator. All Hotel32 guests had access to a dedicated Suite Assistant, who provides personal butler and concierge services and numerous high-tech touches, including a TV integrated into the bathroom mirror. Guests had access to Lounge32. Nomad Las Vegas offered its guests a branded iPhone at check-in to promote the use of hotel amenities.
The system, running Hotel Evolution software, enabled the
The Downtown Grand Las Vegas the Lady Luck Hotel & Casino, is a hotel and casino in Downtown Las Vegas, owned by the CIM Group and operated by Fifth Street Gaming. The Downtown Grand is the centerpiece of Downtown3rd, a new neighborhood and entertainment district under development in downtown Las Vegas. Set on 6.27 acres at 3rd Street and East Ogden Avenue, the Downtown Grand has two hotel towers: to the east, the 18-story Casino Tower built in 1985 with 295 rooms, to the west, the 25-story Grand Tower with 334 rooms. The East Tower is connected to the ground level casino; the property is served by a four-level parking garage and features several restaurants and entertainment venues along 3rd Street. These establishments include Freedom Beat, Triple George Grill and Hogs and Heifers Saloon. In 2000 the Lady Luck was acquired by Isle of Capri Casinos. On June, 2002 it was purchased by Steadfast AMX. On May 13, 2005 it was purchased by the Henry Brent Company for $24 million. On May 16, 2005 plans were announced for a major renovation and expansion of the property to begin early in 2006.
On February 11, 2006 the hotel and casino, but not the timeshares, closed for remodeling. On June 12, 2007 the casino was purchased by the CIM Group for over $100 million. In July 2008 the city was investigating rezoning the nearby land containing the transit center to unrestricted gaming. With the transit center relocated, the land would be available for development. Mayor Oscar Goodman applauded the attempt to re-invigorate the plans to renovate the Lady Luck: "For the past several years I have seen a rotting corpse; the Lady Luck structure has been a blight."As of July 2009, Goodman once again said in a council meeting that "The Lady Luck is a disaster," and called the skeletal structure a "carcass". Las Vegas city leaders wanted CIM Group to raze the unfinished structure at Fourth Street and Stewart Avenue and do a better job of keeping sidewalks and landscaping clean near the site. CIM had until late December 2009 to begin a $100 million renovation of the Lady Luck. On July 23, 2009, some demolition work started on a 4-story concrete building adjacent to the main resort.
This work was completed in accordance with the city's request for CIM Group to raze the condemned structure. On March 15, 2010, CIM Group made an agreement with city officials to have the renovations completed by December 31, 2011. There was the potential that the hotel/casino would reopen in 2012, five years after its scheduled reopening in 2007. In October 2011, plans were announced to rename the Lady Luck to the Downtown Grand; the property underwent a $100 million renovation. Construction of Downtown3rd on the former site of the Lady Luck began in the fall of 2011; the new Downtown Grand Hotel and Casino was scheduled to open in late 2013, the remainder of Downtown3rd was expected to be completed in late 2014. The new Downtown Grand opened on October 27, 2013, it is a boutique hotel and casino with 24,085 sq ft of casino space, 629 newly remodeled hotel rooms, 9 bars & restaurants and a 35,000 square foot urban rooftop pool retreat called Citrus. In January 2019, construction began on a 495-room hotel tower.
It is scheduled for completion in mid-2020, will increase the hotel to 1,124 rooms. Downtown Grand Las Vegas
The Mirage is a 3,044 room Polynesian-themed resort and casino resort located on the Las Vegas Strip in Paradise, United States. The resort was built by developer Steve Wynn and is owned and operated by MGM Resorts International; the original marquee sign in front of the Mirage is the largest free standing marquee in the world. The resort is connected by a free tram to the Treasure Island Hotel and Casino neighboring the hotel's property to the north; the Mirage was built by developer Steve Wynn and designed by architect Joel Bergman and interior designer Roger Thomas. It was built on the site occupied by the Castaways and prior to that, the Red Rooster Nite Club; the Mirage was proposed with an initial cost of $565 million. Financier Michael Milken helped finance the project by selling $525 million worth of mortgage bonds; the Mirage was the first resort, built with the money of Wall Street through the use of junk bonds. The project went over budget, was the most expensive hotel-casino in history, with a construction cost of US $630 million.
