Category: The Strip

On This Date: December 18, 1993: MGM Grand Las Vegas Opened

December 18, 2017
MGM Grand Hotel & Casino

MGM Grand Las Vegas Opened on December 18, 1993

The MGM Grand Las Vegas  opened on December 18, 1993. The hotel casino is located on the Las Vegas Strip on the corner of Las Vegas Blvd and Tropicana Ave. The MGM Grand is the second largest hotel in the world by number of rooms and the largest hotel resort complex in the United States, ahead of The Venetian. When it opened in 1993, the MGM Grand was the largest hotel 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, rivers, and waterfalls that cover 6.6 acres, a 380,000 sq ft. convention center, the MGM Grand Garden Arena, and the Grand Spa. It also houses numerous shops and night clubs, restaurants, the Grand Garden Arena and the largest casino in Clark County, which occupies 171,500 sq ft.

The original hotel that existed on the current site before the MGM was built was the Marina Hotel. The Marina with was incorporated in to the new design and makes up the west wing of the hotel.  The MGM Grand name was originally used for the MGM Grand on the Flamingo Road and the Strip which was renamed when it was bought up by Bally’s Inc.

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.

Photo by: Wikipedia

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On This Date: December 16, 2009 The Aria Opened in Las Vegas

December 16, 2017
Aria at City Center in Las Vegas

Aria at City Center in Las Vegas Opened on December 16, 2009

Aria Resort and Casino is a luxury resort and casino, part of the CityCenter complex on the Las Vegas Strip. Aria consists of two curved glass and steel highrise towers adjoined at the center and makes up 2 of the  seven buildings of CityCenter. The Harmon Hotel and Spa, the Crystals, Veer Towers and the Mandarin Oriental. Aria Resort and Casino opened on December 16, 2009 as a joint venture between MGM Resorts International and Infinity World Development. At 4,000,000 sq ft, and 600 ft. in height, it is the largest and tallest structure at CityCenter.

The resort’s 61 and 51-story towers contain a AAA five diamond hotel with 4,004 guest rooms and suites, 16 restaurants, 10 bars and nightclubs, and a casino with 150,000 sq ft. of gaming space. It also has a 215,000 sq ft. pool area with 50 cabanas, an 80,000 sq ft. salon and spa, a 300,000 sq ft. convention center and a 1,800-seat theater.

Among the most notable aspects of Aria is its incorporation of technology in the exterior and interior design of the hotel, specifically for the reduction of energy consumption and in a desert that reaches over 110 degrees in the summer, this is quite a feat. It is the largest hotel in the world to have earned LEED Gold certification. On account of its smart rooms which automatically adjust curtains, turn off unused lights and electronics, and regulate the temperature when a guest enters or leaves a room, Aria was described in Popular Mechanics as possibly “the most technologically advanced hotel ever built”.

Photo By: Wikipedia

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On This Date: December 15, 1952, The Sands Hotel & Casino Opened

December 15, 2017

The Historic hotel was the seventh hotel to open on the famous Las Vegas Strip on December 15, 1952. The Sands Hotel & Casino was was owned by Howard Hughes in the mid 1960′s.

Sands Hotel & Casino

Sands Hotel & Casino A Place in the Sun

The original movie, Ocean’s 11 was filmed at the Sands and during this time movie stars Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., Joey Bishop and Peter Lawford performed at the Copa Room. This is considered the birthplace of the “Rat Pack” and it was called the “Summit at the Sands”.  Another Famous lounge act was that of Louis Prima who performed at the Sands in the ’60s and early ’70s. The hotel was closed on June 30, 1996 and later imploded on November 26, 1996. The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino now resides at the Sands former location.

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On This Date: December 10, 1996, The Hacienda Hotel Closed

December 10, 2017

Hacienda Hotel on the Las Vegas Strip

The Hacienda was a hotel/casino that operated on the Las Vegas Strip from 1956 to 1996. The Hotel was closed on December 10, 1996 and later was imploded on New Year’s Eve in 1999.

The Hacienda, while being designed, was called  the Lady Luck (not to be confused with the downtown’s Lady Luck), but before it was finished it was sold and eventually opened as the Hacienda in 1956. The Hacienda resort initially opened in 1954 without a casino. The hotel owned its own fleet of airliners for its ambitious air travel promotions, it was located directly across from McCarran Air Field.  The Hacienda was also one of the first Strip hotels to market to families and budget travelers. After the implosion, the Mandalay Bay Resort and Hotel was built on the old Hacienda site.

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On This Date: December 10, 2008, the New Frontier hotel marquee was taken down

The New Frontier was a hotel and casino

The New Frontier Marquee removed December 10, 2008

At the Request of Steve Wynn, prior to the opening of the Encore, the New Frontier Hotel’s marquee was taken down. The Hotel which closed on July 16, 2007, was later imploded on November 13, 2007 leaving only the sign standing. The orginal Hotel was called the Last Frontier” an opened on October 30, 1942. In April 4, 1955, it was renamed the New Frontier, following a modernization of the resort.

Photo By: Mark Sadowski
Source: Wikipedia.org

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On This Date: December 1, 2009, the Vdara Hotel & Spa Opens in City Center on the Las Vegas Strip

December 1, 2017
Vdara Hotel & Spa on the Las Vegas Strip

Vdara Hotel & Spa on the Las Vegas Strip

On this date December 1, 2009, the Vdara Hotel & Spa opened. The property is located within the CityCenter complex across from Aria Resort & Casino on the Las Vegas Strip. The Vdara is 578 feet high in a 57-story tower and houses 1,495 suites. There is a two-story spa, salon and fitness center. It also has a 40,000 sq ft pool and deck area. The Vdara does not have a casino and is a non-smoking hotel within CityCenter located near Harmon and the Las Vegas Strip.

Photo Date: March 6, 2010
Photo by: By Cygnusloop99 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

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