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, is 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 around the time that the state of New Jersey legalized gambling and tourists began to frequent the casinos of Atlantic City; 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. Wynn planned for the resort to feature boxing matches to compete against the Las Vegas Hilton and the adjacent Caesars Palace. Wynn considered naming the resort the Golden Nugget, after his Golden Nugget hotel-casino in downtown Las Vegas; however and others involved with the new resort knew that it would need a different name. 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; the Mirage scheduled for an opening in early December 1989, was opened early on November 22, 1989. 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, copied by Las Vegas' Treasure Island, Monte Carlo, Mandalay Bay resorts. The hotel's top five floors were used 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, after the completion of the MGM Grand in 1973. When it opened, The Mirage was the first casino to use security cameras full-time on all table games. Starting in February 1990, The Mirage was the venue for the Siegfried & Roy show, held in the resort's 1,500-seat showroom; the two headliners 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. Returning to where they began in Las Vegas, Cirque du Soleil has a permanent production at The Mirage, Love; as of 1999, The Mirage had 6,000 employees. At that time, Wynn was investing $100 million into the resort to build two theaters and to add 130,000 sq ft of convention space. On March 7, 2000, MGM Grand Inc. acquired Mirage Resorts, for $4.4 billion. In March 2000, Danny Gans started performing at the resort. Prior to that time, Gans performed at Casino. Gans took over the marquee in 2004. 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.
Gans left The Mirage in February 2009 to star in a show at the Encore Las Vegas. In 2009, ventriloquist and 2007 America's Got Talent winner Terry Fator began a 5-year run at the hotel. 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. In 2014, The Mirage was featured in The Amazing Race 24, where teams had to replace the lightbulbs in the letter'I' in'Mirage'. 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. 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.
An artificial volcano along the Strip that "erupts" nightly at 8:00PM, 9:00PM, 10:00PM beginning June 1, 2018. After sister property Bellagio opened, the design firm WET Enterprises improved the technology behind the volcano effect to make it more spectacular
Treasure Island Hotel and Casino
Treasure Island Hotel & Casino is a hotel and casino located on the Las Vegas Strip in Paradise, Nevada, USA with 2,664 rooms and 220 suites, is connected by tram to The Mirage as well as pedestrian bridge to the Fashion Show Mall shopping center. It is operated by Phil Ruffin; the hotel received the AAA Four Diamond rating each year from 1999 through 2013. Treasure Island was opened by Mirage Resorts in 1993 under the direction of Steve Wynn and Atlandia Design at a cost of US$450 million; the initial plans called for a tower addition to The Mirage, but evolved into a full-fledged separate hotel casino resort. Treasure Island intended to attract families with whimsical pirate features and icons such as the skull-and-crossbones strip marquee, a large video arcade, staged pirate battles nightly in "Buccaneer Bay" in front of the casino entrance on the Strip; 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.
In 2003, the hotel abandoned its pirate theme for a more contemporary resort choosing to provide adult amenities and services. The original video arcade and kid-friendly pool areas were replaced with a party bar, hot tub, nightclub; the famous skull-and-crossbones sign at the Strip entrance was replaced by a dual-purpose "TI" marquee displaying the hotel logo and serving as a large LED video screen. The exterior color of the hotel was changed from a light orange to a darker maroon color. 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 Friday, 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.
On June 18, 2016, Michael Steven Sandford attempted to assassinate presidential candidate Donald Trump during a political rally held at Treasure Island. 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. In the movie Miss Congeniality 2, a climactic fight scene took place in the lagoon, with a main character trapped inside a sinking ship. In the movie Beavis and Butthead Do America, the original Treasure Island sign, along with the pirate ship outside the hotel, are 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". In the movie Knocked Up, Ben and Pete 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 2000km "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. Treasure Island is seen during fly-over images of the Las Vegas Strip in the mega-hit television drama series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. Many shots in the television show; 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, not affiliated with MGM Resorts International. Treasure Island opened with the free "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 and the sinking to the bottom of the sailing ship "Brittania" along with its captain. In 2003, "Buccaneer Bay" was replaced with "Sirens' Cove" and the new show, "The Sirens of TI" utilizing many of the technical elements of its predecessor.
The live, free show was intended to appeal more to adults by including singing, audio-visual effects, bare-chested pirates and attractive women in the large outdoor show produced by Kenny Ortega. The Sirens of TI was closed on October 21, 2013; the closure was intended to be temporary, but in November, it was made permanent, to the dismay of the show's actors. The reason cited by Treasure Islan
MGM Grand Las Vegas
The MGM Grand Las Vegas is a hotel and casino located on the Las Vegas Strip in Paradise, Nevada. The MGM Grand is the largest single hotel in the United States with 6,852 rooms, it is the third-largest hotel complex in the world by number of rooms and second-largest hotel resort complex in the United States behind the combined The Venetian and The Palazzo. When it opened in 1993, the MGM Grand was the largest hotel complex in the world. Owned and operated by MGM Resorts International, the 30-floor main building is 293 ft high; the property includes five outdoor pools and waterfalls that cover 6.6 acres, a 380,000 sq ft convention center, the MGM Grand Garden Arena, the Grand Spa. It houses numerous shops, night clubs and the largest casino in Clark County, which occupies 171,500 sq ft. 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, to the west across the Strip, New York-New York.
The property was the site of the Golf Club Motel during the 1960s. In 1972, Tom Wiesner co-founded Southwest Securities Development Company, founded Wiesner Investment Company. In November 1973, Southwest Securities Development was planning the Airport Marina Hotel, to be built at the site of the 170-room Golf Club Motel, located near McCarran International Airport. Southwest planned to add a 14-story addition with 518 rooms. Fred Harvey Company would serve as the operator of the hotel, its restaurants, other areas of the resort. Fred Harvey had opened hotels in other parts of the United States under the Airport Marina name. Southwest planned to construct a 28,400 sq ft casino that would operate separately from Fred Harvey; the 700-room Marina, located at 3805 South Las Vegas Boulevard, was built by Wiesner Investment Company and was opened in 1975. In 1989, Wiesner and his partners sold the Marina to Kirk Kerkorian, who bought the Tropicana Country Club, located behind the Marina and across Tropicana Avenue from the Tropicana and San Rémo hotels to obtain the site that would become the home of the MGM Grand.
Kerkorian saw the Marina as a stable and solidly built resort, decided not to destroy the hotel, but to build around it. During that time, the Marina was known as the MGM-Marina Hotel; the Marina closed on November 30, 1990, ground was broken for the new casino hotel complex on October 7, 1991. The Marina hotel building still exists as the west wing of the main hotel building; 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, 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, haunted forest, as well as audio-animatronic figures of Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion, 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 demolished, the Emerald City Gift Shop was moved to a new shopping section of the casino. The store remained open until early 2003; 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 did not reopen for the 2001 season. The site was redeveloped as a luxury condominium and hotel complex called The Signature at MGM Grand, opened in 2006; the resort's original entrance consisted of a giant lion head, made of fiberglass and blocky in appearance, with visitors entering through the lion's mouth. The lion was a cartoon-like version of Leo the Lion.
The Las Vegas Monorail was built to connect MGM Grand to the Bally's hotel-casino 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 updated to become the southernmost section of the Las Vegas Monorail. The MGM Grand station was refurbished, the trains were replaced with Bombardier M-VI's, 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 May 1996, MGM Grand Inc. announced a 30-month, four-phase renovation of the resort that would cost more than $250 million. The project would include replacing the property's lion entrance with a six-story gold lion structure; the first phase was to begin in June 1996, would focus on the resort's restaurant, food court and arcade area, with the addition of several new restaurants.
The second phase would include the $15 million reconstruction of the lion entrance. Other changes would include a 300,000 sq ft convention center.
Las Vegas the City of Las Vegas and known as Vegas, is the 28th-most populated city in the United States, the most populated city in the state of Nevada, the county seat of Clark County. The city anchors the Las Vegas Valley metropolitan area and is the largest city within the greater Mojave Desert. Las Vegas is an internationally renowned major resort city, known for its gambling, fine dining and nightlife; the Las Vegas Valley as a whole serves as the leading financial and cultural center for Nevada. The city bills itself as The Entertainment Capital of the World, is famous for its mega casino–hotels and associated activities, it is a top three destination in the United States for business conventions and a global leader in the hospitality industry, claiming more AAA Five Diamond hotels than any other city in the world. Today, Las Vegas annually ranks as one of the world's most visited tourist destinations; the city's tolerance for numerous forms of adult entertainment earned it the title of Sin City, has made Las Vegas a popular setting for literature, television programs, music videos.
Las Vegas was settled in 1905 and incorporated in 1911. At the close of the 20th century, it was the most populated American city founded within that century. Population growth has accelerated since the 1960s, between 1990 and 2000 the population nearly doubled, increasing by 85.2%. Rapid growth has continued into the 21st century, according to a 2018 estimate, the population is 648,224 with a regional population of 2,227,053; as with most major metropolitan areas, the name of the primary city is used to describe areas beyond official city limits. In the case of Las Vegas, this applies to the areas on and near the Las Vegas Strip, located within the unincorporated communities of Paradise and Winchester; the earliest visitors to the Las Vegas area were nomadic Paleo-Indians, who traveled there 10,000 years ago, leaving behind petroglyphs. Anasazi and Paiute tribes followed at least 2,000 years ago. A young Mexican scout named Rafael Rivera is credited as the first non-Native American to encounter the valley, in 1829.
Trader Antonio Armijo led a 60-man party along the Spanish Trail to Los Angeles, California in 1829. The area was named Las Vegas, Spanish for "the meadows," as it featured abundant wild grasses, as well as the desert spring waters needed by westward travelers; the year 1844 marked the arrival of John C. Frémont, whose writings helped lure pioneers to the area. Downtown Las Vegas's Fremont Street is named after him. Eleven years members of the LDS Church chose Las Vegas as the site to build a fort halfway between Salt Lake City and Los Angeles, where they would travel to gather supplies; the fort was abandoned several years afterward. The remainder of this Old Mormon Fort can still be seen at the intersection of Las Vegas Boulevard and Washington Avenue. Las Vegas was founded as a city in 1905, when 110 acres of land adjacent to the Union Pacific Railroad tracks were auctioned in what would become the downtown area. In 1911, Las Vegas was incorporated as a city. 1931 was a pivotal year for Las Vegas.
At that time, Nevada legalized casino gambling and reduced residency requirements for divorce to six weeks. This year witnessed the beginning of construction on nearby Hoover Dam; the influx of construction workers and their families helped Las Vegas avoid economic calamity during the Great Depression. The construction work was completed in 1935. In 1941, the Las Vegas Army Air Corps Gunnery School was established. Known as Nellis Air Force Base, it is home to the aerobatic team called the Thunderbirds. Following World War II, lavishly decorated hotels, gambling casinos, big-name entertainment became synonymous with Las Vegas. In the 1950s the Moulin Rouge opened and became the first racially integrated casino-hotel in Las Vegas. In 1951, nuclear weapons testing began at the Nevada Test Site, 65 miles northwest of Las Vegas. During this time the city was nicknamed the "Atomic City". Residents and visitors were able to witness the mushroom clouds until 1963, when the limited Test Ban Treaty required that nuclear tests be moved underground.
The iconic "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign, never located within municipal limits, was created in 1959 by Betty Willis. During the 1960s, corporations and business powerhouses such as Howard Hughes were building and buying hotel-casino properties. Gambling was referred to as "gaming"; the year 1995 marked the opening of the Fremont Street Experience in Las Vegas's downtown area. This canopied five-block area features 12.5 million LED lights and 550,000 watts of sound from dusk until midnight during shows held on the top of each hour. Due to the realization of many revitalization efforts, 2012 was dubbed "The Year of Downtown." Hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of projects made their debut at this time. They included The Smith Center for the Performing Arts and DISCOVERY Children's Museum, Mob Museum, Neon Museum, a new City Hall complex and renovations for a new Zappos.com corporate headquarters in the old City Hall building. Las Vegas is situated within Clark County in a basin on the floor of the Mojave Desert and is surrounded by mountain ranges on all sides.
Much of the landscape is arid with desert vegetation and wildlife. It can be subjected to torrential flash floods, although much has been done to mitigate the effects of flash floods through improved drainage systems; the peaks surrounding Las Vegas reach elevations of o